Sat, May 18, 2019 - Page 7 News List

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Dolphin hunting challenged

A court yesterday began hearing arguments over whether dolphin hunting breaks animal cruelty laws. The plaintiffs are asking the district court in Wakayama Prefecture to stop the permits from being issued. Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka issues the permits for the village of Taiji, where the hunts have drawn protests. The 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove showed the village’s hunts, where dolphins were chased into a cove and bludgeoned to death, turning the waters blood red. In the past few years, the hunting method has changed to suffocation. The plaintiffs, a former Taiji resident and activist Ren Yabuki have said that the killings remain traumatic and painful, despite the new method. Taiji officials and fishermen have defended the hunt as tradition and have said that eating dolphin meat is no different from eating beef or chicken.


Ex-justice official arrested

A former vice justice minister has been arrested on allegations of bribery, including being provided with prostitutes by a construction contractor. Kim Hak-ui, a former prosecutor who briefly served as the No. 2 at the Ministry of Justice in 2013, has been accused of accepting bribes totaling 130 million won (US$108,722) and sexual entertainment on more than 100 occasions from businessman Yoon Jung-cheon. Kim was late on Thursday taken into custody after the Seoul Central District Court granted an arrest warrant, citing the possibility of “fleeing and tampering with evidence,” Yonhap news agency reported. Kim was appointed by ousted former president Park Geun-hye in March 2013, but resigned a week later in a storm of controversy. He was investigated on allegations including rape and bribery, but was cleared due to a lack of evidence. Prosecutors earlier this year launched a new probe and Kim was in March stopped at Incheon International Airport as he sought to fly to Bangkok.


Traffickers to be executed

A total of 10 people have been sentenced to death for smuggling methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy across the country by train, state media reported yesterday. The alleged gang shifted 300kg of drugs from the north to the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City between 2015 and 2016, state-run media said. Five men and five women were given the death penalty after the trial this week in Hanoi, while two others got life in prison. “The two ringleaders were paid hundreds thousands of dollars” to traffic the drugs, the state-run Vietnamnet news site said. Court officials could not be reached for comment. Anyone caught with more than 600g of heroin or more than 2.5kg of methamphetamine can face the death penalty.

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