Boat carrying tourists sinks
A speed boat carrying more than two dozen South Korean tourists sank yesterday as it returned from an island near Thailand’s popular seaside resort town of Pattaya. All the passengers were rescued and one was injured, police said. The boat started to sink about 100m from a pier in Pattaya because of a leak in its floor, police colonel Thammanoon Mankong said. He said the 27 South Korean tourists were rescued by authorities and crew from nearby boats. One of the tourists was slightly injured and taken to a hospital. The boat’s crew members also were rescued.
Foundation awards Tutu
A billionaire’s foundation says it will give anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa an award for “speaking truth to power” that comes with a US$1 million grant. In announcing the one-off award on Thursday, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said Tutu “is and has throughout his life been one of Africa’s great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government.” Tutu was an anti-apartheid leader during the most desperate years of the struggle against racist rule. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has continued to be outspoken on world events, sharply criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and China’s treatment of Tibetans.
Murdered woman buried
A private funeral was held yesterday for murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher, whose disappearance gripped the nation and led to an outpouring of grief and anger. The 29-year-old, who worked for state broadcaster ABC, vanished in the early hours of Sept. 22 as she walked home from a bar just a few blocks from her Melbourne home. Her body was found five days later in a shallow grave in a rural area about 50km from the city. Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, has been charged with Meagher’s rape and murder. Meagher moved to Australia from Ireland with her husband three years ago.
Film stirs bitter memories
A film based on the memoir of a pro-democracy activist who was brutally tortured in the 1980s by South Korea’s military rulers is provoking discussion about the country’s not-so-distant authoritative past and its influence on the presidential election. National Security premieres today at the Busan International Film Festival. It tells the story of Kim Geun-tae, who endured 22 days of torture in a notorious Seoul interrogation room because of alleged links to North Korea and a plot to overthrow South Korea’s military regime. The film is due for nationwide release next month, just a month before the election.
India attack suspects seized
Police have arrested three people in an investigation into the attempted murder of an Indian army general stabbed last week near London’s busy Oxford Street. Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, who helped lead a deadly 1984 raid in India on the holiest Sikh shrine, was set upon by four men and slashed in the neck as he walked with his wife shopping on Sunday. Brar, 78, was treated in a London hospital and released. He told Indian media the attack was an assassination attempt, linking it to his role in the Indian forces’ storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out Sikh militants. More than 1,000 people were killed in that operation. Scotland Yard said on Thursday it had arrested a 33-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. It said another man in his 30s also was arrested. The force said all three suspects were being questioned at a London police station.
Energy protest claims 2 lives
At least two people were killed and dozens more injured in a clash between security forces and protesters opposed to high energy prices. President Otto Perez Molina said on Thursday that two army vehicles were carrying troops to support police when they encountered a blockade set up by protesters on a highway in the west of the country. Molina said civilians in a truck in front of the army vehicles opened fire. He said the soldiers were not armed and promised to clarify what happened. Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said the president had suspended an order to evict the protesters from the highway. Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Erick Escobedo said seven soldiers were hurt. Authorities said 34 people were admitted to hospitals. Local media reports gave a higher death toll.
Hunt for killers stepped up
The government is deploying troops and federal police to find suspects in the killing of the son of a former national party leader that has caused commotion among the country’s political circles. Coahuila State Prosecutor Homero Ramos announced on Thursday that officials hope to quickly solve the murder of Jose Eduardo Moreira. His father Humberto is a former governor of the northern state and former head of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The son was found shot dead on Wednesday night in a rural area near Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas. He worked for the Coahuila state government led now by his uncle, who won local elections last year.
Murdoch firm in legal deal
A journalist fired in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News International has settled with the newspaper company on undisclosed terms. Matt Nixson sued his former employer after he was dismissed from Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper in July last year. At the time, News International was reeling from revelations that its journalists systematically eavesdropped on private voicemail messages in order to score scoops, a practice whose exposure shook the country’s establishment and has led to dozens of arrests and prosecutions. Nixson was never caught up in the police investigation, and the 38-year-old’s dismissal angered many in the media, particularly after Murdoch promised to keep arrested Sun journalists on the paper’s payroll and foot their legal fees. News International confirmed the settlement, but did not elaborate.