Woman ties herself up
A young Tokyo businesswoman tied herself up at home because she did not want to go to work, Japanese media reported yesterday. The woman in her 20s was found with her hands and legs bound with ropes and belts at her apartment in the capital’s west on Monday, the Sankei Shimbun said. The apartment owner discovered her unconscious, but otherwise unhurt, the newspaper said, adding that the landlord called the police and the ambulance, fearing the woman had been the victim of a vicious home robbery. However, detectives grew suspicious of the young tenant’s story when they failed to turn up any evidence of forced entry to the flat. During questioning, the woman broke down and admitted there was nobody else involved. “I did not want to go to work, so I did it as an excuse for absence without due notice,” she told officers, according to the paper. Police, who declined to confirm the report, issued a reprimand, but decided the woman should not face charges.
Cocaine found on yacht
US and Australian agents seized 750kg of cocaine from a yacht in the South Pacific nation, officials said yesterday. The US Drug Enforcement Administration and Australian Federal Police have collaborated with South Pacific governments since 2010 to investigate organized crime syndicates’ use of yachts to smuggle cocaine from South America to Australia. Australian Customs and Border Protection Service said in a statement that local police assisted in the seizure made on Monday at the capital, Port Vila. The drugs, worth A$370 million (US$330 million), were found in the engine compartment of the yacht. No arrests have yet been made. Australia has become an increasingly lucrative market for international drug syndicates because of the relative strength of its currency and economy. US-Australian cooperation with authorities in Vanuatu, Tonga, the Cook Islands and New Caledonia have resulted in almost 2 tonnes of cocaine destined for Australia being seized from five vessels since 2010.
N Korean defects to island
A North Korean man turned up at a house on an island yesterday having apparently succeeded in defecting overnight via a rare and dangerous sea border crossing. The man knocked on the door of a home on Gyodong Island at 3:40am and identified himself as a defector from the North, military authorities said. He is in custody and being questioned, a defense official said, adding that it was not immediately clear “how he made the crossing” during a stormy night with powerful tides. Defections across the sea or land border between the two Koreas are rare. Most defectors flee to China and then a third country, such as Thailand, before coming to the South. In September last year, a North Korean man made it to Gyodong Island by clinging to a log that he said had been swept out to sea by flood waters.
Ohio man returns to life
Doctors say they are stunned by a man who revived 45 minutes after his heart stopped beating and he was declared dead. Doctors say presumed-dead diesel mechanic Tony Yahle was being prepared by nurses to be seen by his family when he began to show signs of life. They say he fully awoke at the hospital five days later. The 37-year-old Ohio resident’s cardiologist, Raja Nazir, says Yahle has been a topic of discussion among doctors. The Dayton Daily News on Tuesday reported that teenager Lawrence Yahle says he spoke to his father as he lay dead and told him he was not going to die that day. The teen says his father revived shortly after. He says he “went from hopeless to hope in an instant.’”
Crash cabbie cites stress
A taxi driver who seriously injured a British tourist says driving a New York City cab is too stressful. Mohammed Faysal Himon told the New York Post: “I need a more suitable job.’’ He says Tuesday’s accident happened after he accelerated to get around a bicyclist who he says pounded on his car and yelled at him. The 23-year-old victim, Sian Green, lost a leg in the accident. People including TV personality “Dr Oz”’ rushed to her aid. The Bangladesh-born Himon says he does not remember much after accelerating until he saw Green’s leg by his cab. Police and the Manhattan district attorney are investigating. The newspaper reports that city authorities are taking steps to suspend his license.
Mass grave searched
Authorities searched a mass grave near Mexico City on Thursday as anxious relatives braced to learn whether the remains were those of 12 young people kidnapped in May. Mexico City’s top prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, said the decomposed bodies of seven people have been recovered since the search began in a park on Wednesday. Workers were still digging the muddied pit. Rios said it would take at least two days to get DNA test results to identify the victims, adding more suspense to a case that has shocked the capital. The kidnapped, aged 16 to 34, were taken from a downtown bar in broad daylight on a Sunday morning three months ago in a case that raised concerns about security in the capital, challenging the perception that it is relatively immune from the country’s drug cartel violence.
Air force hits in Lebanon
The air force struck a Palestinian group in Lebanon yesterday, officials said, hours after a different organization said it fired four rockets at the Jewish state from Lebanon. Israeli aircraft “targeted a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response to a barrage of four rockets launched at northern Israel yesterday [Thursday],” the military said. Lebanon’s NNA news agency said the target was a position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command (PFLP-GC), a hardline, but secular militant group which said it had nothing to do with Thursday’s attack. The salvo of four rockets, which caused damage but no casualties, was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades which claimed similar attacks on Israel in 2009 and 2011. Israeli Army spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said on Thursday that the rockets were “launched by the global jihad terror organization” — an apparent reference to al-Qaeda. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened retaliation. “Anyone who harms us, or tries to harm us, should know — we will strike them,” he said on Thursday.