Green tea extends life: study
A study of more than 40,000 men and women in Japan has found that those who drink a lot of green tea live longer, researchers said on Tuesday. The investigation by Shinichi Kuriyama and colleagues at the Tohoku University School of Public Policy in Sendai, Japan, found the beverage was particularly effective in fighting heart disease but did not reduce the death rate due to cancer, as some earlier animal studies had suggested. Polyphenols -- plant compounds known to be antioxidants -- found in green tea may explain the life-prolonging benefit it offers, a study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association said.
Fake eunuchs arrested
Two men masquerading as eunuchs have been arrested after convincing Indian families to hand over money for ridding their homes of black magic, a report said yesterday. The two men spent 15 days fleecing families in western Gujarat State before one of the victims complained to police that she had been hypnotized by the men, according to DNA newspaper. The eunuch community has been enraged by "fakes" who muscle in on their begging operations, and a photo identity scheme has been started to try to regulate the business.
Viagra spam king probed
A man is under investigation for allegedly using Dutch computers to send billions of spam e-mails around the world, most of them promoting Viagra, an official said yesterday. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, or ACMA, began investigating the man, whose identity was not immediately released, after receiving a tip-off from authorities in the Netherlands. Danyel Molenaar, a project manager for the Dutch Independent Regulator of Post and Telecommunications, or OPTA, said the man had rented 35 servers from an Internet service provider in the Netherlands to carry out the alleged spam campaign.
Woman in labor dumped
A Chinese woman was forced to give birth on a roadside earlier this month after a dozen taxi drivers refused to take her to a hospital just 300m away, the Beijing News reported yesterday. The woman, surnamed Wang, and her husband were initially heading for a hospital in a taxi in Chongqing, it said. But when Wang went into labor and started moaning, the driver stopped the car and dragged the husband out, shouting: "Don't deliver the baby in my car, or I'll have very bad luck throughout the year!" "Wang had to crouch on the roadside under the scorching sun and the husband tried to hail another taxi, but none of the 11 passing by stopped," the report said.
Tiger shot dead near park
Poachers have shot dead a Royal Bengal tiger on the boundary of a national park in another blow to the country's dwindling big cat population. The eight-year-old male was shot twice in the head just outside the heavily-guarded Corbett Tiger Reserve in the northern state of Uttaranchal, the Indian Express reported. One of the poachers was badly mauled by the tiger before it died. The man, named as Inder Singh, was hospitalized in a serious condition. Corbett conservator Rajiv Bharti said the animal was shot on Sunday.
Briton arrested for PM insult
A British artist is facing up to three years in prison after he was arrested on Tuesday and charged with insulting the Turkish prime minister's dignity outside an Istanbul courthouse where he was protesting against another freedom of speech trial. Police detained Michael Dickinson after he refused to put away a poster-sized collage he had made depicting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dog attached to a Stars and Stripes leash. Dickinson went to court in the morning in support of a Turkish anti-war campaigner, Erkan Kara, who was charged with insulting behavior for exhibiting a similar piece of his work depicting US President George W. Bush pinning a rosette on to Erdogan at a dog show.
51 killed in stampede
A stampede broke out Tuesday in a stadium packed with thousands of people for an election campaign rally for President Ali Abdullah Saleh, killing at least 51 people and injuring 230, including schoolchildren and teenagers bused in for the event. The disaster came as Saleh -- in power for nearly 30 years -- is campaigning in the country's first competitive presidential elections, set for Sept. 20, against a rival who has drawn tens of thousands to his rallies. The president has been eager to show he has broad popular support -- even announcing last year that he would not run for re-election, until he reversed himself several months ago, citing appeals from the public for him to stay.
Djukanovic's coalition wins
Election authorities have confirmed that the governing pro-Western coalition led by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic won Sunday's parliamentary elections. The ruling two-party coalition secured 41 out of 81 seats in the tiny republic's parliament, the State Election Commission said on Tuesday. The majority, though slim, means Djukanovic -- who earlier this year led the Balkan state to independence from Serbia -- can remain in power.
■ United Kingdom
Christie still popular
Crime writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) has lost none of her spell on readers and fans, an auction of her personal belongings showed on Tuesday. Auction house Bearne's, in Exeter said the 700 items put up for sale by her family were changing hands for much more than originally expected. Initial estimates for the sale, of up to ?250,000 (US$465,000), were being exceeded within the first two hours of bidding. The unique belongings are from Christie's holiday retreat, Greenway House in Churston Ferrers, south Devon, which she bought in 1938.
Police peruse porn
Police officers settling in for a video presentation on how to get promoted to sergeant were instead shown footage from a hard-core pornographic film, officials said on Tuesday. Howling laughter rippled through the auditorium where 120 Madrid city police officers had gathered on Monday to see the video on operations at an academy where they are to study, the Madrid regional justice and interior ministry said. A ministry official said computer technicians have blamed the glitch on a Trojan Horse computer virus that activated when the computer containing the video was turned on. "It was just bad luck that the virus activated right then," the official said.
The ultimate threat
Gang members in Pereira, one of Colombia's most violent cities, face an ultimatum: give up guns or give up sex. In what is being called a "strike of crossed legs," the wives and girlfriends of gang members have said they will not have sex with their partners until their vow to give up violence. "We want them to know that violence is not sexy," said one girlfriend. She and at least two dozen other women have said the sex strike will continue -- with the support of the city's mayor -- until their men hand over their weapons and sign up for vocational training offered by the mayor's office. One woman ways the men have laughed about the strike but soon would see how serious they are.
Authorities said on Tuesday they believed the killing of Colonel Ubiratan Guimaraes -- the police commander who led Brazil's bloodiest-ever prison massacre -- was a crime of passion and not the work of professional hit men. Guimaraes was found dead on Sunday at his home in Sao Paulo. He had bled to death from a gunshot wound in the abdomen. Elected to the Sao Paulo state legislature after retiring from the police force, Guimaraes had frequently received death threats, his aides said. To protect himself, he drove an armored car and always carried a gun. Police authorities said Guimaraes appeared to have been killed by an acquaintance, as no evidence of forced entry or robbery was found.
■ United States
No death penalty
US military prosecutors said on Tuesday that they will not pursue the death penalty against Marine Lance Corporal Jerry Shumate Jr, 21, who along with six other Marines and a salior was charged in the April shooting to death of an Iraqi man in Hamdania. The men's senior commander, Lieutenant General James Mattis, will eventually decide whether any of them should face any punishment or charges at a general court-martial. Under military law, the most serious charge of premeditated murder could carry a sentence of death.
■ United Kingdom
A sensitive promotion
A senior police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station last year has been selected for promotion to one of the top policing jobs in the city. Cressida Dick was in charge of the operation that led to de Menezes, 27, being shot seven times in the head on a Tube train after he was mistaken for a suspected suicide bomber. The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which oversees the London force, said on Tuesday she had been provisionally selected to be promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner. The de Menezes family reacted by calling the promotion a "slap in the face."
Ship accident kills two
An Egyptian dredger sank in the Suez Canal yesterday, killing two of the 45 crew and prompting a brief closure of the busy international waterway as rescuers searched for two others, officials said. The two missing crew were feared dead, Suez Canal Authority sources said. The other 41 had been rescued, including six who were injured in the accident near the town of Ismailia. A Canal Authority official said a technical fault was the apparent cause of the sinking in the waterway -- an important international trade route and the fastest shipping link between Europe and Asia.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since
WEIGHING THE RISKS: One biogeochemist said that the known risks of disease from not sterilizing baby bottles outweighed that of microplastics Bottle-fed babies might ingest more than 1 million pieces of microplastics each day, new research showed on Monday, highlighting the abundance of plastics in our food products. There is growing evidence that humans consume huge numbers of the tiny particles, formed when larger pieces of plastic break down, but very little is known about the knock-on health consequences. Researchers in Ireland looked at the rate of microplastic release in 10 types of baby bottles or accessories made from polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic for food containers. They followed official guidelines from the WHO on sterilization and formula preparation conditions. Over a 21-day