Rescued seal pups set free
Animal rights groups have cheered the release into the wild of 37 spotted seal pups rescued from traffickers. Humane Society International said the pups were discovered three months ago by police in a shed on a remote farm in the northern city of Dalian, many of them starving and dying. Eight suspects were arrested. The pups had been taken from the wild by traffickers for the aquarium industry and for display in commercial venues such as shops and restaurants, it said. Another 29 pups could not be rescued and died, as they were only about two weeks old when found and not yet weaned from their mothers.
Scores of inmates escape
More than 100 inmates yesterday escaped from a jail on the island of Sumatra, police said, in the latest breakout to hit the country’s creaking prison system. The prisoners fled the jail in Siak district early in the morning after rioting and a fire broke out at the detention center. Footage on local TV stations showed the facility engulfed in flames. Authorities launched a massive manhunt and 115 prisoners were recaptured by late morning, Riau Province police chief Widodo Eko Prihastopo said. Dozens of detainees from a prison population of about 650 remained at large, he added. The rioting was triggered after guards beat several inmates who were caught using methamphetamine, police said.
Woman dies of rabies
A 24-year-old woman died this week of rabies, after she was bitten by a puppy she rescued while on vacation in the Philippines, her family said. In February, while on holiday with friends, Birgitte Kallestad found a “helpless” puppy on the side of the road during a scooter ride. “Birgitte put the puppy in a basket and brought him home. She cleaned it and cared for it and to her joy it started healing,” the family said in a statement on Thursday. “After a while the puppy started trying to bite them like puppies do,” the statement said. Kallestad started feeling ill after her return to Norway and was put into intensive care at Forde hospital, where she worked and where she died on Monday.
Child soldiers released
A total of 894 children who were enlisted in a civilian defense militia in the country’s northeast were on Friday officially separated from the group in accordance with a UN accord, authorities said. The children had been part of a group that was helping government forces fight armed Islamic extremists. Efforts to release the children began in September 2017 when the vigilante group pledged to stop recruiting children, UN International Children’s Emergency Fund representative in Nigeria Mohamed Fall said. More than 1,700 children and young people have already been released.
Jail for Ice-cream fraudster
A New Jersey man who defrauded Medicare by using the promise of ice cream to lure senior citizens to do genetic testing was on Friday sentenced to more than four years in prison. Seth Rehfuss, 44, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. US District Judge Ann Thompson also ordered Rehfuss to pay restitution of about US$435,000 and forfeit more than US$66,000. Rehfuss would advertise that he was serving free ice cream to lure residents to his presentations, a criminal complaint showed. The seniors were told the tests would help them guard against heart attacks, cancer and other illnesses.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”