Man held for senior sex ring
Police have arrested a 70-year-old man over claims he arranged sexual encounters among senior citizens through newspaper advertisements soliciting “tea-drinking companions,” police and press reports said on Tuesday. Kiyohide Kuroda had allegedly been posting classified ads in a Tokyo newspaper for about a decade before he was taken into custody last week. Press reports said Kuroda had helped arrange sex among about 1,000 men and 350 women, mostly in their mid-sixties, earning about ￥30 million (US$310,000) as commission. His small ads for his San Ai (Three Loves) club offered to arrange meetings for “tea-drinking companions aged between 40 and mature ages,” the reports said. “I recruited tea-drinking companions as I did not wish to give the impression that mine was sex business,” Kuroda reportedly told investigators. “I thought people seeking prostitution understood what it meant.”
‘Chopper’ dies of cancer
Infamous crime figure turned author Mark “Chopper” Read died yesterday after a lengthy battle with cancer, his manager said. Read, who shot to worldwide fame after Chopper, a 2000 film about his life, was being treated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for liver cancer. He was 58. Read in the past claimed he was involved in the killing of 19 people, but was never convicted of murder. Read, who spent 23 years in jail, was a national celebrity after retiring from a life of crime to write novels. During his criminal career, he says he was stabbed seven times, shot once, run over by a car, had a claw hammer embedded in his head and was made to dig his own grave. Read’s most notorious act was persuading a fellow inmate to hack off his ears so he could gain access to a prison’s mental health wing during a war between rival factions. Manager Andrew Parisi said in a statement that despite his criminal history, Read had lived quietly in Melbourne for more than 15 years with his wife and two sons, working as a writer, painter and public speaker.
Factory fire kills seven
A huge fire at a garment factory has killed seven people, officials said yesterday. Firefighters battled through Tuesday night to douse the flames at the Aswad Knit Composite factory at Sripur, on the outskirts of Dhaka. Parts of the two-story building were still smouldering early yesterday. Police said the fire, which broke out when most of the 3,000 workers had left, was so intense that most of the bodies were too badly burned to be identified. “Two bodies have been identified and handed over to their relatives. Five other bodies were charred beyond recognition,” local police chief Amir Hossain said, revising down an earlier toll of nine. Workers said the overnight blaze appeared to have been started by a malfunctioning knitting machine which had caught fire on previous occasions.
Rat urine infects 132 people
At least 132 people were infected with leptospirosis in and around the northern city of Olongapo, following deadly flash floods in the area last month, health department epidemiologist for the area Jessie Fantone said yesterday. “This is a bacterial infection caused by exposure to rat urine in flooded urban areas,” Fantone told reporters by telephone. While the floods that struck the area late last month have subsided, the disease can incubate in the human body for up to 30 days before flu-like symptoms appear, Fantone said. He said the infection can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis.