Frenchman escapes death in Indonesia
JAKARTA • An Indonesian court yesterday commuted the death sentence of a French national convicted of drug smuggling to 19 years in prison, a court official said, because the judge said he had shown remorse.
Felix Dorfin, 35, was detained last September on Lombok island with more than 2kg of ecstasy, crystal methamphetamines and marijuana. He escaped from prison this year only to be recaptured after two weeks on the run, and was sentenced to death in May.
Russia PM's island visit irks Japan
MOSCOW • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev yesterday visited one of a chain of far-eastern islands claimed by Japan, sparking a protest from Tokyo.
Visiting Russia's Sakhalin Island, he also went to Iturup, one of four islands contested by Japan, where it is known as Etorofu. The Japanese foreign ministry said the visit was "extremely regrettable".
Rare Assam tea bags world record price
GUWAHATI • A rare Assam tea has sold for a world record price at an auction in India, highlighting a boom for speciality teas while the industry as a whole is in crisis.
A 2kg lot of Maijan Orthodox Golden tea sold for 141,002 rupees (S$2,794) on Wednesday. An unidentified Belgian trader bought the tea through a local agent.