Briefs, February 28, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 2:24am

Teenager in rape claim sentenced to 100 lashes

MALE - A Maldives court has sentenced a 15-year-old alleged rape victim to 100 lashes and eight months under house arrest after she admitted having had premarital sex in a separate incident. During a police investigation into allegations that the girl had been raped by her stepfather, investigators uncovered evidence that she had had consensual sex with another man. The child's stepfather faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. AFP

Mental illness plea on Guam tourist killings

HAGATNA - A Guam man who killed three Japanese tourists and injured 11 in a frenzied knife attack pleaded not guilty yesterday to murder on the grounds of mental illness. Chad Ryan Desoto, 21, was arrested on February 12 in the Pacific holiday destination. He attacked the tourists with 30-centimere knives in each hand after ploughing his car into them. AFP

Police probe killing of toxic-waste activist

BANGKOK - Thai police vowed to investigate possible links between the murder of a village headman and his work to expose toxic-waste dumping, as rights groups called for the killers to be brought to justice. Prajob Nao-opas was gunned down by unknown assailants in broad daylight in Chachoengsao province, east of Bangkok. He had led a campaign to expose illegal waste dumping from nearby industrial estates. AFP

World's oldest woman in the record books

OSAKA, Japan - A 114-year-old Japanese woman has been recognised as the world's oldest. Misao Okawa, of Osaka, said she was "very happy" to receive the recognition and a certificate from Guinness World Records. Asked for her secret for longevity, she said it was to "watch out for one's health". The world's oldest person - 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura - also lives in Japan. AP

Salvage squads begin to dismantle US ship

MANILA - Salvage teams have begun cutting up a US Navy ship stranded on a UN World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines in a process that could take almost month. The funnel of the minesweeper USS Guardian was lifted off on Tuesday while the mast was removed yesterday. The 68-metre vessel ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea on January 17. AFP

16 die after packed bus smashes into rock

BANDUNG, Indonesia - An overcrowded passenger bus has slammed into a large rock on Indonesia's main island of Java, killing 16 people. Police said 26 other people were injured in the accident, which occurred in West Java province's Puncak town. The bus was carrying 75 passengers from the neighbouring province of Banten to the West Java district of Cianjur. AP