Woman in sex ring case
A woman accused of running an online prostitution ring has denied profiting from a network of nearly 1,800 sex workers, her lawyer said on Monday. Yunita was standing trial at Surabaya district court in East Java on multiple charges, including human trafficking, punishable by up to 15 years in jail. According to a copy of the indictment, the 34-year-old, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, arranged for the prostitutes to meet their potential clients via text messages on a BlackBerry Messenger. In one case, a prostitute told police that Yunita had instructed her to entertain a male client for a fee of 1.5 million rupiah (US$156), one-third of which was wired into her bank account, it added. Yunita had about 30 prostitutes working directly under her, but her “friends who cooperated as her pimps” had a network of nearly 1,800 sex workers in various cities, it said. Her defense lawyer, Erry Meta, said the indictment had “fatal errors.” “She had never asked for money from them or profited from their work,” he told reporters. “The prostitutes had readily transferred [the money] to her. She never knew whether or not they had entertained the clients. Yunita never told them what to do, so those charges were totally untrue.”
Whale lands on boat
A breaching whale leapt out of the sea off the coast and landed on a boat on Monday, injuring three men, one seriously, sea rescue officials said. “The men claim they were motoring slowly approximately a kilometer offshore when a whale breached in front of their boat and came onto their boat, causing the boat and all three men to go under water as the whale sunk back into the water,” National Sea Rescue Institute Port Elizabeth station commander Ian Gray said. A 41-year-old was taken to hospital in a serious condition with suspected rib fractures and injuries to his arm, leg and soft tissue. A 25-year-old was also taken to hospital with soft tissue injuries, while the skipper, 35, had minor injuries. “The boat has sustained extensive damage,” Gray said.
Osborne tops nightmare list
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is the public figure who most often appears in Britons’ nightmares, a recent study has found. Ruling Conservative Party member Osborne was booed during a medal ceremony at the Paralympics this summer in London, and has been the focus of public criticism for austerity measures which have seen cuts to welfare budgets and a freeze in public sector pay. Former British prime minister Gordon Brown came second in the survey conducted by hotel group Travelodge, which asked 2,000 people about their nightmares. Former glamor model Katie Price, also known as Jordan, beat a number of other politicians to come third.
Nun accused of stealing
A nun with a gambling addiction has been accused of stealing US$128,000 from two rural parishes where she worked. Sister Mary Anne Rapp was treated for a gambling addiction and is in recovery, her order said on Monday, but she still faces a criminal charge of grand larceny following the thefts from the St Mary and St Mark congregations. She was expected to plead not guilty at an initial appearance in court on Monday evening. Rapp is accused of taking the money between 2006 and 2010. She was placed on leave from her position as a pastoral associate in February last year and fired in April last year.