Jumaat, 25 April 2014

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Singaporean fined nearly $8,000 for animal cruelty

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 02:15 AM PDT

SINGAPORE: A Singapore court has imposed a Sg$10,000 ($7,750) fine on a local businessman who failed to take his severely emaciated dog to the vet, a ruling welcomed Friday by animal rights activists.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said the court's decision Thursday was the first time the maximum fine was imposed on a convicted animal abuser.

Lim Soo Seng, 76, however escaped a one-year jail term.

"This is a very telling reminder to all pet owners that it is their due responsibility to fulfill the nutritional requirements of all of their pets," said Corinne Fong, executive director of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A photograph of the carcass released by the SPCA was shared widely on social media.

Lim was charged at a district court after he brought the carcass of the severely emaciated dog, a female cross-breed mongrel named Chilli, to the SPCA for disposal on May 17 last year, a day after it stopped eating.

A post-mortem found that the dog might have been neglected and starved for months.

The case is the latest among a series of animal abuse cases in wealthy Singapore, including the poisoning of stray dogs and attacks on cats. - AFP

Taiwan pilots hurt as Apache chopper crash-lands on building

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 02:11 AM PDT

TAIPEI: Two Taiwanese pilots were injured on Friday when their Apache attack helicopter crash-landed on a building in northern Taiwan during a routine training mission, the military said.

The pilots suffered slight facial and leg injuries after crashing on top of the three-storey building in Taoyuan county and were taken to hospital. No civilians were hurt.

Television footage showed uniformed men inspecting the wreckage of the AH-64E808 on top of the building, which was partly damaged by the impact along with two adjoining houses.

Army deputy commander Wang Hsing-wei said all Apache helicopters have been grounded for inspections, the second time the aircraft were grounded for safety checks since they came into service in December.

A special team would investigate whether the incident was caused by the weather, the crew or mechanical problems, Wang said.

The chopper "was in clouds and mist and my cockpit window fogged, I couldn't see the location of the plane and it all happened very fast and suddenly I saw a row of barriers," the pilot, Major Chen Lung-chien, told a press conference before returning to hospital for a follow-up examination.

Taiwan in November took delivery of its first six AH-64E Apaches bought from the United States as it modernises its military despite warming ties with China.

It temporarily grounded the choppers from December to February for checks after Washington warned the model could malfunction.

The Taiwanese army is the first force outside the US to use the Apache AH-64E, the latest variant of what is described as the world's most powerful attack helicopter.

Taiwan has so far received 18 of the 30 Apache helicopters it ordered and the rest will be delivered by the end of 2014. The order was part of a $6.5 billion arms deal unveiled in 2008 that irked Beijing.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war. However, Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. - AFP

William and Kate end Australia tour with surprise ANZAC service

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 02:05 AM PDT

CANBERRA: Britain's Prince William and wife Kate on Friday wrapped up their tour Down Under, which has drawn crowds in the thousands, after a surprise visit to a dawn service for Australian soldiers lost in war.

The young royals have been warmly received during their tour of Australia and New Zealand, in which they have travelled from beach to remote outback and shown off their nine-month-old son George.

On their final day the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among tens of thousands at events marking ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, a tribute to soldiers past and present.

The day marks the April 25, 1915 landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey and has become a defining symbol of courage and comradeship for both countries.

"I said to them, it means a great deal to our nation that you should honour us by attending the dawn service," said Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson.

"...without hesitation they had an immense sense of pride in actually being here. But in the end... it's not about the royals, it's not about the governor general... it's about the men and women we honour."

Afterwards, the couple kept to their schedule, attending a commemorative service at the Australian War Memorial which drew an estimated 37,000 people.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a staunch monarchist who recently reintroduced the titles of knights and dames, spoke of the connection between Britain and its former colony Australia at the event.

"Long ago, we ceased to regard Britain as the mother country but we're still family," he said. "Your presence, Sir, reminds us of all our comrades-in-arms. These are the ties that bind. Lest we forget."

Abbott said the events at Gallipoli almost a century ago, in which more than 10,000 Australian and New Zealand servicemen lost their lives, still cast a shadow.

"The First World War impacted Australia like nothing before or since," he said, noting that from a population of about five million, 417,000 Australians enlisted and more than 60,000 never returned home.

After three FA-18 Hornets flew overhead the royal couple placed small posies of rosemary and Australian native flowers on the verge of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Kate, who has impressed with her wardrobe choice on the tour, wore a grey tweed coat dress, midnight blue headpiece, and a poppy brooch given to her by the wife of Australian Victorian Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith.

Anzac Day is a public holiday in Australia and New Zealand, with tens of thousands attending sombre dawn services and parades to mark the occasion.

In New Zealand a dawn march in Wellington was led by returned servicemen and women dressed in replicas of 1914 New Zealand infantry uniforms, the brainchild of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson.
"The soldiers got into it, wearing the kit of their forebears," Jackson said.

The visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which began in Wellington on April 7, ended in Canberra with the family boarding a Royal Australian Air Force plane for the short journey to Sydney, where they were to catch their connecting flight to Britain.

George had delighted crowds during his visit to Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo to see Australia's unique wildlife last weekend, and earlier during a playdate with other children in New Zealand.

He was once again in the arms of his mother, watched by spectators at the airport.

"I hope to see them back again. They've definitely brought some life back into the royals," said well-wisher Nicolette Ellis. - AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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