Briefs, October 13, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 4:19am

Apple set to reveal mini iPad, says blog

NEW YORK - Apple is expected to take the wraps off its highly anticipated mini iPad at an October 23 invitation-only event, reported tech blog AllThingsD, citing sources familiar with the company. The event would come before Microsoft unveils its latest operating system, Windows 8, and its new Surface tablet on October 26. Speculation has been rife that Apple was planning a smaller version of its popular iPad to take on cheaper competing devices. The new model is believed to have a screen that's 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version. Reuters

Chinese student hurtin Sydney acid attack

SYDNEY - A Chinese university student was critical in an Australian hospital after a fellow Phd student allegedly threw acid in his face and then hit him over the head with a hammer. Police said Zhang Rui, 26, had been charged with attacking a 25-year-old fellow student, named by media as Cheng Xiaoyu, at a chemistry research laboratory at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Both men are Chinese nationals studying for their PhDs. AFP

Anger over WikiLeaks'fundraising campaign

LONDON - A fundraising campaign by secret-busting website WikiLeaks has drawn the ire of the Anonymous movement, sparking an online spat which suggests a rift between WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange and some of his most vigorous supporters. Recently parts of WikiLeaks' website have disappeared behind a banner asking that users either make a donation or publicise the fundraising campaign on their Facebook or Twitter pages. The tactic has angered those who say charging for content sits uneasily with WikiLeaks' devotion to transparency. AP

Police investigating 40 victims of Savile abuse

LONDON - British police investigating child sex abuse claims against the late TV star Jimmy Savile said they were in contact with 40 potential victims. London's Metropolitan Police (MPS), which is handling the national flood of allegations about one of the top stars in British broadcasting from the 1960s to the 1980s, said they were now following 340 leads. A television programme last week contained accounts from women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by Savile when they were children, in some cases on BBC premises. The programme has spurred many more people into coming forward, in a case that has dominated the headlines in Britain. The MPS said they were working with 14 other police forces across the country. AFP

US 'faces threat of cyber-Pearl Harbour'

WASHINGTON - The United States faces a growing threat of a "cyber-Pearl Harbour" and has drafted new rules for the military that would enable it to move aggressively against digital attacks, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said. The amended rules of engagement underline the need to defend Defence Department computer networks, "but also to be prepared to defend the nation and our national interests against an attack in or through cyberspace," he said. AFP

Arrest in Zambia over Chinese pitman's deat

LUSAKA - Police in Zambia said they arrested a shaft operator at a Collum Coal mine in connection with the death of mine manager Wu Shengzai in August. Wu, 50, was killed in a riot over minimum wages at a mine known for tensions with Chinese investors in Sinazongwe, 325 kilometres south of the capital, Lusaka. Wu was killed after being hit by a trolley which was pushed towards him by protesting miners as he ran underground for safety. The mine has been a source of controversy since 2010 when two Chinese Collum mine managers were charged with attempted murder after they allegedly opened fire on a group of protesting miners. AFP

Pastor Terry Jones denied entry to Canada

MONTREAL - Notorious US pastor Terry Jones said he had been barred from entering Canada after an anti-Islam video he backed triggered violent protests across the Muslim world. Jones, who sparked deadly protests in the past with plans for a public Koran burning, had been due to speak at a rally in Toronto about Innocence of Muslims , a film that denigrates Islam and its Prophet Mohammed. Jones said border agents cited a previous bond infraction in the United States and a disputed honorary doctorate in Germany as reasons to keep him from entering. AFP

Landmark rights case for Botswana women

GABORONE - In a landmark ruling Botswana's High Court gave women inheritance rights for the first time, upending a male-dominated system that had prevailed in the thriving African nation. The court had been hearing a case brought by three sisters aged over 65, whose claim to family property is being challenged by their nephew. The court ruled that a tribal law, giving the youngest-born son rights to inherit the family home, was not in line with the country's constitution, which guarantees gender equality. AFP

Australia on track to send refugees to PNG

SYDNEY - Australia said it was on track to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea despite the United Nations raising concerns about the country's ability to handle refugees. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said it was not clear to his agency the transfer of boatpeople to PNG was "fully appropriate". But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said asylum seekers were set to arrive on PNG's Manus Island in PNG within weeks. Boatpeople will be sent to the nation of Nauru or Manus while their refugee claims are assessed. AFP

Boy killed as US agents fire shots into Mexico

PHOENIX - A US Border Patrol agent, responding to reports of suspected drug smugglers, opened fire on a group of people throwing rocks from across the Mexican border, killing a 16-year-old boy and eliciting outrage from the Mexican government. Authorities said the agents in Nogales, Arizona, had responded to reports of two suspected smugglers near the border. As the agents approached, people on the Mexican side of the border threw rocks and ignored orders to stop, the agency said. AP