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10 œ theSun | WEDNESDAY JULY 15 2009

news without borders

US Supreme Court pick fires back at bigotry charges

WASHINGTON: Sonia Sotomayor her remark that “I would hope that a remark to accuse Sotomayor, whose that how important the right to bear Justice David Souter on the high court,
(pix), nearly sure to become the first wise Latina woman with the richness family hails from the US Caribbean terri- arms is to many, many Americans,” she which often confronts volatile political
Hispanic US Supreme Court justice, of her experiences would, more often tory of Puerto Rico, of saying that racial said, underlining that she would follow and social issues, including gun control
fought back yesterday against charges than not, reach a better conclusion” background shapes judicial rulings. US Supreme Court precedent. and abortion.
that she let her personal views and ra- than a white judge. Sessions said he remained “very Sotomayor’s rise from a poor child- The panel was to hear from 31 wit-
cial bias cloud her rulings as a judge. “It was bad, because it left an troubled” and that he worried any such hood in New York City’s hardscrabble nesses, including former FBI director
“I want to state up front, unequivo- impression that I believed that life bias would “reach full flower” if the Bronx to the pinnacle of US judicial life Louis Freeh, who mentored Sotomayor,
cally and without doubt, I do not believe experiences commanded a result Senate confirms the judge to mirrors the remarkable ascent of Presi- and conservative activist Linda Chavez.
that any ethnic, racial or gender group in a case, but that’s what is a lifetime appointment dent Barack Obama, who nominated Republicans have given one of
has an advantage in sound judging,” clearly not what I on the highest US court. her seven weeks ago. their 14 witness slots to one of the
she told the Senate Judiciary Commit- do as a judge,” she Sotomayor, who would Sotomayor’s confirmation was white firefighters whose claim of racial
tee on day two of her confirmation said, calling the be just the third woman to virtually assured: Democrats dominate discrimination Sotomayor and two
hearings. line “a rhetorical serve on the nine-member the committee and have, at least on fellow judges rejected – only to have
“I do believe that every person has flourish that fell high court, also sought paper, the 60 votes needed to overrun the Supreme Court reverse that ruling
an equal opportunity to be a good and flat.” to quiet Republican any Republican effort in the Senate to in late June.
wise judge regardless of their back- Republi- charges that she stymie the nomination. “The issue was not what we would
ground or life experiences,” the appeals can officials would tip the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham do or not do, because we were follow-
judge told the committee after weeks and con- bench’s balance drew laughter when he told Sotomayor ing precedent,” Sotomayor said.
of fierce attacks on her impartiality. servative against the US on Monday: “Unless you have a com- She underlined that it was up to
Questioned by the panel’s top commenta- Constitutional right plete meltdown, you’re going to get lawmakers – not judges – to decide
Republican, Senator Jeff Sessions of tors have to own firearms. confirmed.” whether affirmative action for minorities
Alabama, Sotomayor sought to clarify seized on the “I understand Sotomayor would replace retiring was needed, and in what form. – AFP

Banks on alert
after internet
raid on accounts Kim tours factory
amid health speculation
HONGKONG: Banks have been ordered to step
up online security measures after it emerged
that thieves had stolen more than HK$289,000
(RM129,500) in a series of internet bank raids,
officials confirmed yesterday.
The Hongkong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said
the money was stolen in three separate incidents
in which people’s accounts were accessed by SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim State Department said they could give no tions designed to halt its atomic and
thieves who first infected their computers with Jong-Il toured a newly built factory in information about the reported illness. missile activities.
viruses that stole bank account login details. the capital Pyongyang, state media said, State TV last week showed a gaunt Official media has publicised a brisk
Eight banks have been targeted since April, amid a South Korean news report that he Kim limping slightly and with thinning round of activities by the leader this year.
according to a report in the South China Morn- has been diagnosed with life-threatening hair when he made a televised appear- With the latest visit – it was not clear
ing Post. In a statement, the HKMA confirmed it cancer. ance to pay homage to his late father Kim when it was – he has made 82 public
had issued a circular ordering all banks to step The 67-year-old gave “field guidance” Il-Sung at a national memorial service. inspection tours this year compared to
up security measures, such as instantly alerting to officials at the Taedonggang Tile Fac- Kim’s health is the subject of intense 57 in the same period last year.
customers by text message or other means every Citizen tory and toured its facilities, the North’s international attention because of the Kim reportedly noted that the tile fac-
time an online transfer to a third-party is made official Korean Central News Agency communist state’s nuclear and missile tory relies purely on locally available raw
from their accounts.
Nades: said late on Monday in its latest account programmes and uncertainty about who materials.
According to the authority, thieves are using Drop the of Kim’s activities. will succeed him. Such “successful endeavours being
increasingly sophisticated measures to raid bank racist On Monday, South Korea’s YTN cable Seoul intelligence officials have been made by all domains of the national
accounts. It said the recent cases involved infect- TV network said Kim, who is widely quoted as saying he has nominated his economy... fully reflect the unshakable
ing bank customers’ personal computers with a
remarks believed to have suffered a stroke last youngest son, Jong-Un, 26, as the succes- faith of the Korean people to build a great
Trojan horse virus that hijacks user names and pg 12 August, has been diagnosed with pancre- sor but there has been no announcement prosperous and powerful nation on this
passwords. atic cancer and may not live more than to the outside world. land by their own efforts, resources and
These details were then used to transfer funds five years. Regional tensions are high, with technology without fail,” he was quoted
to third-party accounts. South Korean officials and the US Pyongyang defying United Nations sanc- saying. – AFP
An HKMA spokesman strongly encouraged
bank customers to make full use of the text
messaging alert system and to notify their bank
immediately if they discover any suspected unau- ramp for a road crossing the Somali gunmen and plaintiff in the case, Abbas Salimi
thorised transactions. – dpa East Alligator River, about 300km Namin, as saying. Fars news agency
briefs east of Darwin, police said.
Officers who retrieved the
snatch French agents
MOGADISHU: A dozen Somali
said Namjoo was convicted for “his
unconventional singing of the Quran,”
vehicle after the accident last gunmen wearing government four years ago. – AFP
Thursday found it surrounded by uniforms snatched two French
Roadblock by deadly saltwater crocodiles. security advisors from their hotel
rooms in Mogadishu, officials and
Snipers guard
Police said the woman, from
police injures eight New South Wales state, had to witnesses said yesterday. Australian penguins
HONGKONG: The police chief of scramble through the water The French foreign ministry said SYDNEY:Australia has posted
Hongkong yesterday apologised to as her four-wheel drive sank in a statement the pair was “helping snipers to protect endangered
civilian drivers whose vehicles were into the river near the world the federal transition government penguins in its biggest city,
used to form a roadblock to stop heritage-listed Kakadu National of Somali President Sharif Sheikh Sydney, after a spate of attacks,
an illegal road race, resulting in a Park. Ahmed in security matters”. officials said yesterday.
pile-up in which eight people were The mishap prompted North- It added that all the appropri- The National Parks and Wildlife
injured. ern Territory police to warn ate French agencies had been Service deployed its own marks-
Tang King-shing admitted it had travellers to carefully research mobilised to find them. men as well as infrared cameras
been an error of judgement for of- their routes when driving in the In Somalia, a senior govern- and traps after nine penguins were
ficers to ask the drivers of a truck, area. – AFP ment official said the two had mauled to death by dogs or foxes
three taxis and a car to block a road been training the country’s intel- in bushland to the city’s north.
early on Monday morning as three Former prison ligence services. Parks officials have carried out
cars raced towards them. “More than 10 gunmen on a autopsies on the dead penguins
The drivers were reportedly still deputy denies torture military vehicle stormed the ho- and are also using DNA testing to
in their vehicles when the three PHNOM PENH: The former deputy tel. They disarmed the security try to track their killers. – AFP
suspected road racers ploughed head of the main Khmer Rouge guards and then went straight
into slow-moving vehicles close to prison yesterday denied he had tor- for the foreigners’ rooms,” police South Korea to launch
the roadblock. A taxi driver and one tured prisoners as he sought to play officer Mohamed Ali said. – AFP
of the suspected road racers were down his position in Cambodia’s late space rocket
among eight people injured in the 1970s hardline regime. Singer jailed for SEOUL: South Korea will this month
pile-up that damaged 11 vehicles. Mam Nai, 76, told the UN-backed launch a satellite using its own rocket
– dpa war crimes trial of former jail chief ‘ridiculing’ Quran as part of a drive to join Asia’s space
Duch that his role had been only to TEHERAN: An Iranian singer, Mohsen race, officials said yesterday.
Woman escapes question inmates at the notorious Namjoo, has been sentenced in An experimental satellite weigh-
Tuol Sleng prison. absentia to a five-year jail term for ing 100kg will be launched into a low
from croc-filled river “I was just a plain and simple ridiculing the Quran holy book in a earth orbit on July 30 from the Naro
MELBOURNE: An Australian interrogating cadre,” Mam Nai said, song, reformist daily Etemad Melli Space Centre in Goheung, 475km
woman had a lucky escape addressing the court as a witness, reported yesterday. south of Seoul. “It will mark the first
after making a wrong turn into not a defendant. “He was sentenced on June time that South Korea will launch a
a crocodile-infested river in the His former boss Duch is accused 9 to five years in jail for insulting satellite from its own territory, us-
country’s remote north, police of overseeing the torture and execu- sanctities, ridiculing the Quran and ing its own launch vehicle,” said a
said yesterday. tion of around 15,000 people who dishonouring the holy book of the spokesman of the Korea Aerospace
The woman mistook a boat passed through Tuol Sleng. – AFP Muslims,” it quoted a Quran expert Research Institute. – AFP