China conditions ‘inimical’
Officials say China demanded that President Benigno Aquino III withdraw a legal complaint over disputed territories for Beijing to welcome him at an annual Chinese trade fair this week, prompting him to cancel his visit. Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez yesterday said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) and two other Chinese diplomats relayed conditions for Aquino to attend the China-ASEAN Expo. Hernandez declined to detail the conditions in a news conference, but said these were “absolutely inimical to our national interest.” Two Philippine officials said China wanted the Philippines to withdraw a UN arbitration case over disputed islands.
Sorum protests dolphin hunt
Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum is visiting a remote Japanese fishing village to protest against its annual dolphin hunt. The campaign has spread after the tradition in the village of Taiji was depicted in the Oscar-winning 2009 film, The Cove. The movie depicts how dolphins are herded into a cove and speared by fishermen for their meat. Sorum yesterday said that he has always loved the ocean, and he is also concerned about dolphins in captivity at aquariums and marine shows. He arrived in Taiji on Sunday with Japanese and Western activists on the day the annual dolphin hunt began.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
‘Black Jesus’ castrated
An infamous cult leader known as “Black Jesus” was castrated by an angry mob after being hacked to death for killing young girls as sacrifices, reports said yesterday. Steven Tari, a convicted rapist who was suspected of cannibalism, was killed in a remote village last week, with gory details of his death emerging. The National newspaper said Tari, who had been on the run since escaping from a prison in Madang in the Pacific nation’s east during a mass breakout with 48 others in March, was hunted down by 80 men. It said he was killed, castrated and then dragged with a cane tied around his neck to a shallow pit where his body was dumped. Tari, a failed Lutheran pastor who was widely known as Black Jesus, was found guilty in 2010 of raping girls who belonged to his Christian-based sect and sentenced to up to 10 years. At the time, he had thousands of followers. The National said villagers where he was hiding became fed up with cult beliefs and practices, which included “the killing of young girls as sacrifices.” Local police official Ray Ban said Tari and his followers offered Rose Wagum, 15, last week as a “sacrifice.” The group also tried to offer another 14-year-old girl, but were stopped by the mob that eventually killed Tari.
‘Bomber’ standoff ended
An Uzbek woman who caused 13 hours of panic at the public prosecutor’s office when she threatened to blow herself up was wearing a fake explosive belt, authorities said yesterday. The woman entered the office with her child on Sunday and said she would detonate explosives strapped to her body unless the authorities forced an Emirati man to admit he is her son’s legal father. “The matter was successfully resolved and it turned out that the Uzbek woman was wearing a fake explosive belt,” police tweeted. A government statement said negotiations with the woman lasted from midday on Sunday until about 1:30am yesterday. “The woman was arrested at the public prosecutor’s office after negotiations without the use of weapons,” the statement said. Authorities evacuated the building.