Raped little girl dies
A four-year-old girl has died in hospital nearly two weeks after she was raped and found unconscious at a farm, hospital staff and reports said yesterday. The girl had been taken by air ambulance from central Madhya Pradesh state to the Care Hospital in Nagpur on April 20, where she died on Monday night from cardiac arrest, a hospital spokesman said. The girl had been found unconscious by her parents on April 18, a day after a 35-year-old man allegedly raped her in the town of Ghansour and dumped her at a farm, the Press Trust of India reported.
Tokyo governor apologizes
Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose apologized to the Muslim world yesterday after saying Islamic countries have nothing in common but Allah and “fighting with each other.” Inose, whose city is bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games, was forced into the climbdown after telling the New York Times in an article published on Friday last week that Islamic nations are belligerent and overly hierarchical. The comments were seen as a slight on Istanbul, which is vying to become the first city from the Muslim world to host the Games. Inose initially defended his remarks, but yesterday he appeared before television cameras to say sorry. “There were remarks that can lead to misunderstandings among Islamic people,” he told reporters. “So now I clearly apologize. If there are remarks that can be misunderstood, it is the inadequacy of my expression.”
Surgeon’s honor criticized
Academics are calling for a Chinese liver transplant surgeon accused of harvesting organs from prisoners to be stripped of a University of Sydney honorary professorship. Huang Jiefu (黃潔夫), who was trained in Sydney and until recently China’s vice minister for health, now oversees Beijing’s organ transplant committee. The university awarded Huang an honorary professorship that was recently extended for another three years. Sydney professor of medicine Maria Fiatarone Singh is organizing a petition to have Huang’s honors overturned. Huang and the Beijing government had paid only “lip service” to stopping organ harvesting from prisoners, she said. “They are basically still practicing execution on demand.”
Overhaul planned for Bondi
Bondi Beach is set for a major makeover, with concrete car parks to be replaced with grass, trees and a boardwalk in an ambitious 10-year overhaul of the famed beach. The draft proposal will see large areas of the foreshore currently devoted to parking turned into green space, with parking garages underground. Bondi attracts an average of 2.2 million visitors every year — 1.1 million of them from abroad. The Waverley Council said the plan would be open for public comment until the end of this month.
Musharraf barred from polls
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was yesterday banned from running for public office for the rest of his life. One of his lawyers said they would appeal the Peshawar High Court’s decision to the Supreme Court. An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi also ruled that Musharraf must spend the May 11 election under lock and key after it extended his house arrest over the 2007 murder of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He is under a two-week house arrest order set to expire on Saturday, over the sacking of judges in November 2007.
Rio police seize favelas
Police seized three Rio de Janeiro shantytowns from drug traffickers on Monday and hoisted the national and state flags atop one of them as part of a drive to reassert authority three months before Pope Francis is to visit the city. About 400 officers backed by armor punched their way into Cerro-Cora, as well as the neighboring favelas of Guararapes and Vila Candida. Colonel Frederico Caldas told reporters that 190 members of a specially trained Police Pacification Unit would be deployed in Cerro-Cora a month from now.
Wales abuse probe widens
Investigators into claims of past abuse at 18 children’s homes in Wales on Monday said they uncovered evidence of “serious criminal offenses” carried out by 84 suspects between 1963 and 1992. Seventy-six new claimants have come forward, making a total of 140 allegations of offenses against boys and girls aged between seven and 19. The independent Operation Pallial investigation said claimants had identified 75 male and nine female suspects. “Offenders quite rightly should have to look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives,” North Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin said. “If you believe the passage of time will reduce the resolve of Operation Pallial or any police force to identify people who are still alive and to bring them to justice, you are sorely mistaken.”
Teacher in sex case paroled
A former New Jersey County Teacher of the Year who admits having sex with a 15-year-old student from her honors English class has been spared prison time. A judge in Newark on Monday sentenced 33-year-old Erica DePalo to lifetime parole supervision. DePalo will also have to forfeit her teaching certificate and register as a sex offender. Prosecutors say the Montclair resident had a short sexual relationship with a boy at West Orange High School. DaPalo pleaded guilty in February to child endangerment. She was initially charged with aggravated sexual assault and faced up to 10 years in prison.
Official’s daughter probed
President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered an investigation into the closure of a restaurant after it denied the daughter of the head of national consumer watchdog PROFECO a table. Andrea Benitez, the daughter of PROFECO head Humberto Benitez Trevino, is reported to have reacted angrily when she was told by staff at the Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City last week she would have to wait for a table. She reportedly threatened the restaurant with closure, citing her father’s position. PROFECO inspectors arrived at the bistro later that day and closed it down. The episode sparked an outcry on Twitter and Humberto Benitez Trevino apologized on the site on Sunday, saying his daughter’s behavior was “inappropriate.”
Pediatricians get a hand
Doctors have discovered a surefire, low-cost way to distract children admitted for emergency care: inflate a rubber glove, pop out its fingers in a spiky hairdo and draw a smiley face on it. Writing in the Emergency Medicine Journal, physicians at Dublin’s Tallaght Hospital say their puppet trick had proven so popular with young patients that they decided to put it to a scientific test. Trialled on 149 pediatric patients aged between two and eight, one version of the glove called the “Jedward,” after the quiffs of Irish pop duo John and Edward Grimes, was the favorite. Only 13 children refused a puppet.