VENEZUELA INAUGURATES SIMON BOLIVAR MAUSOLEUM
CARACAS: Venezuela has inaugurated a mausoleum that will hold the remains of the South American liberator Simon Bolivar, an imposing structure whose brainchild was the late Hugo Chavez. The sprawling mausolem is 50 meters tall and shaped like the sail of a boat, with an open space holding a wooden coffin on a simple granite stand. The coffin bears the initials SB between two golden leaves of laurel. Chavez, who idolized Bolivar, came up with the idea of building the mausoleum in 2010.
US SOLDIER INVESTIGATED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The US Army is investigating one of its sergeants for sexual assault—one who is in charge of a sexual assault prevention program, the Pentagon admitted Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). The sergeant, whose name was not released, is based at Fort Hood, Texas and has been suspended from all duties, the Defense department said in a statement, pending his investigation for pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates. The allegations come just days after the head of the US Air Force’s rape prevention program was charged with sexual battery in Virginia.
S. KOREA MEDIA SLAMS ‘PROVOCATIVE’ JAPAN PM PHOTO
SEOUL: Major South Korean newspapers splashed a photo of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a military jet trainer on their front pages on Wednesday, saying it was a reminder of Japan’s colonial-era atrocities. The picture in question showed a smiling Abe giving a thumbs-up while sitting in the cockpit of an air force T-4 training jet emblazoned with the number 731. The number evoked memories of Unit 731—a covert Japanese biological and chemical warfare research facility that carried out lethal human experiments during the 1937-45 Sino-Japanese War and World War II.
NO SIGN OF STRUGGLE AT SCIENTIST’S HOME – POLICE
SINGAPORE: Singapore police officers who inspected the apartment where a US high-tech researcher was found hanged last year told an inquiry on Tuesday that they saw no signs of a struggle. The bedroom where police found the body of Shane Todd—whose parents believe he was murdered—was neater than the rest of the apartment, Sgt. Rajina Sharma Rajandran said on the second day of a coroner’s inquest. Todd’s parents reject Singapore autopsy findings that he committed suicide. They believe he was killed because of his work for a Singapore research institute with alleged links to a Chinese telecom giant suspected of espionage.
OKINAWA WOMEN DEMAND SEX REMARK APOLOGY
TOKYO: Women in Japan’s island chain of Okinawa on Wednesday demanded an apology from an outspoken Japanese politician who suggested US troops there make use of its thriving sex industry. The comments from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto came after he said “comfort women”—who most historians agree were pressed into sexual slavery for the Japanese imperial army during World War II—served a “necessary” role by keeping soldiers in line.
CANADA TO BOYCOTT UN DISARMAMENT BODY OVER IRAN ROLE
OTTAWA: Canada will boycott meetings of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament when Iran takes over the body this month, an official announced on Tuesday, saying it makes a “mockery of disarmament issues.” Tehran will assume the presidency of the disarmament conference from May 27 until June 23 under an alphabetical rotation among the 65 member states.