PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2012, 4:00am

Strike hits two thirds of Lufthansa's flights

BERLIN - Lufthansa cancelled two thirds of its flights yesterday after flight attendants walked off the job at airports around Germany in an escalating battle with bosses of the country's largest airline, but signs emerged that the two sides may be prepared to return to the negotiating table. Union chairman Nicoley Baublies said at Frankfurt airport early yesterday that he had talked by phone with Lufthansa overnight and the two sides had agreed to call in a mediator to help them settle their dispute. AP


Website operator jailed for death, rape threats

NEW YORK - An eyewear website operator who threatened some of his customers with murder or rape when they complained about their glasses has been sentenced to four years in prison. Vitaly Borker, 35, shook his head and wiped his hand across his eyes as US District Judge Richard Sullivan announced the sentence, along with nearly US$100,000 in fines and restitution. Several people who testified said they called police or installed security systems because of threats Borker made after they complained about glasses they bought from the website. AP


Sea burial, memorial service for Armstrong

CHICAGO - Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, will be buried at sea, a family spokesman said. The burial will take place after a public memorial in Washington next Thursday. Nasa chief Charles Bolden, present and former astronauts, and other dignitaries are expected to attend the ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral in honour of Armstrong, who died aged 82 on August 25 of complications from heart surgery. He strode into the history books on July 20, 1969, when he became the first man on the moon. AFP


Farc ceasefire offer dismissed by Bogota

TOLEMAIDA - The president of Colombia has rejected a proposal by the country's main leftist rebel movement to observe a ceasefire during peace talks that are to begin next month in Norway. Leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, said earlier in Cuba that their first item on the agenda would be to propose a truce in the half-century of fighting that has killed tens of thousands. President Juan Manuel Santos said the Colombian military and police had been instructed to intensify offensive actions against the rebels. AP


Canada closes its embassy in Iran

TORONTO - Canada is shutting its embassy in Tehran and severing diplomatic relations with Iran, which Canada's Conservative government said was providing military assistance to Syria. Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave. Foreign affairs minister John Baird said Iran was "among the world's worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups." AP


Obama 'Hope' poster artist sentenced

NEW YORK - The artist who created the "HOPE" poster that came to symbolise Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was sentenced to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service for destroying documents and fabricating others in a lawsuit he brought against the Associated Press after basing his poster on one of AP's photographs. Shepard Fairey, 42, settled his civil case with AP in a deal than required him to pay AP US$1.6 million (HK$12.4 million), with an insurance company paying about US$450,000 of that amount. AP