- Disabled Frenchman says Everest jump 'message of hope'
- Soldiers jailed over stuffed animals
- Adulterous website not welcome
KATHMANDU: A multiple sclerosis sufferer hoping to become the first disabled person to skydive over Mount Everest says he wants his feat of daring to send "a message of hope" to others with the disease."I am a happy person. Probably a little crazy...just a little. First, happy," 55-year-old Frenchman Marc Kopp told AFP in Kathmandu ahead of his scheduled tandem skydive next week.
"Seeing her so frightened made me realise I had to be strong, I had to face my illness," he added.
As his condition worsened, he became increasingly determined not to simply become a victim and instead began volunteering for a support group for fellow sufferers.
When he met Gervasi last July at a parachuting event in Lorraine, the skydiver who has jumped over Everest and over the North and South poles, was planning a trip to Nepal with French football legend Zinedine Zidane.
"Why not? I felt like I would send a message of hope. Even if you are sick, you are still alive."
The opportunity to jump from a chopper hovering 10,000 metres (32,800 feet) above the roof of the world is a gift, he said.
"I always wanted some adventure in my life, like my childhood hero Tintin," he said, referring to the Belgian comic book hero who also travelled to the Himalayas in search of excitement.-AFP
BANDA ACEH: An Indonesian military tribunal has jailed two soldiers for illegally possessing two stuffed Sumatran tigers and a stuffed bear, with the men forced to appear in court alongside the protected animals.
The court in Banda Aceh on Sumatra island handed Chief Sergeant Joko Rianto a two-month jail term and Chief Private Rawali a three-month sentence on Thursday.
Rianto was given a five million rupiah (RM1,452) fine while Rawali, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, was ordered to pay 2.5 million rupiah (RM726).
"Rawali and Joko Rianto have been found legitimately and convincingly guilty of illegally possessing dead protected animals," judge Lieutenant Colonel Budi Purnomo said.
Rianto, who was caught with one of the tigers and a bear in his house, argued he had purchased the critically endangered tiger to use its teeth to cure his sick wife.
Tiger parts are frequently used in traditional medicine in Asia despite the lack of peer-reviewed scientific evidence showing that they have any medicinal benefits.
Rawali claimed a friend had given him the tiger to repay a debt.
Ratno Sugito, a local animal activist, welcomed the sentences: "Even though the sentence was weak, at least the military court showed its willingness to enforce the law." — AFP
ASHLEY Madison, a dating website targeting married spouses, is not welcome in Singapore, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.
Chan was responding to media reports that the dating website, which facilitates extramarital affairs between married individuals, is planning for a launch here next year.
"I do not welcome such a website into Singapore. Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage," Chan said in a Facebook post on Friday.
The Canada-based website, which goes by the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair", has over 21 million users worldwide. It has already expanded to other Asian countries and territories such as Japan, and, more recently, Hong Kong in August.
A Facebook page called "Block Ashley Madison – Singapore" has been set up by a Singaporean, after news broke that the website is planning to launch here.
"I'm heartened by the responses of many Singaporeans who also spoke up against such a website.
"This reflects the significance we all place in commitment and fidelity in marriage," said Chan. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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