Ten South Koreans arrested
Police have arrested 10 South Koreans — eight men and two women — suspected of operating an illegal online gambling site in a posh apartment in Taguig, Metro Manila, Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, head of the national police’s anti-cybercrime group, said yesterday. The raid followed a request from South Korean authorities for help in locating eight fugitives who allegedly fled Seoul and moved their illegal online gambling operation to Manila, Sosa said. He said two of the men arrested were among those wanted in Seoul.
Castaway heading home
Salvadorean Jose Salvador Alvarenga was yesterday preparing for a faster and more comfortable journey home after 13 months adrift in a small fishing boat. Officials said Alvarenga would leave Majuro for Hawaii tomorrow, before traveling on to El Salvador or Mexico. Alvarenga was born in El Salvador, but had lived for years in Mexico, where he says he set off on a fishing trip in late 2012 before becoming lost and drifting about 12,500km in a small boat. He was found on an atoll on Thursday last week.
Buses return to Phnom Penh
People in Phnom Penh are traveling on buses for the first time in more than a decade, as authorities introduced a new public transportation system aimed at relieving traffic jams in the capital. City Hall launched a one-month pilot program yesterday, with 10 buses traveling a single route through the city center. Senior City Hall official Koeut Chhe said that if the program was successful, more buses and routes would be added. Phnom Penh had public buses for a brief period in 2001, but the service was canceled after two months due to lack of interest.
UN denounces Vatican
A human rights committee yesterday denounced the Vatican for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the churchmen who concealed their crimes. The committee also severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and urged it to review its policies to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care. The committee issued its recommendations after subjecting the Holy See to a day-long interrogation last month on its implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Drone attack lull in Pakistan
The military has cut back sharply on drone strikes in Pakistan after the Islamabad government asked for restraint while it seeks peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The newspaper quoted an official as saying: “That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no.” The paper said there had been a lull in such attacks since December last year, the longest break since 2011. It said President Barack Obama’s administration had indicated it would continue carrying out strikes on senior al-Qaeda officials if they were to become available or to thwart any immediate threat to Americans. The paper said the current pause came after a strike in November last year that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud
Trapped miners rescued
Emergency workers yesterday rescued eight miners trapped underground on Tuesday by a fire and rock-fall at Harmony Gold’s Doornkop mine near Johannesburg, but nine other workers remained unaccounted for. The eight had managed to flee to a refuge bay at a depth of 1,700m that was equipped with a telephone and other survival items. “Efforts continue to establish the whereabouts of a further nine employees who are currently unaccounted for,” the company said in a statement.