World News Quick Take

Agencies

Sat, Feb 09, 2013 - Page 7

SRI LANKA

Cellphone rings in rectum

A prisoner who tried to hide his cellphone during a search of his cell was caught out when guards heard ring tones from his rear end, a hospital official said yesterday. The 58-year-old convict had to be admitted to the national hospital in Colombo, where doctors later retrieved the handset from his rectum. “The man had concealed the phone inside his person,” the official said, asking not to be named. “Unfortunately for him, the phone rang at the wrong time and guards knew he had a phone at the wrong end.” He said the man was in hospital for two days, but was discharged and sent back to prison on Friday after the cellphone was taken out.

SOUTH KOREA

Visit leads to jail

A court yesterday jailed an elderly left-wing activist for four years for making an unauthorized trip across the border to North Korea. Ro Su-hui, 69, was convicted of violating a strict security law that penalizes pro-Pyongyang activity and bans citizens from going to the North without prior permission. Another activist, Won Jin-wook, received a three-year prison sentence for communicating with North Korean officials to arrange Ro’s trip. Ro, 69, entered the North via China in March last year for a memorial service marking the 100th day since the death of long-time North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il. He was arrested in July last year when he returned home.

HONG KONG

Activist jailed over flags

A prominent political activist has been jailed for nine months for burning both the Chinese and city flags during anti-Beijing protests, court officials said yesterday. Pro-democracy campaigner Koo Sze-yiu (古思堯) was sentenced by a magistrate’s court on Thursday on four charges — three of desecrating the national Chinese flag and a fourth of desecrating the Hong Kong flag, a judiciary spokeswoman said. According to the South China Morning Post, Koo said he burnt the national and regional flags because he was unhappy with the regime in China, which he claims killed Chinese dissident Li Wangyang (李旺陽), and over the jailing of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波).

BANGLADESH

Ferry sinks, scores missing

Scores of people were missing after a ferry carrying about 100 passengers sank following a collision on a river yesterday, the latest in a series of disasters blamed on lax safety standards. The small vessel was ferrying passengers on the Meghna River, close to the town of Gazaria, at about 8am when it collided with a barge laden with sand. While some passengers managed to swim to safety as the boat went down rapidly, many others remained unaccounted for, officials involved in the rescue effort said.

CANADA

Senator suspected of abuse

A controversial senator was reportedly arrested on Thursday for domestic violence. Public Broadcaster CBC said Senator Patrick Brazeau was in police custody and officers were searching his Ottawa-area home, which had been taped off with yellow police ribbons. A police spokesman confirmed they were holding a man for domestic violence, but did not identify Brazeau nor the victim, saying their investigation was ongoing and no charges had been laid yet. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in the House of Commons Brazeau’s departure from the ruling Conservative group. “In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, I have removed Senator Brazeau from the Conservative caucus,” Harper said. Recently, the feisty, tattooed senator has come under fire for disparaging comments on social media about a female journalist and a native chief on a hunger strike.

UNITED STATES

Baby scares off thief

A New York car thief drove off in an SUV, only to discover there was a witness to the crime: a baby in the backseat. Maybe he had a conscience, or just did not want to have to change diapers, but the thief, captured on surveillance video posted on NBC television, quickly dumped his hot ride. The parents of the seven-month-old girl had left her in the vehicle late on Tuesday while they stopped at a store in the Bronx. Footage showed the thief look around, then climb into the car, which had been left running, and take off. However, he drove only a short distance before abandoning it and its precious cargo. NY1 television posted pictures of the carjacker’s cute, unwilling partner in crime and quoted a caregiver as saying she was unharmed and being evaluated in hospital. There was no immediate information regarding the whereabouts of the thief.

UNITED STATES

Mandela show premieres

The newest reality television show is in some ways like any other: mother and daughters, sibling rivalry, family gossip and talk of Big Grandpa, who is very strict, but loves it when his great-grandchildren are around making a racket. However, that is where the twist comes in: Big Grandpa is Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid legend. Being Mandela premieres on Sunday on COZI TV and follows the lives of Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini. They are the fashionable, 30-something granddaughters of Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The 94-year-old former South African president, who was recently treated for a lung infection and had surgery to remove gallstones, does not appear in the series. However, his controversial ex-wife does — and by all accounts relishes it.

PANAMA

Cash mule arrested

A Guatemalan woman was arrested at the international airport as she tried to enter the country with more than US$31,000 in cash stashed inside her stomach, police said on Wednesday. The 44-year-old, whose identity was withheld, was arrested on Monday after police conducted an X-ray of the woman who was exhibiting “suspicious behavior,” according to the authorities. At least 39 different bundles that had been in her stomach were recovered by police, who estimated a total sum of US$31,200. The detainee was expected to expel the remaining bundles at a hospital in Panama City, where the authorities will determine the final amount she was illegally carrying.