Saturday, December 8, 2007


Earthquake jolts Japan island
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6 jolted a tiny island about 500 km south of Tokyo on Friday, a Japanese government agency said. The quake, at 9:48 a.m. (0048 GMT), was felt in the capital and areas further north.
The epicentre of the tremor was near the island of Torishima and its depth about 50 km, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its Web site ( There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.


‘Dead’ man’s wife faces arrest when she returns to Britain from Peru
A woman who admitted knowing her husband was alive despite his apparent death five years ago faces arrest when she returns to Britain, police said amid reports she was heading home Friday. Anne Darwin is likely to be arrested “at some point” after she arrives from Panama, a police spokesman said, as her husband John remained in custody after being detained on suspicion of fraud Panamian officials said late Thursday they had no information on whether Anne Darwin had left the central American country, prompting speculation she may have gone into hiding before heading home. The twists and turns of the case have dominated the British media, with focus on a statement from the couple’s sons, who disowned their parents for keeping them in the dark about the truth. “How could our mum continue to let us believe our dad had died when he was very much alive?” Anthony Darwin, 29, and his brother, Mark, 31, said Thursday. “We have not spoken to either of our parents since our dad’s arrest and at this present time, we want no further contact with them.” Anne Darwin, 55, was quoted as saying in newspaper interviews published Friday that she blamed her husband for the elaborate pretence and pleaded for her sons’ forgiveness. “I should never have listened to John, but he can be very persuasive. Of course, I’m to blame, too. I know I have done wrong. I just wish I had told the boys when I found out,” she told the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail newspapers. “I’m sure they would have talked some sense into me. But I didn’t. I didn’t tell anyone. And one lie led to another. “How can they ever forgive me for what I’ve done to them?” Former teacher and prison officer John Darwin, 57, was declared dead in 2003, a year after the remains of his canoe were washed up on the shore near the family home in Seaton Carew, in north-east England. But he turned up unexpectedly at a central London police station last Saturday, telling officers he thought he was a missing person, and had no memory of the last five years.- AFP The story began to unravel after a photograph of him posing with his wife and an estate agent in Panama City last July that appeared on the property company’s website was published in the British media. Confronted by reporters who tracked her down to her new home there, Anne Darwin—who initially hailed her husband’s re-appearance — broke down and confessed, admitting she knew he was not dead and had cashed in life insurance. John Darwin, whose sons said he had no memory of anything since June 2000, was arrested Wednesday. Police said they were to apply to a local magistrate Friday for an extension to keep him in custody for further questioning. The case has attracted massive media attention not only for its unusual nature, but also because of the questions that remain unanswered. It is still not clear why John Darwin disappeared in the first place, where he has been for the last five and a half years, how he travelled to Panama, and why he gave himself up. Detectives have said they began investigating his case three months ago after receiving information that suggested there was something suspicious of a “financial” nature about his disappearance. Anne Darwin told newspapers he used a false passport to travel to Panama, speculating that her husband missed their sons “tremendously”. “Maybe he wanted his old life back,” she said -AFP


Cremator dumps bodies to save fuel
China’s worst fuel crunch in years has led a crematorium to dump half-burnt corpses to try to save on diesel costs, a Hong Kong newspaper said on Friday. Villagers in Hengyang county, in the southern province of Hunan, discovered the practice when an “unbearable stench” started coming from the site, and tried to block a road on Wednesday to stop funeral vehicles from delivering more bodies. The village sent people to investigate the smell and the South China Morning Post said they saw “crematorium workers putting half burnt human remains and organs in plastic bags and throwing them into a nearby ditch”. “As the price of diesel rose, we saw more and more bags thrown out from the crematorium,” the paper quoted Xiao Gaoyi a village representative and one of the witnesses, as saying. China was hit by its worst fuel supply crisis in four years from October to November, as a widening gap between low, state-regulated domestic prices and market-driven international prices forced Chinese refiners to cut output. Fuel in many parts of the country was rationed and there were long queues at petrol stations. An increase of nearly 10 percent in the prices of domestic diesel and gasoline from Nov. 1, the first in almost a year and a half, failed to lift refining margins back into the black -Reuters


Toddler thrown out of window to her death
VIENNA: A two-year-old girl died Thursday evening after she was thrown out of the window of a first-floor flat in northern Austria, police said. The girl was seriously injured after the fall in the town of Ybbs and died on her way to hospital in nearby Linz, said regional police chief Franz Wendler. The child’s 22-year-old father has been arrested, he added. The incident occurred during a fight between the man and his girlfriend, both asylum seekers from the war-ravaged Russian province of Chechnya, police said.


Parents fear NS military nature
Some parents are reluctant to let their children undergo the National Service programme as they liken it to military training. National Service Council (MSC) Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, in disclosing this yesterday, said he welcomes parents to the NS camps and judge for themselves whether the type of training carried out is military or otherwise. “I believe the perception exists because most of the NS trainers are ex-army officers and personnel,” he said. “NS is a programme to build the trainees’ discipline and prepare them to face future challenges,” he told reporters after a special interview with Sabah FM radio channel at Wisma Radio Televisyen Malaysia, yesterday. Lee said the MSC encourages ex-trainees to join the army after completing the training programme, but it should be on their own will. “We are not forcing them to join the army,” he stressed. Lee said about 110,000 more youths will be attending the NS training programme at 81 camps throughout the country next year, and the first group of 37,000 trainees would register themselves on Dec29 at the camps where they have been assigned to. “Of the 9,144 trainees to undergo training at seven camps in Sabah, 2,733 are from the first batch,” he said, adding that some 280,000 youths have attended the training programme nationwide since it was introduced three years back. Lee said efforts would continue to be made to improve the programme management and services to build confidence among trainees and their parents in the quality of training and safety of trainees in all the camps. He said although a random survey in 2006 involving 2,000 respondents (NS trainees) found that 94 per cent were supportive of the programme, the organisers still welcome views from all quarters, including the parents. Lee said the placement of 350 trained medical assistants and nurses at the NS training camps by the Health Ministry next year was the latest effort aimed at improving the programme, especially medical care. He said in the past, the medical units at the training camps were only manned by paramedics from the Defence Ministry. “We are aiming for ‘zero death’ at the training camps from next year,” said Lee, adding that a directive has also been issued to all the camp commandants that: “Any trainee who remains sick for 24 hours after being treated at the camp must be referred to the nearest government clinic or hospital, while the trainee’s parents or family must be informed about the matter.”


Datu Azlan’s mother wants to know truth She is not satisifed with post-mortem on death of her son
Datin Aminah Ambrose, the mother of the late Datu Azlan Datu Amir Kahar, is not satisfied with the post-mortem on the death of her son. “My son is healthy and never had a history of stroke or heart attack. I saw all the bruises on his back and cuts and wounds on his skin that looked like he had been beaten. “I am also not satisfied with the information I read in a newspaper disclosing that my son had a heart attack,” she told The Borneo Post in a phone interview yesterday evening. “I am the mother. I should be informed first and why only one newspaper reporter was informed?” Aminah said she had seen bleeding wounds on his son’s body and his head before he was taken to the mortuary of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “I had also seen a bad wound on his head,” she added.
Aminah was also surprised to read the statement of his late son’s fiancee that Datu Azlan could drive the car to the hospital when he was badly hurt. “Furthermore, why his shirt was so clean when he was in the hospital? I mean why there was not a drip of blood when I saw that he was Datu Azlan bleeding? To me, I think something was not right with the information. “The fiancee informed that my son had taken a shower before going to the hospital. How could he have the time to take the shower when he was hurt and bleeding? Please, I want to know the truth what had really happened? I am not satisfied!” said Aminah. “Earlier, before they disclosed (my son had a stroke or heart attack), I was informed by the authority that my son had a healthy organ but why suddenly the information was different? “All this while I have been patient enough by cooperating in the investigation. I am still hoping for the truth from that investigation, but I am surprised why they disclosed that my son had a stroke or heart attack and I was not told about it?” she said. The Magistrate’s Court on Thursday released a 21-year-old part-time model who was remanded to assist police investigation into the death of Datu Azlan, the son of Banggi Assemblyman Datuk Amir Kahar. The Inti College student was first remanded for three days on December 2 to enable the police to investigate the case. Her remand was extended for another two days on December 4. Acting City Police Chief Superintendent Rowell Marong said on Thursday that the police were still investigating the case and hoped to find new leads. Datu Azlan was pronounced dead on arrival at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on December 1. There were four superficial wounds on his head, believed caused by a belt buckle, and bruises on the body. Initial investigation revealed that the deceased and his fiancee were fighting over a misunderstanding. On Wednesday, State Police Commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim disclosed that the autopsy report confirmed that Datu Azlan had died of heart attack. Noor Rashid added that they would probably continue investigating the case under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt, or Section 324 of the same Code for voluntarily causing hurt by using dangerous weapons or means.