Wife kidnaps mistress
A woman has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping her husband’s mistress for several days. The enraged wife was arrested on Tuesday in a suburb of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, local district police chief Abdul Rahim Abdullah said. The victim was found and freed a few hours later. “According to investigations, the wife and her brother had found the man’s mistress and made him listen while the two tortured and beat up the mistress. The wife met her husband on Sunday and showed him pictures of his lover, who appeared to be tied up,” he said. “She also demanded a 50,000 ringgit [US$16,800] ransom if he wanted to see the mistress again.”
House fire kills 11 people
An overnight house fire has killed 11 people, including eight children, from two families, officials said yesterday. Three people managed to escape the fire, which broke out in the two-story home around midnight in Logan City, south of the Queensland state capital of Brisbane, police Superintendent Noel Powers said. The fire began underneath the house, but the cause was not immediately known. Eight children and teenagers were among the dead, with the youngest victim aged 3, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.
Boobs fondled in check-up
Would-be flight attendants have accused Indonesia’s national airline of making them strip and having their breasts handled in medical check-ups. Several dozen candidates for 18 highly coveted female flight attendant positions with Garuda Indonesia were required to strip down to their panties to screen out those with tattoos or breast implants, one applicant said. “The hand examination on breasts was held since those with implants can have health issues when air pressure falls during flights,” Yonhap news agency quoted an airline official as saying. “We are investigating the matter by questioning managers and the doctor who was in charge of the checkup ... This is very embarrassing,” Park Sung-hyun said.
Third official assassinated
A local government official has been assassinated in southern Afghanistan — the third official killed in Helmand Province in a week, officials said yesterday. The governor’s office in Helmand said two gunmen on a motorcycle fired at a member of the Nawa district council on Tuesday evening in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. The councilman was rushed to a hospital but died of his wounds. Also in the south, Afghan and NATO forces discovered 1,000kg of marijuana seeds and 1,500kg of hashish while patrolling in Zhari district of Kandahar Province. The drugs were destroyed by coalition forces.
Court to rule on residency
A court will rule next month whether foreign maids are allowed to settle permanently in the territory, it said yesterday as the hearing into a landmark case wrapped up. The action by Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a Philippine domestic helper who has lived in the territory since 1986 but was denied permanent residency, has cast a spotlight on the financial hub’s treatment of its army of foreign maids. High Court judge Johnson Lam said he will deliver a decision by the end of next month, Vallejos’ lawyer Peter Barnes said. The ruling will be crucial as Vallejos’ legal battle is the first of five launched by Filipinos who have filed similar lawsuits.
Airstrike targets Gaza
The military said its aircraft struck two Gaza militants who fired mortars at southern parts of the country. It said the militants were hit yesterday shortly after the mortar attacks. There was no immediate word from Gaza on casualties. Earlier yesterday, a separate airstrike killed a militant from the Islamic Jihad faction, according to Hamas security officials. The military said the man had smuggled weapons into Gaza and was involved in militant activity in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, near the southern border. It did not elaborate.
Court upholds wall location
The Supreme Court rejected a Palestinian village’s appeal to reroute a section of the West Bank separation barrier straddling the Jerusalem municipal border, saying the petitioners did not prove the barrier would smother the village. Residents of Walajeh village had claimed the path of the section under construction would cut them off from their farmlands, cemetery and water source. The government says the barrier, which at multiple points dips inside the West Bank, is crucial to keep out Palestinian attackers. The planned barrier would completely encircle the village by a fence, cutting it off from most of its open land, according to an Defense Ministry map.
Woman climbs 14 summits
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner on Tuesday became the first woman to conquer all 14 8,000m summits without artificial oxygen, when she reached the top of K2, her team announced. Kaltenbrunner, 40, is only the third woman to climb all 14 highest summits, but the first to do so without artificial oxygen. She had already attempted the 8,611m K2, on the border between China and Pakistan, six times before, but had to turn back each time before the summit. The team had set off on this expedition more than two months ago, with the plan to attack K2 — the world’s second-tallest mountain — from the Chinese north side for the first time. Kaltenbrunner had so far only attempted the summit from the Pakistani side.
Woman flees abductor
Police say they discovered a telephone booth, a homemade grenade, 113 fire extinguishers, gynecological implements and syringes in a Hamburg apartment as they investigated a suspected kidnapping. Officials say the suspect forced a 26-year-old Israeli woman to go to his apartment at gunpoint on Friday evening. The woman escaped about three hours later by jumping out of the window, over which the suspect had stretched barbed wire. Neighbors called police and the man was arrested at his apartment. Police spokesperson Jens Ratfeld said yesterday the 30-year-old suspect so far has given no information to investigators. Media have speculated that the telephone booth was intended as a torture chamber, but police say they cannot confirm that.
King Arthur loses court case
A druid named King Arthur on Tuesday failed in his legal bid to have ancient human remains returned to a burial site at Stonehenge. The self-styled druid, who appeared in white robes as he represented himself at the High Court in London, wanted judges to review a government decision to allow experts to keep the remains for testing. The remains of more than 40 bodies, thought to be at least five centuries old, were removed in 2008 from the burial site. King Arthur said he feared they would be placed in a museum instead of being returned.
Bike comments stir row
Mexico City’s top environment official is describing as “backward” comments by a radio host who called on motorists to run over bicycle riders. City Environment Secretary Martha Delgado says such incitement to violence was “an attack on the cycling community and the citizens of Mexico City.” The city encourages bicycle use to cut down on traffic and pollution in the metropolis of 20 million. Radio host Angel Verdugo said on Tuesday during his program on the Reporte 98.5 station that cyclists had almost run into his car and were ignoring traffic rules and bothering pedestrians. Verdugo called on motorists to “run your vehicles at them immediately, don’t give them time to think, and crush them.”
Man hung, shot to death
Gunmen hung a man from a pedestrian bridge over a busy avenue in Monterrey on Tuesday and shot him to death in front of dozens of motorists. A police investigator in Nuevo Leon state, where Monterrey is located, said the man was alive when he was hung and died after being shot. The investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said the assailants left a threatening message, but he wouldn’t reveal what it said. Also on Tuesday in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco, two teenage boys of about 15 years of age were shot to death by unidentified assailants. Police also found a man’s dismembered body in a car in another Acapulco neighborhood.
Irene bears down on islands
A strengthened Hurricane Irene bore down on the Bahamas yesterday, churning on a track that could see it slam the US as an even stronger storm later in the week. Irene packed winds of 155kph, leading the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center (NHC) to upgrade it to a Category 2 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale. The center of Irene was located north of Haiti’s northern coastline over the British overseas territory of Turks and Caicos, 650km southeast of Nassau, the NHC said. The storm is forecast to strike the southeastern US coastline near the Carolinas over the weekend.
Couple settle dispute
A Michigan man is rejoining his wife in Japan after they settled a custody dispute over their eight-year-old son. A hearing in Macomb County Circuit Court in the Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens was canceled on Tuesday after the agreement. Carl and Mayumi Mueller wed in Japan in 2002. He says he took their son from Japan to China, in part because of the couple’s faltering relationship.
Victim’s remains identified
New York City forensic technicians are still identifying pieces of human remains found in the rubble of the World Trade Center nearly a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The office of New York City’s medical examiner announced on Tuesday that it had successfully matched a set of remains to 40-year-old Ernest James of New York, who had been assumed dead in the collapse. A spokeswoman says James was identified within the last few days through DNA testing. He worked for the professional services company Marsh & McLennan, which lost more than 350 employees and consultants. The company was located on the 88th floor of the North Tower, the first building struck by hijackers. Authorities have identified the remains of 1,629 victims.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,