Spies swoop on leftist party
National Intelligence Service (NIS) officers yesterday raided the homes and offices of a minor leftist party and arrested key members of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in Seoul. The raids sparked an angry reaction from the party, which accused President Park Geun-hye’s administration of starting a new “Yushin dictatorship” — a reference to the authoritarian rule of her late father Park Chung-hee. A spokesman at the prosecutors’ office said three UPP members faced charges of seeking to start a rebellion and supporting the enemy — North Korea — in breach of the strict National Security Law. UPP denied the charges and said the crackdown was aimed at fending off criticism over an alleged NIS attempt to rig last year’s presidential election results.
Two die in jet trainer crash
Two pilots were killed yesterday when an air force jet trainer crashed near the southwestern city of Gwangju, the defense ministry said. Investigations were under way to determine the cause of the crash of the T-50 aircraft, a spokesman said. It was the second crash in less than a year involving a T-50, the nation’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft jointly developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin. A T-50B aircraft crashed into a mountain in the northeast in last year, killing a pilot. Indonesia in 2011 ordered 16 T-50s and Seoul is pursuing other contracts from the Philippines and Iraq.
Boy’s eyes gouged out
A woman tricked a six-year-old boy into going into a field, and then gouged out his eyes, police in Linfen City in Shanxi Province said yesterday. The brutal ordeal happened on Saturday, the city’s police bureau said in a statement. State media said the boy was recovering in a hospital, but had lost his sight permanently. A police officer who only gave his surname, Liu, said he could not speculate on a motive because the investigation was continuing. Liu said the boy’s eyeballs were found at the scene, and that the corneas had not been removed. State media had previously raised the possibility that the boy’s corneas were taken for sale because of a donor shortage in the nation.
Building collapse kills 11
Adjacent three-story apartment buildings collapsed early yesterday, killing at least 11 people in the Gujarat state city of Vadodara, police said. Rescuers were working to pull out at least a dozen people trapped in the debris after the buildings fell, police officer Bhanu Pratap Parmar said. At least four people were injured and were in hospitals, rescue workers said. Most of the occupants of the 14 apartments in the first building were sleeping when it collapsed. The adjacent building was evacuated minutes before it collapsed.
Two cadets found guilty
Two former military cadets — Daniel McDonald, 21, and Dylan Deblaquiere, 20 — were found yesterday found guilty by a Canberra jury over a sex broadcasting scandal on Skype that triggered a major review of sexism and abuse in the defense force. McDonald was convicted of committing an act of indecency for his role, in which he filmed himself having sex with a female cadet and streamed it live via Skype to another room where Deblaquiere and four other male students were watching. The victim, now 20 and unable to be named for legal reasons, did not realize she was being filmed. They will be sentenced on Oct. 14.
Building collapse kills 8
At least eight people were killed and 25 injured on Tuesday when a commercial building under construction collapsed in Sao Paulo, officials said. Rescuers said they did not know how many people might be trapped in the rubble. Search efforts continued through the night. News reporters said 35 people were working on the building when it collapsed. People passing by on the street might also have been caught up in the falling debris, these reports said. Such accidents involving buildings under construction or old and poorly maintained edifices occur frequently in Sao Paulo, the country’s economic capital and most populous city.
Mosques ‘terrorism bodies’
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations. The designation has allowed police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques. Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services is a potential subject of the investigation and fair game for surveillance. The NYPD declined to comment.
Huge fire still burning
The wildfire threatening Yosemite National Park is still burning its way into the tourist attraction despite dogged efforts by thousands of firefighters using planes and bulldozers. Ash is gathering on the surface of a reservoir serving San Francisco, but officials said water quality has not been affected. The so-called Rim Fire — California’s seventh biggest ever — now covers about 731km2, an area bigger than Chicago. The fire, which broke out on Aug. 17, was still only 20 percent contained on Tuesday, compared with 15 percent on Monday.
Two men agree on bride
Two men in Kenya have agreed to marry the same woman, taking turns to stay with her and helping raise her children. Joyce Wambui had been torn between two lovers for more than four years and was unable to choose between them. So she joined in a contract stipulating that Sylvester Mwendwa, 26, and Elijah Kimani would “share” her. Mwendwa claimed Wambui’s parents had given her their blessing, adding: “She is like the central referee. She can say whether she wants me or my colleague.” Mwendwa’s willingness to publicize the contract has caused a rift with Kimani and Wambui. On Tuesday, the Daily Nation reported that Mwendwa, a butcher, said his boss fired him after he heard the story, and he is reported to have gone into hiding.
‘Twerking’ makes dictionary
Twerking, the rump-busting up-and-down dance move, has officially gone mainstream. The Oxford Dictionaries said the rapid-fire gyrations employed by US pop starlet Miley Cyrus would be added to its publications under the entry: “Twerk, verb.” Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin said “twerking” may be an alteration of “work,” because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to “work it.” “Twerk” will be added to the dictionary as part of its quarterly update, which includes words such as “selfie,” the word used to describe pouty smartphone self-portraits