Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thief offers damages for stolen moped... 25 years on


A file picture of a man setting off on his moped. An anonymous thief in western Austria has offered 1,400 euros (1,770 dollars) in damages to the former owner of a moped they stole... 25 years ago.

An anonymous thief in western Austria has offered 1,400 euros (1,770 dollars) in damages to the former owner of a moped they stole... 25 years ago.

Police in Bregenz said they had received an anonymous letter and 1,400 euros in cash from a person asking them to deliver it "to the victim, in a penitent bid to make amends."

"In 1983, I stole a moped from outside the Metro cinema," the letter said.

"I wasn't aware at the time of the psychological and material consequences of such a crime," it added, requesting the police "to kindly find the details of the victim of this crime in their files."

If this was not possible, the money should go to a local social service, added the letter, which arrived in the police station mailbox Tuesday morning.

Police said they kept their files for at least 40 years and hoped to able to bring the former moped owner a surprise present for Christmas.

"Kiss of deaf."


A passionate kiss ruptured a young woman's eardrum in southern China, state media reported Monday, in what has been dubbed the "kiss of deaf".

The 20-something girl from Zhuhai city in Guangdong province was treated by hospital doctors after completely losing the hearing in her left ear, the China Daily reported, citing the Guangzhou Daily.

"The kiss reduced the pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear," the treating doctor, surnamed Li, was quoted as saying, adding the woman's hearing would likely recover in about two months.

The incident prompted newspapers to dispense kissing safety advice.

While kissing is normally very safe, doctors urge people to proceed with caution, the China Daily reported.

"A strong kiss may cause an imbalance in air pressure between the two inner ears and lead to a broken ear drum," said the English-language Shanghai Daily in a story headlined "Kiss of deaf."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mumbai Terror attack


A suspected terrorist is seen with a rifle outside the Chatrapati Shivaj Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks

STORY SO FAR

Gun battles at the Taj Hotel on south Mumbai seafront where army battalions have stormed in trying to rescue hostages held by the terrorists in various parts of the building. Media reports says that some foreign tourists are held hostage at the Trident Hotel by suspected terrorists. At least 101 people including 11 policemen and four terrorists have been killed and about 200 people suffered injuries in the Night of Terror. There are 7 foreigners among 15 taken hostage in Taj Hotel. US president-elect Barack Obama joined the American government in strongly condemning Wednesday's series of "horrific attacks" in Mumbai and asked Washington to work with India to root out and destroy terrorist networks worldwide.


A chef of Taj Mahal Hotel runs to safety after being rescued by security agencies in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants.

A grieving relative, bottom, of a terrorist attack victim is consoled by others outside the St. Georges Hospital in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.







An Indian Army soldier takes position outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants.




A usually crowded underpass that leads to the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus train station is deserted in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants.


A police officer watches the Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Wednesday night November 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.




The Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, is caught fire after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on early Thursday morning November 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.





The Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, is caught fire after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on early Thursday morning November 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.



Army soldiers take position outside the Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, after an terror attack in Mumbai on Wednesday night November 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.



Fire engulfs a part of the Taj Mahal Hotel as firemen try to douse it in Mumbai, India, on early Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks.


Guests and hotel staff are being rescued by a firefighter at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said.

Firefighters inspect the site of an explosion in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks.

Unidentified guests of the Taj Hotel are seen outside hotel in Mumbai, India


Search on for missing Sri Lankan in Malaysian landslide

Malaysian rescuers were Monday searching through the aftermath of a landslide that killed four people after discovering a Sri Lankan maid was still missing, a news agency said.

Central Selangor state police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told state news agency Bernama search and rescue work had stopped on Sunday but was resumed after a maid was reported missing.

The disaster hit early Saturday, burying 14 houses and cutting off access for thousands of residents, as well as disrupting water, electricity and phone lines.

Malaysian premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said his government would ban hillside developments after touring the site over the weekend.

Foreign minister Rais Yatim said his ministry would work with authorities on the ground to determine the nationality of any victim found.

Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang also called for an inquiry into the landslide disaster and the "the criminal negligence of the various parties involved, particularly the federal, state and local government agencies."

The landslide came after days of heavy rains in the area, which is prone to slippages. In 2006 four people were killed and 43 homes destroyed in a nearby suburb.

Malaysian government faces lawsuit over deadly landslide

Residents of a Malaysian housing estate hit by a weekend landslide that killed four people said Tuesday they were considering suing the government for compensation.

The disaster was the latest in a series of slippages in Kuala Lumpur's up-market northeastern suburbs, triggering a frenzy of finger-pointing over who is to blame for the continuing loss of life and property.

"We have set up a legal team which is collecting concrete evidence for us look at before we decide to take any legal action," said N. Muniandy, chairman of the residents' association at Bukit Antarabangsa where the landslide hit.

"If we have concrete evidence then we will go against the authorities concerned. It is not our fault at all. We are the victims," he told AFP.

"This landslide occured not because of the residents erecting houses on the slopes," he added. "The authorities had ignored signs that appeared over several years," he added.

In 2006 four people were killed and 43 homes destroyed in a nearby suburb and in 1993 a 12-storey condominium tower collapsed, burying 48 people mainly maids and children.

Rescuers were Tuesday still scouring through the rubble from Saturday's landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa after discovering a Sri Lankan maid was still missing, the state Bernama news agency said.

The disaster hit in the early hours of the morning, burying 14 houses in the middle-class residential area, cutting off access for thousands of residents and disrupting water, electricity and phone lines.

Raymond Jagathesan, deputy chairman of the residents' taskforce, said the local council and the relevant government agencies should carry out a thorough study into what caused the landslide.

"It is very disturbing," Raymond told AFP.

"We have been complaining about trees being uprooted and sinkholes appearing in people's backyards and abandoned housing projects, but the local authorities did not carry out an in-depth study on why these things were happening,"

"People have lost a lot of stuff, life savings and lives have been lost," he said.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bollywood hero Khan to tackle Islam, terrorism in new movie

India's top Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan will star in a new movie exploring the issue of Islam in the post 9/11 world and the misperception that all Muslims are terrorists.

"My Name is Khan" tells the story of six people with Muslim surnames who suffer suspicion and prejudice years after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"The movie is about a Muslim person's strife (in telling) people that 'my name is Khan but I am not a terrorist'," Khan told reporters after being conferred the governors' award in the southwestern Malaysian state of Malacca in recognition of his 2001 film "One 2 Ka 4", which was set there and boosted its profile as a tourist destination.

The Indian Muslim actor, whose wife is Hindu, also condemned religious fundamentalism and denounced acts of violence, saying that the Koran does not preach terror.

"Islam does not in any which way tell you to be violent," he said. "I think the whole concept of jihad, the whole concept of warring needs to be explained as Allah meant it to be in the Koran," Khan said.

"(The film) is an attempt to try and do that in an entertaining way."

Filmmaker Karan Johar will direct while top Bollywood actress Kajol Mukherjee, who has acted in several blockbusters with Khan in the past, will co-star.

Filming is due to begin later this month in Los Angeles and is scheduled for release a year later, Khan said.

The Bollywood star's comments follow last week's 60-hour Mumbai siege in which 10 Islamic militants attacked multiple targets including the landmark Taj Mahal hotel, killing 163 people including 26 foreigners.

Nine militants were killed, while one was captured alive.

New Delhi has increasingly pointed at Islamabad over the attack which has enraged public opinion and badly hit relations between the neighbours.

Earlier a crowd of more than 500 people thronged the Malacca state secretariat building to witness Khan being conferred the governor's award.

The 42-year-old heart-throb is well-loved in Malaysia, a popular location for Indian films which have a huge following among ethnic Indians and the majority Muslim-Malays.

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