Todd Palin in intensive care
Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Tuesday said her husband is still in the intensive care unit of an Alaska hospital with multiple injuries, including broken bones and a collapsed lung, two days after a serious snowmobile accident. Todd Palin, 51, suffered multiple broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and broken clavicle, as well as knee and leg injuries. He was back in surgery to repair several fractures, Sarah Palin said in a statement on social media on Tuesday. “Knowing Todd, once he’s cognizant, he’ll probably ask docs to duct tape him up and he’ll call it good,” she said. “He’s tough.” The accident on Sunday forced Sarah Palin to cut short a campaign trip for Donald Trump, the front-runner in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
Plane crash kills 22
An army plane crashed in the Amazon rainforest on Tuesday, killing all 22 people on board, President Rafael Correa said. “There are no survivors,” Correa wrote on Twitter, several minutes after first posting news of the crash. “This is a tragedy.” He said the plane was carrying 19 paratroopers, two pilots and a mechanic. The plane went down in the eastern province of Pastaza, near the border with Peru. Minister of Defense Ricardo Patino said he was on his way to the scene. “General Luis Castro is personally leading the operation [to recover remains]. Everyone distressed by loss of our fallen brothers,” Patino said on Twitter. “The plane is completely destroyed and the wings were scattered” across the area,” said Jesse Guevara, a student of the Pastaza aviation school who reached the crash site.
US ‘treasure hunter’ arrested
A US tourist has been arrested after spending a night in a cave below Jerusalem’s Old City in what might have been a search for mythical buried treasure, police and media reports said on Tuesday. The tourist was found on Friday last week after spending the night in Zedekiah’s Cave, also known as Solomon’s Quarries, a 20,000m2 area beneath the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the 19-year-old tourist, who was not identified, hid inside the site at closing time on Thursday last week before digging in different areas of the cave. Several worthless limestone rocks were found in his backpack, police said. Haaretz reported that the odd expedition may have been linked to “Jerusalem Syndrome” — the name given to what some tourists experience when they are overwhelmed while visiting the Holy Land due to its religious significance. Zedekiah’s Cave is the remnant of what was once the largest quarry in Jerusalem, dating back at least to the Second Jewish Temple period, from the sixth century BC to the first century AD. Several myths are associated with the site, including treasure supposedly buried there.
Woman, 91, earns doctorate
A woman aged 91 has become one of the oldest women in the country to gain a doctorate after she completed a thesis that she had begun three decades earlier. Colette Bourlier was awarded the mark of “high distinction” for her work, which she successfully defended on Tuesday before a jury of the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon. “It took a bit of time to write because I took breaks,” Bourlier said, explaining the exceptional time for her opus. The thesis was titled Immigrant workers in Besancon in the second half of the 20th century.
Security forces kill militants
Security forces killed two ethnic Uighur Chinese belonging to a militant network led by the nation’s most-wanted man, police said yesterday. The nation has launched an aggressive, military-backed security campaign in the jungles of Sulawesi Island as it battles the threat from growing domestic support for the Islamic State militant group. Police said the men, part of China’s Uighur Muslim minority, had joined Santoso, a militant in Poso in central Sulawesi, who is Indonesia’s most high-profile backer of the Islamic State and has been on the run for more than three years. “Based on testimony from another suspect we had arrested, those two were identified as Uighurs,” Central Sulawesi police spokesman Hari Suprapto said.
Student jailed over post
A court on Tuesday jailed a university student for 18 months for inciting crimes in an antigovernment Facebook post that called for regime change. Facebook is popular in the nation, where disenfranchised citizens have increasingly turned to the Internet to highlight alleged state abuses and demand political reforms. Kong Raya, 24, was the first Cambodian convicted of using social media to attack the government of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has warned that online critics could be traced and arrested in a matter of hours. “There’s nothing to be surprised about. This is how the court works,” Raya, who looked unshaken by the verdict as he left the courtroom flanked by guards, told reporters. Raya was charged in August last year for urging the public to join his “color revolution” to “change the vulgar regime.”
In-laws arrested over killing
The father-in-law of a lower-caste student brutally hacked to death in a suspected “honor killing” has been arrested, police said Tuesday. Three men armed with sickles and sharp weapons attacked the 22-year-old student from the lowest Dalit caste and his wife on a crowded street in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Sunday, killing him and seriously injuring her. The woman’s father and uncle were among five people arrested over the assault, which was apparently motivated by her decision to marry outside her own caste, police said. “We have arrested five accused and are looking for five more,” A. Dhavamani, an investigating officer, told reporters. “Three of them were involved in the attack, including the woman’s uncle,” he said, adding that the others have confessed to conspiracy to kill the man. The Press Trust of India news agency said the woman’s mother was also among those arrested, although this could not immediately be confirmed. Police said the 19-year-old woman married the Dalit engineering student eight months ago in defiance of her family, who are from the Thevar caste.
Activist begins sentence
Activist Zainab al-Khawaja has begun a two-month prison sentence for tearing up a photograph of the king, her lawyer, Mohammed al-Wasti, said on Tuesday. She has been arrested and freed several times since an uprising in 2011 mainly by the nation’s majority Shiite Muslims demanding reforms and a bigger share in government of the Sunni Muslim-led kingdom, and has already served time in prison. Khawaja took her 15-month-old son, Hadi, with her into detention rather than leave him in the care of relatives. Al-Wasti said Khawaja’s time in prison could be extended to more than three years over other alleged offenses.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big