Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Rocket launchers installed

Beijing has installed rocket launchers on a disputed reef in the South China Sea to ward off Vietnamese military combat divers, the state-run Defense Times newspaper reported on Tuesday. Norinco CS/AR-1 55mm anti-frogman rocket launcher defense systems with the capability to discover, identify and attack enemy combat divers had been installed on Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef, 永暑島) in the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), the paper said on its WeChat account. The reef is administered by China, but also claimed by Taiwan, Philippines and Vietnam. The report did not say when the defense system was installed, but said it was part of a response that began in May 2014, when Vietnamese divers installed large numbers of fishing nets in the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島).

AUSTRALIA

Backpacker attacker jailed

A man who brutally attacked two female backpackers on a remote beach is to spend at least 17 years in jail, with a judge yesterday accusing him of damaging the nation’s reputation as a safe destination. Roman Heinze was found guilty of six offenses in March over the harrowing ordeal in which the 61-year-old tied up and sexually assaulted a Brazilian woman and beat her German friend with a hammer when she tried to intervene. “You have violent and obsessive sexual preoccupations for which you have amply demonstrated you’re capable of acting out,” Justice Trish Kelly said, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported from the South Australian Supreme Court. Heinze was sentenced to 22 years and four months jail with a non-parole period of 17 years.

INDONESIA

Gay couple to be caned

An Islamic court has sentenced two men to 85 lashes of the cane for having sex together, Aceh Province judges said, ignoring pleas for clemency from human rights groups. The public caning handed down by a panel of judges is the first time laws against homosexuality, introduced in the province in 2014, have been used. The sentence was more severe than the 80 lashes requested by the prosecutor. “The defendants are proven to have committed sodomy and are found guilty,” presiding judge Khairil Jamal said in a statement. The two men had opted to represent themselves in court and said they would not appeal the verdict. Human Rights Watch had called on the government to release the men who were detained in March after vigilantes reported them to religious police for allegedly engaging in gay sex.

AUSTRALIA

Luxe boomerang criticized

French fashion house Chanel has triggered an uproar by selling a luxury monogrammed boomerang with a price tag of nearly US$1,500, with critics saying the accessory is an insult to the nation’s Aborigines. Chanel is accused of turning the hunting weapon, an important part of Aboriginal heritage, into a status symbol by offering a black wood and resin boomerang for sale in its spring-summer collection. “When I think about Aboriginal culture, I think @chanel,” Aboriginal activist Nayuka Gorrie tweeted sarcastically. “Have decided to save for the next three years so I can connect with my culture via @CHANEL.” He told the Guardian Australia: “Having a luxury brand swoop in, appropriate, sell our technologies and profit from our cultures for an absurd amount of money is ridiculous and hurtful.” Chanel released a statement saying it was “extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended.”

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