Sweater fetches US$49,000
A hand-knit woolen sweater made by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has sold at an auction for US$49,000. A Myanmar-based radio station won a bidding war for the sweater during an auction on Thursday night held by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party. Aung San Suu Kyi knitted the sweater — a red, green and blue V-neck — almost 30 years ago, when she was living in England and raising her two children. “She made it when she was busy working, studying and taking care of her children,” Ko Ni, a close aide, said yesterday.
People smugglers get jail
Four people smugglers were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison after 54 illegal workers from Myanmar suffocated to death inside a seafood container, an official from a court in Ranong Province said yesterday. The 2008 incident was the deadliest in a wave of tragedies afflicting migrants making perilous journeys from impoverished Myanmar in search of work in neighboring Thailand The victims were among 121 people crammed into a 6m by 2.2m container with a broken ventilation system for the journey to the resort island of Phuket to work as day laborers. Four Thais were convicted on Thursday of gross negligence resulting in death and of breaking immigration laws.
Whaling vessels leave port
Whaling vessels left port yesterday bound for the Southern Ocean on their annual hunt of the marine mammals. Citing the Fisheries Agency, Kyodo News reported that three vessels had departed from the far-western port of Shimonoseki, while environmental group Greenpeace said the mother ship had left another port, also in the country’s west. “The mother ship, Nisshin Maru, left Innoshima today,” Greenpeace Japan executive director Junichi Sato said. The fleet plans to hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to 50 fin whales through March, the fisheries agency said earlier.
Man survives shark attack
A man survived an attack by a shark off the east coast yesterday, but lost a finger and suffered a serious bite to the thigh, ambulance officials said. The 29-year-old was on a paddle board at Diamond Head near Port Macquarie, 390km north of Sydney, when he was mauled. “A rescue helicopter was called,” a New South Wales ambulance spokesman said. “On arrival paramedics found a 29-year-old male with shark bites, allegedly from a bull shark, to his right hand and right thigh. The man lost his index finger and knuckle as a result of the attack.” He was stabilized at the scene before being rushed to hospital.
Woman set on fire in LA
For more than 10 years, the homeless woman slept on the same plastic bus stop bench at a busy intersection in the San Fernando Valley, no matter how cold it was or if it was raining. The 67-year-old, described by one church volunteer who saw her regularly as the “sweetest lady on the street,” was nestled in her regular spot early on Thursday when the unthinkable happened: A man came out of a nearby drug store, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her ablaze. She was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Witness Erickson Ipina called emergency services and police arrested Dennis Petillo, 24, a short time later. He was booked for investigation of attempted murder and was held on US$500,000 bail.
Man pushed to death in NY
A mumbling woman pushed a man to his death in front of a subway train on Thursday night, the second time this month someone has been killed in such nightmarish fashion, police said. The man, who was not immediately identified, was standing on the elevated platform of a No. 7 train in the borough of Queens at about 8pm when he was shoved by the woman, who witnesses said had been following him closely and mumbling to herself, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said. The woman fled, and police were searching for her. On Dec. 3, 58-year-old Ki-suck Han was shoved in front of a train in Times Square. A photograph of him on the tracks a split second before he was killed was published on the front of the New York Post the next day, causing an uproar and debate over whether the photographer, who had been waiting for a train, should have tried to help him and whether the newspaper should have run the image.
Terror suspects killed: army
The army said soldiers killed five “suspected terrorists” and destroyed a bombmaking factory on Thursday in the northern city of Kaduna, where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is active. Kaduna, in the mainly Muslim north, has been the target of several attacks by Boko Haram since the group’s low-level insurgency intensified more than two years ago. “On the approach to the factory, some suspected terrorists opened fire and also threw already primed improvised explosive devices [IED] at the troops,” Kaduna army spokesman Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement. “The exchange of fire that ensued resulted in the death of five terrorists, while two that sustained various degrees of injuries are being treated.” Usman said seven rifles, detonating cord, remote detonating switches and IED materials were found and destroyed.
Mubarak has cracked ribs
Former president Hosni Mubarak has a buildup of fluid in his lungs and cracked ribs, the official news agency MENA reported after he was transferred from prison to military hospital for treatment. The state prosecutor ordered Mubarak’s transfer on Thursday after his health deteriorated, a prosecution source said, more than a week after he was briefly hospitalized after slipping in a prison bathroom and hurting his head. Citing a medical report prepared at the prosecutor’s request, MENA reported hat X-rays showed that Mubarak fractured several ribs in the fall and also had a buildup of fluid in the membranes lining his lungs. Mubarak will return to jail after treatment, the prosecution source said.