Woman takes hard evidence
A 40-year-old woman cut off a man’s penis during an alleged attempted rape and took it to a police station as evidence, police said yesterday. The woman, a married mother of three, was attacked while she was sleeping in her shanty in the remote district of Jhalakathi, about 200km south of Dhaka, on Saturday night, officers said. “As he tried to rape her, the lady cut his penis off with a knife. She then wrapped up the penis in a piece of polythene and brought it to the Jhalakathi police station as evidence of the crime,” police chief Abul Khaer said. The woman has filed a case accusing the 40-year-old man — a married father of five — of attempted rape, saying he had been harassing her for six months. The severed penis has been kept at the police station and the rape suspect was undergoing treatment in hospital. “We shall arrest him once his condition gets better,” Khaer said.
Four killed in bomb blasts
Twin Taliban attacks killed four people and wounded 24 others, including children, in Herat and at an Italian-led NATO reconstruction team yesterday, officials said. Italian press agency Ansa reported that 15 Italians had been injured, quoting parliamentary sources, but the Italian defense ministry could not confirm this.There was a large explosion at the gate of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Heart and there was a crater at the scene, with fragments of twisted metal from at least one car scattered around.
Seventy officers under probe
The military has investigated about 70 officers found to have had memberships at a now-closed pro-North Korea online community site, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. Seven to eight of the officers committed “problematic” behavior by posting messages on the site and would face further investigation, it said, adding that the rest simply obtained membership out of curiosity. Media reports said the government had blocked the site from being accessed because it contained articles praising North Korea’s political system and leader Kim Jong-il’s moves to transfer power to a son.
Police officer shot in face
The Gold Coast tourist playground was reeling yesterday after a police officer was shot in the face during the latest of more than 60 armed robberies in the area this year. Damian Leeding was fighting for his life after being blasted at close range by a sawn-off shotgun after responding to an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern on Sunday night. Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the outlook for the 35-year-old father-of-two was grim.
President rejects allegations
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday angrily denounced the media and users of social networking Web sites for spreading false allegations against his embattled party. He lashed out at those spreading allegations of graft at the highest levels of the Democratic Party, which is reeling after former treasurer Mohammad Nazaruddin fled the country in the face of a corruption probe. Yudhoyono said any allegations against him were “1000 percent untrue,” without referring to any specific messages. A widely circulated text message purportedly sent by Nazaruddin from Singapore on Saturday makes allegations against Yudhoyono, Democratic Party Chairman Anas Urbaningrum and spokeswoman Andi Nurpati, among others.
Protests to continue
Protesters demonstrating against the handling of the country’s economic crisis vowed to keep their tents in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square this week. Hundreds of people both young and old voted late on Sunday to keep the Sol encampment going until Thursday at least. Dubbed los indignados (the indignant), tens of thousands of demonstrators packed squares across the country in a wave of outrage over high unemployment and government austerity measures in the run-up to local and regional elections on Sunday.
Top welfare scam excuses
Britons have invented “ridiculous” excuses to swindle money out of the welfare system, from pretending their identity was stolen to saying an identical twin claimed the payments, officials said on Sunday. The government published a list of some of the excuses used by fraudsters targeting the welfare system as it seeks to crack down on a crime that costs taxpayers ￡1.6 billion (US$2.6 billion) a year. One purportedly jobless person claimed: “I wasn’t using the ladders to clean windows, I carried them for therapy for my bad back.” Some men said they did not even know their wife had a job.
‘Endeavour’ heads home
The space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station and headed back to Earth yesterday, wrapping up its final journey before entering retirement, NASA said. The undocking took place at 3:55am GMT, when the space station and shuttle was 350km over La Paz, Bolivia, NASA said. It was followed by a one-lap fly-around of the station to allow the crew to take photos of the space lab. The six-member crew of the Endeavour — five US astronauts and Italian Roberto Vittori — bade farewell to three colleagues on board the space station and closed the hatches between the shuttle and station at 11:23am on Sunday. Endeavour’s mission will conclude tomorrow.
Attitude to gays changing
The vast majority of countries around the world have become more accepting of homosexuality, with the exception of Russia and other former socialist countries, a study compiled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found. The report examined general trends in more than 30 countries and is based on five surveys conducted in different countries from 1988 to 2008. Approval of homosexuality increased in 27 countries and decreased in only four: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia, the study showed. The growth in approval ratings was stronger than the decline. The study rated the top five most tolerant countries as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium.
Burjanadze’s spouse charged
Badri Bitsadze, the husband of top opposition leader Nino Burjanadze, was charged with attacking security forces after violent protests rocked Tbilisi on Thursday, prosecutors said yesterday. Bitsadze was “charged with creating paramilitary groups and organizing attacks on policemen during the protest,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement. It said the case was based on testimony by members of Burjanadze’s opposition faction, as well as video and audio materials. Burjanadze is one of the most prominent opponents of Western-backed President Mikheil Saakashvili.