Japanese woman assaulted
A man was in custody yesterday after he allegedly kidnapped, handcuffed and repeatedly sexually assaulted a Japanese woman in Sydney. Chief Inspector Rick Johnson told reporters the victim, 29, got to know the man after arriving in the country in January. She traveled around the country and met up with him again on Tuesday. It was then that her ordeal began. “The offender made a number of advances to the victim. When she resisted she was detained by some form of bondage method, by tying her up,” Johnson told ABC. Handcuffs were used and the man then allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted her, a police statement said. The woman said she escaped by climbing out of a window when she was untied to use the toilet. The man, 48, has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of kidnapping.
Policeman licks hair
A policeman has been arrested for licking a woman’s hair in a restaurant, police said yesterday. Fellow officers detained forensics specialist Tatsuya Ichikawa, 50, at a fast food joint after he was spotted tonguing the locks of an unsuspecting 25-year-old woman in Shizuoka Prefecture. “I wanted to lick so I did,” Ichikawa told police, according to media reports. A spokesman for Shizuoka police confirmed Ichikawa’s arrest, adding that he was on medical leave at the time and did not specialize in the analysis of human hair.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
‘Bumblebee’ gecko found
A new species of gecko with black and gold bands like a bumblebee and slender toes termed a “striking surprise” has been discovered deep in the nation’s tropical forests, the US Geological survey said. The lizard, which measures about 13cm from head to tail and is covered with rows of skin nodules that make it easier for it to conceal itself on the forest floor, was collected on Manus Island in March 2010 and described in a report published in the journal Zootaxa this month. “We’ve officially named it Nactus kunan for its striking color pattern — kunan means ‘bumblebee’ in the local Nali language,” said Robert Fisher of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, who with biologists from the Papua New Guinea National Museum discovered the gecko.
Man restrained on flight
A man was restrained with cable ties and marched off a jet by police after showing threatening behavior on a Qantas flight from Perth to Melbourne yesterday, the airline said. The man was tied up after “being disruptive and threatening” on the flight from the west coast, according to a Qantas spokesman, with one person on board saying he and other passengers had to leap to the crew’s assistance. “About four or five of us jumped up and had to hold him down and put these cable ties behind his arms behind the back,” the passenger said, adding that the man had made threats against the staff and pilot.
Dozens charged in sex sting
A Swiss banker and a school principal are among 48 men charged with paying for sex with a minor. Court documents released late on Wednesday show 40-year-old Swiss national Juerg Buergin was charged with paying for sex with a girl that local media say was 17. The other defendants are charged with paying for sex with the same girl in 2010 and last year. They include a former police superintendent and the grandson of a prominent businessman.
Army kills seven militants
At least seven militants were killed yesterday near the city of Lawdar in clashes between government forces and an al-Qaeda-linked group, a local official said. A defense ministry news service said in a text message that four of the militants, members of Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), were Somalians. More than 200 people have been killed since government forces stepped up attacks on the militants whom it accused of assaulting a military camp near Lawdar last week. Exploiting weakened central government control, insurgents have taken control of a number of cities in the territory, which is close to key shipping lanes in the Red Sea.
Scores jailed for terrorism
The Atyrau provincial court has sentenced 47 people to jail terms of up to 15 years on terrorism-related charges. Aigul Temirtasova, a spokeswoman for the provincial prosecutor’s office, yesterday said the defendants were arrested late last year after a spike in terrorist attacks. The trial, which ended on Wednesday, was held behind closed doors, and few details have been made public. One group of 42 defendants was jailed on charges including forming a terror group, financing extremist activity and organizing attacks. The remaining five were linked to specific attacks in October. Last summer, several police officers were killed in attacks and skirmishes with alleged militants and a scattered handful of explosions.
Military to defend island
Ground forces commander General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan warned that should diplomacy fail, the military was ready for action over Abu Musa Island controlled by Iran, but also claimed by the United Arab Emirates. Pourdastan said the military was ready to confront the “disturbing” party over the strategic island in the Persian Gulf. The remarks were reported yesterday on the state TV’s Web site. It was the first time an Iranian military commander commented on the issue since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Abu Musa last week.
Fucking name not changing
The hamlet of Fucking is sticking to a name that has made it a magnet for English-speaking tourists, sign thieves and the stuff of Internet fame. Franz Meindl, mayor of the town of Tarsdorf that includes the hamlet, dismissed news reports that residents were pushing to change the name to something less controversial such as Fuking or Fugging. “I don’t know where this comes from in the international press,” Meindl said by telephone on Wednesday from the Upper Austrian town near the German border. “This was discussed a few years ago, but nothing came of it. It is certainly not under discussion now.” Media reports said residents in the town — whose name apparently derives from Adalpert von Vucckingen, who lived there in the 11th century — had grown weary of tourists stealing town signs and striking indecent poses for photos.
Son of famed climber dies
The son of fabled Everest climber Ang Rita Sherpa has died attempting to scale the mountain, officials said yesterday, in the first death of the season on the world’s highest peak. Karsang Namgyal Sherpa, an experienced climber in his own right who had conquered the 8,848m peak several times, collapsed at Everest base camp on Wednesday, trek coordinator Dambar Parajuli said, adding that the probable cause of death was altitude sickness.
Obama sits at front of bus
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday sat on the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat nearly 60 years ago in a landmark episode of the civil rights movement. The country’s first black president stopped to see the bus during a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday, where it is on display and where Obama, seeking a second term in November elections, held a fundraiser. Parks, an African American woman, became a hero of the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, triggering a wave of protests against racial segregation.
Jobs lost after scandal
The US Secret Service says three employees are out of the agency in the aftermath of a prostitution scandal in Colombia. Of the three workers forced out in the scandal, one is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another is a supervisor who has been designated for removal for cause, which requires that the employee be given 30 days’ notice and a chance to respond with the help of a lawyer; and a third employee, not a supervisor, has quit. The agency says its investigation into allegations of misconduct by 11 agents is in its early stages and is continuing.
Gunmen slay two
Authorities in western Mexico say two men wielding automatic rifles opened fire on a group of men from a town that last year defied illegal loggers and drug traffickers, killing eight. Michoacan State prosecutors’ spokesman Jonathan Arredondo says another four men were wounded in the Wednesday attack in the town of Cheran. The indigenous Purepecha people of Cheran last year took security into their own hands after two residents were killed by loggers, who they say are backed by La Familia drug cartel.
Mass grave holds 99 victims
Forensic experts say they have unearthed the remains of 99 civil war victims from clandestine graves inside a military base and are searching for more bodies. Forensic team member Edgar Telon del Cid says they found 15 pits inside a military post in the city of Coban. He says they are looking for the remains of between 200 and 300 people who disappeared in the area during the country’s 36-year civil war. Telon said on Wednesday that the exhumation is the first of seven that have been requested by prosecutors and relatives of the missing.
Farmworkers seize land
Several thousand farmworkers occupied 12,000 hectares of land across the country as part of a dispute with large landowners and the government, activists and officials said on Wednesday. Police and soldiers read an eviction notice later in the day and about 1,500 farmworkers peacefully left a large sugar plantation near San Pedro Sula. However, at least 10 other farms were still occupied on Wednesday night, said Mabel Marquez, spokeswoman for activist group Via Campesina. “We expected the eviction from the San Manuel plantation because of the magnitude of the action and we are analyzing what will come next, but we still have at least 10 occupations that remain,” Marquez said. She said that the largest land occupation was at the 2,500 hectare San Manuel plantation on the Caribbean coast.