School `shooter' nabbed
Police have detained a man suspected of shooting 16 children exercising in a schoolyard, the latest in a wave of school attacks to shock the country. The 33-year-old man was held on Thursday in Beijing after the shooting a day earlier in Anhui Province, Xinhua news agency said. A man opened fire with six home-made guns packed with gunpowder and shrapnel at the Niutoushan Primary School, Xinhua said. The school head and a man who tried to stop the shooting were also injured.
Lions 1, cleaner 0
Seven lions attacked a cleaner on his first day at work at the Shanghai Wildlife Park after he took a shortcut through their enclosure, state press said yesterday. Zhang Huabang was in a critical condition after mistakenly walking on Tuesday through the unlocked gate of the lions' enclosure to get to the other side, the China Daily said. Other zoo staff used a water hose to drive the lions away and threw live chickens into the enclosure to distract the animals before rescuing the cleaner, the report said. He suffered lacerations to his face, shoulders and legs and was in intensive care, it said.
Cop jailed over bribe
A police sergeant was jailed for one month after admitting he sought a bribe from a Bangladeshi laborer who had sex with the officer's 14-year-old niece, news reports said yesterday. When Didar Hossain Hanif Miah, 34, did not cough up the S$10,000 (US$5,917), the 38-year-old officer made a report against him for having sex with a minor, the Straits Times said. The day after Didar was arrested on Feb. 15, authorities began investigating the officer.
Tourist-murder trial to start
The former girlfriend of missing UK tourist Peter Falconio arrived in Darwin early yesterday to attend the murder trial of the man accused of killing her lover. Joanne Lees, 32, is expected to be the key witness in the trial of Bradley John Murdoch which begins on Monday. Murdoch, a 47-year-old mechanic from the remote West Australian town of Broome, is charged with shooting dead Falconio. Falconio and Lees were travelling along the Stuart Highway in the central Outback in July 2001 when Murdoch allegedly stopped their camper van and shot and killed Falconio. The British tourist has not been seen since, despite the largest manhunt in Australian history.
Sectist jailed for sex attacks
The leader of a religious sect was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for a string of sexual attacks on a 15-year-old girl whom he claimed was one of his 84 mystical wives. William John Kamm, 55, also known as The Little Pebble, was convicted earlier this year of aggravated sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault. The assaults occurred when the victim was living within Kamm's Order of St. Charbel, a community near Nowra, 150km south of Sydney. Kamm claimed to have received advice from the Virgin Mary that the girl should be chosen as one of 12 queens and 72 princesses who would become his wives, to spawn an immaculate race after the world ended.
Top cop's son detained
The son of Malaysia's national police chief has been detained by the government's anti-corruption watchdog. The 30-year-old son of Inspector-General of Police Bakri Omar is being held for allegedly charging traders exorbitant rates in exchange for licenses to operate public food stalls during the current Muslim fasting month, the Malay Mail newspaper reported yesterday. The businesses are highly lucrative and city officials allocate a limited number of licenses in selected districts.
Dim view of personal beauty
Women in Malaysia and the Philippines are the most confident in Asia about their beauty, according to a survey published yesterday, but even then only 5 percent see themselves as beautiful. Hong Kong women came out as the least confident with none of those polled saying they thought they were beautiful, a report in the South China Morning Post said. In contrast, 4 percent of their counterparts in China said they thought themselves beautiful, and 2 percent in Taiwan. In South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, 1 percent viewed themselves as beautiful compared to 3 percent in Japan and Singapore.
■ United Kingdom
Lovers take tiff public
JBS wanted a divorce, and didn't care who knew. Drivers on the A27 in southern England last week saw a banner hung from a bridge that declared: "Wendy, I want a divorce. JBS." On Wednesday, a new banner appeared at the same place: "No way. You are the cheat! Wendy." "They must be very angry to do this in such a public way. It is certainly very immature and we would urge them to seek counseling," Christine Northam, a marriage counselor, said.
Anti-theft device invented
Scientists have invented a device to make it harder to steal mobile phones and laptops by enabling them to detect changes in their owner's walking style and then freeze to prevent unauthorized use. The VTT Technical Research Center said the device, which is has patented but has yet to sell, could prevent millions of portable appliances being stolen every year. The gadget would monitor the user's walking style and check it against the saved information. If the values differ, the user would have to enter a password.
■ United Kingdom
`Yobs' mistreat zoo animals
A British zoo director said he was shocked and disgusted by the behavior of youths who threw a terrified rabbit into the alligator pool at a Welsh zoo. The three youths seized the white rabbit at a children's farm Sunday and then threw it to the alligators at Welsh Mountain Zoo. It was immediately eaten by Albert, a 4m-long Mississippi alligator. Visitors reported the youths to staff, who detained one of them while the other two fled. "During the 43 years that the zoo has been open we have never before been subject to an incident of this nature," zoo director Chris Jackson said. "We are disturbed, distressed and shocked that any individual could behave in so brutal and callous a manner."
Rapist leaves tricky trail
A 48-year-old Frenchman who is accused of rape collected other men's sperm from used condoms and left traces at the crime scene in order to confuse police. Jean-Luc Cayez, who worked as a doorman of an apartment block at Soisy-sur-Seine south of Paris, told police that he extracted the condoms from the building's rubbish bins and then froze the contents. Cayez has confessed to the rape and murder of Audrey Jouannet, 24, who was found dead in her apartment in the building last month. The doorman came under suspicion because he had two previous convictions for rape, but he appeared to be exonerated when the sperm found on the woman's sheets was found not to be his. Cayez said he got the idea from watching a detective program on television.
■ United Kingdom
Beethoven's find for sale
A manuscript by Ludwig van Beethoven that was lost for more than a century will go on sale in London on Dec. 1 priced at over £1 million (US$1.75 million). Discovered in July at the bottom of a dusty filing cabinet at a religious school in Philadelphia, the 80-page manuscript is a work in progress for the composer's Grosse Fuge in B flat major -- one of his most revolutionary works. "This is an amazing find," Stephen Roe, head of auction house Sotheby's manuscript department said. "The manuscript was only known from a brief description in a catalog in 1890 and it has never before been seen or described by Beethoven scholars."
■ United States
Transplant error covered up
A liver transplant candidate misled about his prospects for a transplant, missed out on an available organ, and died a year later, according to a report. The organ was improperly given to another patient at St. Vincent Medical Center and records were falsified to cover the switch, the hospital acknowledged. Because the intended recipient, Saad Al-Harthi, was in Saudi Arabia and unavailable, the hospital should have turned it down, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday. The hospital removed him from the waiting list, he was told his condition was stable and was left to believe his turn would still come. It never did, and he died in August last year.
Fighter aims for the US
Mistico, a diminutive fighter who stands only 1.67m tall and weighs 80kg, could be the next big thing in US wrestling. Mistico is the epitome of Mexican wrestling, a natural underdog whose impressive flips and jumps have made him a celebrity in his native country. Now, wrestling scouts from the US are interested as they want to attract bigger Latino audiences and expand the sport's appeal. "The dream of every Mexican fighter is to be known around the world," said Mistico, who left home as a teenager and learned his trade from a Catholic priest known as "Friar Storm."
■ United states
Governor to visit N.Korea
Democratic Governor for New Mexico Bill Richardson will visit North Korea next week in a White House supported bid to persuade it to abandon its nuclear weapons program, The New York Times said yesterday. The former US ambassador to the UN, said that the visit, starting on Monday was intended "to move the diplomatic process forward." The visit is intended to present North Korea some expert thinking on its food, health and energy problems with the implication that such help would be more forthcoming in the event of a deal on its nuclear programs. After the trip he will visit Japan and South Korea to brief officials.
■ United Kingdom
Belfast to restrict smoking
Northern Ireland will unveil details of a ban on workplace smoking next week, the Department of Health said on Thursday. It would not say whether the ban, to be announced on Monday, will be an Irish-style blanket ban or a partial one, as proposed in England. Minister Shaun Woodward said in June he was planning restrictions on smoking after his department asked the public for feedback on ban proposals. Of the 70,000 responses, 91 percent said they favored a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces.
■ United States
Unborn child attacked
A woman was charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault on Thursday after allegedly cutting her pregnant neighbor's belly in an attempt to steal her unborn baby, authorities said. Peggy Jo Conner, 38, of Ford City, Pennsylvania, was accused of knocking eight-months pregnant Valerie Oskin unconscious on Wednesday and taken to woods, where she tried to extract her baby. She started cutting Oskin's belly until a passer-by saw the two women and called police. Conner said she was trying to take the baby, according to prosecutor Scott Andreassi. Oskin, 30, was rushed to hospital where she underwent a caesarean section. The baby appears in good health, according to authorities.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete