Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - Page 7 News List

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Agencies

CHINA

Hundreds buy trip to space

More than 300 space enthusiasts have booked tickets costing nearly US$100,000 for a five-minute trip to outer space, the state-run China Daily reported yesterday. The 305 buyers snapped up tickets for a trip with Dutch firm Space Expedition Corp (SXC) when they went on sale on the online retail Web site Taobao, the report said. The trips will take place in a two-man craft that remains in space for five to six minutes, giving the tourist a rarely seen view and the experience of weightlessness, the report said. The tickets were sold for 599,999 yuan (US$96,000) it said, adding that four entrepreneurs from Chengdu and two from Shanghai were among those who signed up. The Taobao page selling the tickets was only available yesterday, a spokesman for the Web site said. No date for the trip was given.

HONG KONG

Ferry crash injures 58

A high-speed ferry heading to Macau yesterday crashed into a breakwater in the Asian gambling hub’s harbor, leaving 58 people with minor injuries. The hydrofoil was carrying 220 passengers and 13 crew members when it hit the seawall at about 9:30am after departing from Hong Kong about an hour earlier, ferry operator Shun Tak Holdings said in a statement. It said 57 passengers were injured, including eight Thais, four Koreans and one Japanese, and that one crew member suffered a “waist injury.” All were taken to a hospital and 50 have been released, the company said. The boat, steered by a captain with 34 years of experience, was traveling at 35 knots (65km) per hour in fine weather at the time of the accident, it added. The accident is the third in a year on the Macau-Hong Kong ferry route.

AUSTRALIA

Baby killer gets life

An “utterly evil” man who killed a 10-month-old boy by bludgeoning him with a homemade baton during a burglary was yesterday jailed for life. Harley Hicks, 21, was sentenced to a minimum of 32 years for murdering Zayden Veal-Whitting in 2012 by beating him more than 30 times about the face, head and body. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye said Hicks, who denied the killing, had shown no remorse for the ferocious attack on the infant as he lay in his cot. “He was utterly harmless, defenseless and helpless,” Kaye said in sentencing. “What you did was totally and utterly evil,” Kaye added.

JAPAN

Flowers mistaken for wreck

Firefighters called to a report that a plane had smashed into a cliff in the north found the wreckage to be nothing more than a clump of flowers in full bloom. Police in Akita raised the alarm after a call from a member of the public saying that a Cessna appeared to have crashed. “We sent six fire trucks as well as three medical rescue vehicles,” a spokesman for Akita City fire brigade said. “But it turned out to be a cluster of white flowers. We have pulled out of the area now.”

MEXICO

Politician quits in sex scandal

The local political head of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the capital has resigned following reports that his office hired women to have sex with him, party officials announced on Thursday. MVS radio station in April aired a story by an undercover reporter who recorded recruiters telling potential hires they would have to have sex with Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez if given jobs as secretaries or receptionists. The report alleged he recruited women for the positions through newspaper advertisements for “women to work in government offices.”

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