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South Korea soldiers charged over death of conscript SEOUL: Five South Korean soldiers have been arrested on manslaughter charges for an assault that led to the death of a young conscript they had repeatedly bullied, the military said Thursday.The case comes on the back of two separate suicides by army privates last weekend, and a deadly shooting spree last month in which a sergeant killed five members of his unit for taunting him.The five detained men allegedly assaulted a 23-year-old private in April, striking him in the chest and causing a chunk of food to get lodged in his airway.The soldier, identified by his surname Yoon, died of asphyxiation."The five were all charged with manslaughter," an army spokesman told AFP.Investigators said Yoon had been the target of regular bullying, including sessions of crude water-boarding.He had also been forced to eat a tube of toothpaste and lick the spit of other soldiers from the ground.Barrack-room bullying has long tainted ...

Japanese get anti-radiation pills ahead of nuclear restart TOKYO: Japanese officials are handing out radiation-blocking iodine tablets to people living in the shadow of two nuclear reactors slated to restart this year, underscoring concerns about atomic power after the Fukushima crisis.The move to distribute the pills -- which help to reduce radiation buildup in the body -- started Sunday for those living within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius of the Sendai nuclear plant.The site, roughly 1,000 kilometres from Tokyo on the southern island of ...
Australia, Netherlands plan fresh attempt to reach MH17 site SYDNEY: A team of Dutch and Australian police will on Monday again attempt to reach the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a senior Australian official said, although he warned the situation was volatile.An unarmed team of Dutch and Australian officers was forced to drop their plans to visit the site in eastern Ukraine Sunday as heavy bombardments rocked towns close to the area where the plane was shot down, killing all 298 on ...
China's Xi approaches Mao in state media mentions: report BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping's name has graced the pages of the Communist Party's flagship newspaper more frequently than any other leader since founding father Mao Zedong, according to researchers.The report by the University of Hong Kong's China Media Project comes amid a much-publicised anti-graft crackdown which some analysts say Xi has used to root out political enemies and solidify his grip on power.In the 18 months since he ascended to the Chinese Communist Party's ...
Sixteen dead in Philippine militant ambush: military MANILA: Sixteen people, including children, were killed when militants opened fire on two vehicles in a remote southern Philippine town on Monday, the military said.Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on the vehicles in Talipao town before dawn in what appeared to be an ambush related to a clan feud, said local marine commander Brigadier-General Martin Pinto."There were civilians as well as children among the 16 dead," he told reporters, without giving more details immediately about ...
Student survivors testify in Korea ferry trial ANSAN: Teenaged student survivors of South Korea's ferry disaster began giving video testimony under tight security Monday in the murder trial of the vessel's captain and crew.It was the first time the survivors -- all from Dawon High School in Ansan city south of Seoul -- have given evidence in the trial which began more than a month ago.Police cordons blocked public access to the district court in Ansan City, outside Seoul, as the students ...
Bali to continue anti-rabies dog cull as gory video emerges DENPASAR: Among the white sandy beaches, luxury villas and temples, authorities on the Indonesian island of Bali are carrying out mass culls of dogs in an anti-rabies campaign, a official confirmed Sunday.Despite a stomach-churning 16-minute video posted on YouTube of a mass slaughter that has prompted outrage from animal welfare groups, Bali Animal Husbandry Department chief Putu Sumantra said there were no plans to end the practice."The dogs culled were smuggled illegally. When that happens, ...

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