BRITAIN'S PHONE-HACKING TRIAL BEGINS
THE first trial from a phone-hacking scandal that sank Mr Rupert Murdoch's News Of The World opened yesterday with his key aide, Ms Rebekah Brooks, and British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media chief, Mr Andy Coulson, in the dock.
They are among eight defendants facing a jury for the first time over the scandal two years ago that rocked the British newspaper industry.
The defendants face charges ranging from illegally hacking the mobile-phone voicemails of 600 people, including a murdered schoolgirl and celebrities, to bribing public officials for stories and hiding evidence.
S. KOREAN REPATRIATES HOPED FOR BETTER LIVES IN NORTH
SIX South Koreans recently repatriated from North Korea had sneaked into the North in search of better lives, but ended up being detained for up to 45 months for illegal entry, Seoul officials said yesterday.
Cases of South Koreans defecting to impoverished, totalitarian North Korea are rare. On the other hand, more than 25,000 North Koreans have fled to the South for political and economic reasons since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. AP
CHINESE OFFICIAL SUSPENDED OVER $142k PIG-TROTTER TAB
A CHINESE Communist Party official has been suspended after running up unpaid bills of 700,450 yuan (S$142,300) at a speciality pig-trotter restaurant, reports said yesterday.
Mr Han Junhong, the party secretary in Wangluo in the poor central province of Henan, racked up the account with a series of banquets over three years, the Global Times said, adding that the establishment was the designated venue for official functions in the town.