World News Quick Take

Agencies

Thu, Apr 04, 2013 - Page 7

CHINA

Elderly man convicted

A court has jailed an elderly man for a murder committed during the Cultural Revolution, officials said yesterday. Qiu Riren, who is in his 80s, was condemned on Friday to three-and-a-half years in jail for the 1967 killing, a court official surnamed Chen said in Ruian, Zhejiang Province, declining to give further details. Media reports said Qiu had been arrested last July. Qiu had belonged to an “armed group” and strangled his victim — a doctor thought to be a spy — before cutting off his legs and burying him, the state-run China News Service reported earlier. Social media users decried the trial when it was announced in February, pointing out that senior officials who stirred up the social and political upheaval had never been held accountable.

UNITED STATES

Researcher spied, allegedly

A researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin is charged with espionage after prosecutors say he stole details of a cancer-fighting compound that he wanted to share with China. Prosecutors in Milwaukee say Huajun Zhao stole the compound, C-25, and data that led to its development. A federal criminal complaint says investigators found several hundred items related to research into C-25 on Zhao’s computer. Authorities found a grant application from Zhao, written in Mandarin, claiming he discovered the compound and seeking Chinese funding to continue research. The 42-year-old Zhao is facing one count of economic espionage. A conviction carries a maximum 15 years in prison and a US$500,000 fine.

PAKISTAN

Most youths prefer Shariah

A survey by the British Council shows a larger number of young people believe the country should be governed by Islamic law than democracy. The report issued yesterday by the council found that 38 percent of Pakistanis between the ages of 18 and 29 thought Shariah law was the best political system for their country. Thirty-two percent chose military rule, and democracy came in last with 29 percent. Less than a quarter of young people believe democracy has benefited themselves or their families. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.

AGHANISTAN

Taliban attacks court

Taliban attackers stormed a court and surrounding buildings in the far-western town of Farah yesterday, sparking a firefight with security forces, officials said. Two of the attackers died when they detonated a car bomb at the gate of the provincial court building, two were shot by security forces and another man was still alive, according to police. Agha Noor Kentos, police chief of Farah, said five police had been wounded, but no details were available on any civilian casualties.

ISRAEL

Warplanes target Gaza

Warplanes struck targets early yesterday in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire toward the southern of the country, the first air strikes launched since an informal ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting with the Hamas-ruled Gaza. A military statement issued yesterday said planes targeted “two extensive terror sites” with “accurate hits.” Palestinian officials said no one was hurt in the air strikes and no damage was reported in northern Gaza. The air raids followed the third successful rocket attack from Gaza since the November ceasefire. The military reported that Gaza militants on Tuesday fired at least one rocket.

UNITED STATES

Trump withdraws lawsuit

Donald Trump is withdrawing his lawsuit against television host and comedian Bill Maher seeking US$5 million that Maher said he would give to charity, in a seemingly facetious offer, if Trump could prove he was not the son of an orangutan. The lawsuit stems from comments Maher made during an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show in January in which he said an orangutan’s fur was the only thing in nature that matches the shade of Trump’s trademark hair.

UNITED STATES

Transgender man to appeal

A transgender man who made worldwide headlines after he married and gave birth to three children will appeal an Arizona judge’s ruling denying him a divorce from his wife of 10 years, his attorneys said on Tuesday. Thomas Beatie, 39, was born a woman, but began living as a man in his 20s, initiating hormone treatments, undergoing breast-removal surgery and legally changing his name, though he kept his female reproductive organs.

BRAZIL

Rio bus plunge kills seven

A passenger bus plunged from a 10m-high viaduct in central Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and closing Avenida Brasil, a major thoroughfare. At least six people were injured in the accident, said Sergio Simoes, who heads Rio state’s Civil Defense department, adding that number of injured was likely to rise. Simoes said the dead were five men and two women. The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but Globo television network cited eyewitness as saying that a dispute between a passenger and the driver might have helped spark the crash.

GERMANY

Bieber gets pet deadline

Authorities have given Justin Bieber four weeks to pick up his pet monkey or else it will be placed in permanent care. The capuchin monkey was seized by German customs last week when the singer failed to produce the necessary customs documents after landing in Munich. The animal shelter where the monkey is being kept in quarantine said in a statement on Tuesday that the 14-week-old animal should not have been taken away from its mother until it was a year old.

ISRAEL

Warplanes strike Gaza

Israeli warplanes struck targets early yesterday in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire toward southern Israel, the first air strikes launched by Israel since an informal ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza. An Israeli military statement issued yesterday said its planes targeted “two extensive terror sites” with “accurate hits.” Palestinian officials said no one was hurt in the air strikes and no damage was reported in northern Gaza. The air raids followed the third successful rocket attack on Israel since the November ceasefire.

UNITED STATES

Voice of Elmo sued again

A puppeteer who was the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street is being sued for the fifth time, accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy. In a federal lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday, 25-year-old Kevin Kiadii says he was 16 when he met Kevin Clash in an online chat. Kiadii attorney Jeff Herman says Clash sent a limousine to pick up the teen and take him to his Manhattan apartment for sex. Herman represents four other people who filed similar lawsuits. He acknowledges his clients were compliant, but says the 52-year-old puppeteer took advantage of them by playing father to them.