No ransom paid for release of hostages
KUALA LUMPUR• No ransom was paid to secure the release of the four Malaysians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf terrorists off Semporna in Sabah on April 1, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday.
The men were kidnapped from a tugboat from the Philippines heading to Sarawak.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Japanese city's brolly scheme in tatters
TOKYO• Officials at the local chamber of commerce in the historic port city Hakodate have been left red-faced after hundreds of umbrellas left for tourists to use while they were in town vanished.
The theft of about 900 brollies - visitors were asked to use and return them - has left Hakodate's feel-good tourism scheme in tatters, and triggered an angry response from some local taxpayers.
Teacher allegedly raped by students' parents
SEOUL• Three men have been detained in South Korea for allegedly gang-raping a teacher on a remote island, police said yesterday. Two of the suspects are believed to be parents of her students.
The teacher was dining at a restaurant when the three men forced her to drink with them. They volunteered to drop the drunk woman home and then allegedly all raped her. If charged and convicted, they face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.