Rihanna tweets alert police
Pop star Rihanna spent a weekend at the beach in Thailand, leaving behind a trail of racy tweets and incriminating Instagram photographs that led police to arrest two people for allegedly peddling protected primates. Rihanna visited the island of Phuket, where she befriended some local wildlife. She posted a link on Twitter to an Instagram photo that showed her in sunglasses snuggling up to a furry primate called the slow loris, and tweeted on Friday: “Look who was talkin dirty to me!” The slow loris, a squirrel-like animal with big eyes, is native to Southeast Asia and is listed as a protected species. “Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture, and last night police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists,” Phuket District Chief Weera Kerdsirimongkon said by telephone on Sunday. Police confiscated two lorises from the pair — a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy — who could face charges of possession of protected animals.
Porn mailed to police chief
Six pornography dealers have been arrested after mailing their catalogs to the head of Osaka Police Department by mistake, according to local media. Police last week arrested Toshiharu Hidaka, 27, and five other men on suspicion of possessing obscene material with the intent to sell it in Osaka, Jiji Press and other news reports said. The suspects had been sending catalogues of illegal porn DVDs to random male customers by mail, and three sets were accidentally addressed to the police chief’s house, the reports said. Police then raided Hidaka’s office in Osaka and seized about 280,000 uncensored discs as well as 7,000 erectile dysfunction pills, they said, adding that police also suspected they illegally possessed the pills.
Worker protests continue
Angry garment workers blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a third day yesterday as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of US$100 spread outside the capital, Dhaka. Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district near Dhaka which is home to hundreds of factories, said that “up to 200,000 workers” had joined the latest demonstrations. His deputy Mustafizur Rahman said about 300 factories, which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, were shut yesterday to contain the violence as protesting workers attacked plants that stayed open. Manufacturers said yesterday’s protests were some of the worst in the sector since 2010 when months of demonstrations forced the government and factory owners to agree to a minimum monthly wage of 3,000 taka (US$38).
Tiny snake delays plane
A tiny snake as slender as a pen forced the grounding of a Japan-bound Qantas flight in Sydney overnight, stranding hundreds of passengers. The non-venomous reptile, about 20cm long, was found near the doorway of a Boeing 747-400 bound for Tokyo on Sunday night, a Qantas spokeswoman said. “The snake was taken to quarantine to determine where it came from,” she said. The plane had been on the tarmac in Sydney for most of Sunday after completing a flight from Singapore, and the snake was found by air crew before any passengers boarded. It was uncertain where the reptile had come from but the Department of Agriculture has identified it as a Mandarin ratsnake which
Venezuela signs agreements
The country signed several agreements with Venezuela on Sunday during a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that is meant to strengthen economic ties between the South American nation and its leading creditor. Maduro told President Xi Jinping (習近平) that the main goal of his trip was to further consolidate and expand the strategic partnership between the two countries that late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez began with Chinese leaders. Chavez died in March after 14 years in power. The two leaders signed 12 agreements on Sunday, including ones related to a finance fund deal, education and a joint development between state-owned oil producer Sinopec and Venezuela’s national oil company. They also signed a cooperation and exchange agreement between the country’s space flight administration and Venezuela’s science and innovation ministry relating to remote satellites. No details were given on any of the agreements. Maduro told Xi that Venezuela was in an important phase of economic transformation and wanted to diversify its economic structure. Xi called Maduro “China’s good friend” and said his visit would propel bilateral relations “to new heights.”
Author Alvaro Mutis dies
The cultural arts commission says that famed Colombian poet and author Alvaro Mutis has died in the country. He was 90 years old. Mutis was considered one of the most important Latin American writers of his time, with his work earning major international honors such as the Xavier Villaurrutia, Prince of Asturias and Cervantes prizes. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts is lamenting the death of the acclaimed literary giant via its Twitter account. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos also sent his condolences after Mutis’ death was announced on Sunday night.
Suicide bomber kills officials
Two officials were killed and six more people were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb yesterday in the volatile Caucasus region of Dagestan, police said. A Lada car was driven near a police station in the Dagestani village of Khuchni before dawn yesterday morning and was detonated as it came to a sudden halt, regional police said in a statement. “A suicide bomber was in the car,” the statement said. An employee of the federal migration service and a policeman died, while six people received injuries. One of the wounded was in a “grave state.” Police did not provide further details, saying only it was searching for those behind the attack. The majority-Muslim region of Dagestan experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and Islamists with links to Chechnya, where the Kremlin has fought two wars over the past 20 years.
US helicopter crashes
The US Navy says search teams are looking for two missing airmen after a helicopter crash in the Red Sea. Three crew members were rescued late on Sunday after the MH-60S Knighthawk went down in the central Red Sea while operating with the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence. A statement yesterday from the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet says aircraft and vessels are taking part in the search for the two others. The US Navy says an investigation is underway, but there was no hostile activity involved.