PAPUA NEW GUINEA
‘Vampire’ eats daughter
A man described as a vampire has been arrested after allegedly murdering his three-year-old daughter by biting her neck, eating her flesh and drinking her blood, the Papu New Guinera Post Courier reported yesterday. Police called the grisly incident that occurred on Wednesday at a settlement near Lae “an act of cannibalism.” The report cited local councilor John Kenny, who was one of the first on the scene, as saying the child and her mother were visiting the father when he grabbed the girl and ran off into nearby bushes. Kenny said the man allegedly held the toddler close to him, bit deep into her neck, ate the flesh and sucked her blood. Two boys who were climbing a coconut tree nearby saw him and ran quickly to alert the people. The man ran away before being caught and turned over to police.
meth stash seized
Police seized about A$200 million (US$190 million) worth of methamphetamine hidden in the tires of a truck shipped from China, officials said yesterday. Three Melbourne men were arrested after officials found more than 200kg of the drug in a shipment from Shanghai that arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday last week, the Federal Police said. “The concealment did show up on X-ray, but what was unusual about the truck was when you just looked at it, nothing,” Customs and Border Protection Service Victoria regional director Graham Krisohos said. Two of the three men arrested were dock workers in Melbourne. The men face charges of importing and attempting to possess drugs and face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Man killed in West Bank
The military says an attack in the West Bank has killed an Israeli man and wounded a woman. Media are saying that the couple was attacked by Palestinians armed with iron bars and axes at their home in the Jordan Valley. The woman managed to escape with minor injuries. The military says it is too early to say whether yesterday’s assault was a “terror attack.” It says an investigation is under way and troops are searching the area.
Restaurants ranked for taxes
The Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance have started running weekly ads in major newspapers and Web sites listing top-ranked restaurants based on TripAdvisor reviews along with the amount of tax each restaurant paid based on government figures. The latest ad on Wednesday listed 40 top restaurants in Metro Manila’s two cities, but only 17 of them were top tax payers — the implication is the others may be cheating. The government has clamped down on rampant tax evasion, including a “Tax Watch” campaign targeting restaurants, shops, doctors, lawyers and others, in a bid to increase revenue collection. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has said the government is using statistics to reveal tax anomalies.
Astronaut Carpenter dies
Scott Carpenter, who became the second US astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962 as Washington battled Moscow in the space race, died on Thursday in Colorado aged 88, his wife said. Carpenter, whose death leaves John Glenn as the only surviving member of the Project Mercury space program, had suffered a stroke and was in a Denver hospice when he died. “He had that worldwide perspective of having seen the entire planet,” she said, quoted by the the local Vail Daily. Carpenter was chosen as one of seven Mercury astronauts in 1959 and was backup pilot for Glenn in preparation for the first US manned orbital space flight in February 1962, according to his NASA biography. Carpenter flew the second US manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962, piloting the Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the Earth.
Taylor to be held in UK jail
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was convicted for sponsoring atrocities in Sierra Leone, will serve his 50-year sentence in a British prison, British Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright announced on Thursday in a letter to parliament. Taylor, 65, is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II. The Special Court for Sierra Leone found him guilty in April last year of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers. His conviction was upheld in an appeal last month.
Kidney traffickers arrested
Authorities have detained three doctors and a Greek citizen as suspected participants in a ring that trafficked kidneys to foreigners. Attorney General Carlos Jimenez said the doctors worked at a public hospital in San Jose, but performed transplants of illegally purchased kidneys in two private clinics in other parts of the country. He said on Thursday that the Greek citizen has a small pizzeria across the street from the hospital where he recruited donors to sell their kidneys. Jimenez said the doctors conducted transplant surgeries “with full knowledge that the donors were receiving money in exchange for their organs.”
AI pans absurd charges
Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday urged Morocco to immediately drop what it called “absurd charges” against a teenage couple arrested after a photograph of them kissing was posted on Facebook. The case has sparked outrage, with activists threatening to lock lips in a group “kiss-in” outside parliament today in protest. The young couple and a male friend who took the photo outside their school were detained last week and released on bail ahead of their trial yesterday for violating public decency. If convicted, they could be jailed for up to two years.
Douglas lied about cancer
Michael Douglas has revealed that he lied about the type of cancer he was diagnosed with, following word from surgeons that tongue cancer could entail radical surgery. Speaking to the actor Samuel L. Jackson on the British ITV daytime show This Morning, the actor said he told the press he was suffering from throat cancer rather than tongue cancer. Douglas, 69, was diagnosed with stage-four cancer in August 2010 after a series of misdiagnoses. He has spoken about how a specialist in Montreal finally realized the severity of his illness after looking inside his mouth using a tongue depressor.