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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Indonesian volcano erupts 30 times as 20,000 displaced

Posted: 04 Jan 2014 01:54 AM PST

KARO, Indonesia, Jan 04, 2014 (AFP) - An Indonesian volcano that has erupted relentlessly for months shot volcanic ash into the air 30 times on Saturday, forcing further evacuations with more than 20,000 people now displaced, an official said.

Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra sent rivers of lava flowing through an evacuation zone and columns of volcanic cloud up as high as 4,000 metres (13,000 feet), National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"Hot lava spewed from the volcano some 60 times, reaching up to five kilometres (three miles) southeast of the crater. This outpour is the biggest we've seen in all the recent eruptions," Nugroho said.

Authorities had already told residents in a five-kilometre radius of the volcano to evacuate, and Nugroho said an expanded evacuation zone may be considered.

The number of people who have now fled the rumbling volcano since it began erupting in September last year has risen to 20,331, Nugroho said.

Mount Sinabung is one of dozens of active volcanoes in Indonesia that straddle major tectonic fault lines, known as the Ring of Fire.

It had been quiet for around 400 years until it rumbled back to life in 2010, and again in September last year.

In August, five people were killed and hundreds evacuated when a volcano on a tiny island in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted.

The country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions in 2010.

Kin identify bodies found in river

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

The bodies of two men found separately along two rivers here, were identified by their family members.

Lee Eng Hock, 59, whose body was found in the Singapore River at about 4pm on Thursday, was jobless and suffered from depression, his younger brother Lee Eng Hwa, 57, said at the mortuary at Singapore General Hospital.

The man whose body was found in Kallang River on the same day, has been identified by his uncle.

The uncle, who declined to be named, said his nephew was the middle child and has two other siblings.

The deceased lived alone and had a sales jobs in Arab Street before he died. He would have turned 30 this year. His father is currently in India and his mother died about three years ago, said the uncle.

Police have classified both cases as unnatural death and are investigating. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Costly affair to spy on husband

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

A dentist who spent S$55,000 (RM142,700) on private investigators to spy on her cheating husband will get only S$10,000 (RM26,000) to settle the bill after a judge described the amount she paid as "unusually large".

The 35-year-old had wanted evidence to support a divorce from her 42-year-old husband of nine years. She suspected him of having affairs with two women.

Investigators caught the chief investment officer "behaving intimately" with one of them, and the couple divorced a year ago.

A settlement case was held to determine how their assets would be split, but in judgment grounds released yesterday, Judicial Commissioner George Wei shared the husband's scepticism over the investigators' bills.

The total 213 hours of surveillance cost S$41,400 (RM107,400) – or about S$195 (RM506) per hour.

The husband, defended by lawyers Andy Chiok and Loy Wee Sun, produced a source which charged about S$400 (RM1,038) per day or S$6,000 (RM15,500) for an unlimited package until evidence is found.

The wife, represented by lawyer Foo Siew Fong, spent another S$13,600 (RM35,300) on "data forensic extraction" from the husband's cellphone and laptop, according to the bills. These produced no results for the court.

The judge held that while it may not be fair to make comparisons, the sum of S$41,400 (RM107,400) was "outstandingly unreasonable".

Divorce lawyers said that such fees do not usually exceed S$10,000 (RM26,000) .

"Given that the wife relied on the husband's improper association with two other women as the grounds for divorce, in hindsight, there was sufficient evidence on Sept 10 (the first of the three days) to support her petition," said the judge.

The judge ordered that the couple's S$5.5mil (RM14mil) three-storey penthouse be sold, and 75% be apportioned to the husband and 25% to the wife.

He based his decision on the respective financial contributions of the parties and the relatively short length of the marriage. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


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