Siblings kept mom’s skeleton
Three siblings lived for up to three years with what is thought to be the skeleton of their mother, police said yesterday. The three — two women aged 59 and 52, and their 65-year-old brother — have denied that they conspired to abandon a body, which is illegal, because they say their 88-year-old mother is still alive. “Our mother has become a god. She is not dead, but is in the process of being elevated into a higher being,” they told officers in Usa, Jiji Press reported. A police spokesman told reporters they were awaiting final confirmation, but believed the skeleton was that of a woman who would be 88 if she were still alive.
Cyberdyne preparing HAL
A robot suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate on Wednesday, paving the way for a worldwide rollout. The Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) is a power-assisted pair of legs developed by local robot maker Cyberdyne. A quality assurance body issued the certificate based on a draft version of an international safety standard for personal robots that is expected to be approved later this year, the Ministry for the Economy, Trade and Industry said. Battery-powered HAL, which detects muscle impulses to support the user’s movements, is designed to assist the elderly or help carers to lift patients. Cyberdyne is unrelated to the firm of the same name responsible for the cyborg assassin played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film The Terminator.
Randy pandas get a room
A pair of pandas in the mood for mating were given a bit of space yesterday at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo, withs zookeepers hoping they would get it on if the public was kept away. Female panda Shin Shin has begun to display the telltale behavior of being ready for action, zoo officials said, adding that they want her and her beau Ri Ri to have enough privacy to do the deed. Shin Shin’s provocative panda behavior has included walking more frequently than usual and making noises, the zoo said. Shin Shin and Ri Ri had a baby last year — the first giant panda cub at the zoo in 24 years — but it died of pneumonia a week later.
Tourists warned off volcano
Scientists are closely monitoring a smoking volcano on Java and are urging everyone to stay off the mountain’s slope. Government volcanologist Hendra Gunawan yesterday said that Mount Tangkuban Perahu in West Java Province has spewed smoke and ash nearly 500m high into the air since Monday. Scientists have put it on the second-highest alert level. Debris and lava have not tumbled far and nearby towns remain safe. Authorities are warning tourists to stay at least 1.5km away from the 2,084m volcano because of the poisonous gas inside.
Probe reveals police killings
Investigators will file a murder case against 35 police officers and soldiers for allegedly executing 13 people at a checkpoint in Atimonan Township, about 120km southeast of Manila, Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima said on Wednesday. An investigation ordered by President Benigno Aquino III into the Jan. 6 killings concluded that the victims were summarily executed and there was no shootout as claimed by the security personnel. The probe found that the killings were a plan by Police Colonel Hansel Marantan, who led the security force, to eliminate a rival in an illegal gambling operation. Marantan denied any wrongdoing.