World News Quick Take

Agencies

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 7

NEPAL

Plane crash kills 22

All 22 people aboard a small plane died when it crashed in the mountainous east, searchers said yesterday after finding the wreckage of the plane that had gone missing a day earlier. The Rescue Coordination Committee at Kathmandu Airport said that searchers found the wreckage near a village about 160km east of Kathmandu. It was not yet clear what caused the crash. Police official Bhesh Bahadur Thapa said the rescuers were collecting the bodies and preparing them to be sent back to Kathmandu. The three crew members and 18 passengers were Nepali nationals, while another passenger was a Tibetan holding a US passport.

HONG KONG

Police raid triad group

Police said on Wednesday they had dealt a major blow to a notorious triad group, after a territory-wide series of raids rounded up dozens of people, including a suspected gang leader. A total of 37 suspects, including a 56-year-old alleged ringleader and other senior members of an unidentified crime syndicate, have been arrested in an operation that began on Monday night, police said. Dozens of police and immigration officers raided multiple locations, including four nightclubs. The detainees, 17 men and 20 women, were aged between from 22 to 63 and were arrested for offenses including managing brothels, drug trafficking and immigration-related crimes, police said. Police declined to identify the group at the center of their latest raid, but press reports said authorities targeted the powerful Sun Yee On triad.

HONG KONG

Man jailed for acid attacks

A man was sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in jail for throwing acid on pedestrians in a busy shopping district, one of a string of attacks that have terrorized the city. Lo Ching-ho (盧證濠), 24, received the penalty about one year after the high-profile incident which left six people injured, including one woman who suffered burns over nearly 20 percent of her body. A court spokeswoman confirmed the sentence handed to Lo, who was convicted of intent to commit grievous bodily harm after a jury trial last month. He lobbed acid on revelers who jammed bustling Causeway Bay to celebrate the local soccer team’s victory over Japan in the East Asian Games final last December. According to local reports, Lo had said he carried out the indiscriminate attack because he was unhappy that friends did not return his phone calls, also saying a voice in his head told him to commit the crime. Lo was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic in 2007, but a psychiatrist testified at trial that the man may instead suffer from a personality disorder, local radio RTHK reported on Wednesday.

HONG KONG

Manila to aid hijack victims

The Philippine tourism chief says his government is planning to give some aid to survivors and relatives of victims of a bus hostage-taking in which eight people from the territory died. Philippine Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said during a visit yesterday that details of the “token of solidarity” are being worked out.

AUSTRALIA

Lightning kills golfer

A powerful summer storm has ripped across the east of the country, dumping large hailstones, causing minor flooding and killing one golfer in a lightning strike. Ambulance spokeswoman Louise Whatman said the 65-year-old man died and his two companions suffered serious injuries yesterday afternoon when they were struck by a bolt of lighting at Hawks Nest north of Sydney.

UNITED NATIONS

UN chief wears boxers

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has revealed one of the secrets that did not come out on WikiLeaks: He is a boxers not briefs man. Ban, who was allegedly the target of US orders to get personal details, mocked the leaked diplomatic cables in a tongue-in-cheek speech to the annual UN Correspondents’ Association dinner late on Wednesday. Ban started his speech, to an audience that included US ambassador Susan Rice, by flashing details such as “credit card number,” “shoe size” and “ring finger 7.5” onto the screen. “Boxers not briefs” proclaimed one of the nuggets given to the diplomatic audience. According to the leaked cables, reported by international media, US diplomats at the UN were told to find out the credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer numbers for UN leaders.

MARTINIQUE

Man fined for slave talk

A court in Fort-de-France has found an 84-year-old businessman guilty of condoning a crime against humanity for praising slavery during a TV interview and sentenced him on Wednesday to pay a fine of nearly US$10,000. Alain Despointes made the comments at a moment when the French Caribbean territory was convulsed by protests over high prices and low wages and by resentment that the primarily white, “beke” descendants of slaveholders control much of the local economy. Despointes, one of the beke elite, also criticized mixed-race marriages during the interview aired in late January last year and said he wanted to “preserve his race.”

UNITED STATES

Border patrol agent killed

A shootout between border patrol agents and bandits in the rugged canyons near Mexico’s border left one officer dead and a suspect injured, a union official said on Wednesday. Brian Terry, 40, was part of a team of officers whose job was to drop into hotspots and quell the violence. The shooting took place about 21km north of the border, near Nogales, Arizona, late on Tuesday night, at the bottom of a flat canyon with scattered oak trees and knee-high grass. Terry was waiting with three other agents when a gunbattle with bandits began, Bonner said.

UNITED STATES

Army doctor feels sorry

An army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be commander in chief told a jury on Wednesday he was wrong to do so and would now deploy if he could. Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin was speaking during a court martial hearing on Wednesday at Fort Meade, Maryland. In videos posted on YouTube earlier this year, Lakin aligned himself with the so-called “birther” movement, which questions whether Obama is a natural-born citizen as the US Constitution requires for presidents. Lakin had said he would “gladly deploy” if Obama’s original birth certificate were released and proved authentic.

UNITED STATES

School focuses on violence

City school district officials agreed on Wednesday to state and federal oversight for the next two-and-a-half years to address anti-Asian violence at a troubled high school that prompted a student boycott and a Justice Department investigation. The city’s School Reform Commission unanimously agreed to the consent decree involving South Philadelphia High School, where 30 Asian students were injured in racially motivated attacks last year.