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Iím bisexual but not guilty of murder, says Dewani
Cape Town, October 6
An Indian-origin British billionaire businessman, accused of being the mastermind behind the brutal murder of his Indo-Swedish wife while they were on honeymoon in South Africa in 2010, today pleaded not guilty to the crime and admitted he was bisexual.

3 US military officials die in Japan typhoon
Tokyo, October 6
Strong typhoon Phanfone slammed into Japan today, packing gusting winds and huge waves that swept three US military officials out to sea in another stark reminder of the country's vulnerability to nature.
raging sea: High waves batter a breakwater at a port at Kihou town in Mie prefecture, Japan, on Monday. raging sea: High waves batter a breakwater at a port at Kihou town in Mie prefecture, Japan, on Monday. AFP



EARLIER STORIES


Itís Rousseff vs Neves in Brazilís Prez poll runoff
Brazilís Leftist President Dilma Rousseff (L) placed first in Sundayís election but did not get enough votes to avoid a October 26 runoff and will face pro-business rival Aecio Neves. Rio de Janeiro, October 6
An unexpectedly competitive runoff campaign for Brazil's presidency kicked off on Monday with Leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and her pro-business rival Aecio Neves racing to win over supporters of an ousted third-place candidate and other voters frustrated with a stagnant economy.
Brazilís Leftist President Dilma Rousseff (L) placed first in Sundayís election but did not get enough votes to avoid a October 26 runoff and will face pro-business rival Aecio Neves. AFP

HK protests fade, face test of stamina
Protester sit under a tent as they help to block an area around the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Monday. Hong Kong, October 6
Pro-democracy protests in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong subsided on Monday as students and civil servants returned to school and work after more than a week of demonstrations, but activists vowed to keep up their campaign of civil disobedience.

Protester sit under a tent as they help to block an area around the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Monday. óReuters

IS raises flag in eastern Kobani
Mursitpinar (Turkey), Oct 6
Islamic State militants raised their flag on a building on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after an assault of almost three weeks, but the town's Kurdish defenders said they had not reached the city centre.





 

 

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Iím bisexual but not guilty of murder, says Dewani

Indian-origin British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Cape Town high court on Monday.
Indian-origin British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the Cape Town high court on Monday. AP/PTI

Cape Town, October 6
An Indian-origin British billionaire businessman, accused of being the mastermind behind the brutal murder of his Indo-Swedish wife while they were on honeymoon in South Africa in 2010, today pleaded not guilty to the crime and admitted he was bisexual.

Shrien Dewani's trial started in the Cape Town High Court today after he was brought here in April following a lengthy extradition battle that saw him being sent for psychiatric treatment in the UK and South Africa.

Dewani, 34, confessed in a statement read out on his behalf by his lawyer Francois Van Zyl to having had sexual interactions with both men and women physically and through email chats, including with male prostitute Leopold Leisser, who will testify about this for the state.

Leisser claimed that Dewani paid him for sex in the months leading up to the shooting, telling him he regretted his engagement with Anni but was too ashamed to back out due to family pressure, Independent newspaper reported.

"I consider myself to be bisexual," the court was told. "My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes," Dewani's witness statement said, adding he started treatment for this after he met his wife-to-be.

Dewani also pleaded not guilty to Anni's murder as well as charges of conspiracy to kidnap, robbery with aggravating circumstances and obstructing the administration of justice.

Dewani, dressed in a black suit, tie and white shirt, stood in the dock and looked down at prosecutor Adrian Mopp as Mopp read out the charges in a loud, clear voice.

Prosecutors argue that Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife two weeks after their lavish wedding.

Taxi driver Tongo, Qwabe and Mngeni are already serving prison sentences in connection with the murder.

Driver Zola Tongo said in a plea bargain during his trial that Dewani had offered him R15,000 to have Anni killed.

Dewani claimed that he was thrown out of the vehicle, and that the last words he had spoken to Anni were in Gujarati, telling her to be quiet and to comply with the alleged hijackers' demands.

The difficult sexual relationship between the Dewanis is expected to come under the scanner in detail after Anni's cousin and confidante Sneha Hindocha made some disclosures on this in a statement to Scotland Yard earlier.

Dewani said he was instantly physically attracted to Anni when he met her in May 2009, but Hindocha said Anni had repeatedly told her in messages about Shrien spurning her advances.

Hindocha's statement paints her cousin as having been an unhappy and reluctant bride who called her a day after the wedding to assist her in getting a divorce.

During the hearing today, Shrien broke down and cried as he heard how Anni would have bled to death very quickly due to massive blood loss. ó PTI

The Ďhoneymoon murderí

  • Shrien Dewani is accused of being the mastermind behind the brutal murder of his Indo-Swedish wife while they were on honeymoon in South Africa in 2010
  • Dewani is charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice
  • His wife Anni died when she was shot in the neck as the couple travelled in a taxi on the outskirts of Cape Town
  • Dewani claimed he and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint. He was released unharmed, but his wife's body was found in the abandoned car the next day

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3 US military officials die in Japan typhoon

Tokyo, October 6
Strong typhoon Phanfone slammed into Japan today, packing gusting winds and huge waves that swept three US military officials out to sea in another stark reminder of the country's vulnerability to nature.

Just over a week after a volcano killed dozens of hikers when it erupted without warning, winds of up to 180 km per hour whipped ashore, bringing heavy rain and travel chaos throughout a swathe of the archipelago.

The storm whirled over Tokyo at around 11 am (0200 GMT) and then headed northeast, dumping rain further up the coast of Honshu while its eye moved out over the Pacific Ocean.

Seven persons were left dead, including the three US military officials who had been photographing the storm, Japanese police and coast guards said.

Typhoon Phanfone grounded more than 600 flights, and caused the cancellation of dozens of bullet train services, leaving travellers stranded in stations.

The leading edge of the storm brought a nasty commute to Tokyo's morning rush hour, with hundreds of thousands of office workers caught up in the driving rain that lashed the streets.

Localised flooding was reported while television footage showed around 15 of the 20-metre (66-foot) high poles holding up the netting at a golf driving range had collapsed, crashing into houses in Chiba, east of Tokyo. ó AFP

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Itís Rousseff vs Neves in Brazilís Prez poll runoff

Rio de Janeiro, October 6
An unexpectedly competitive runoff campaign for Brazil's presidency kicked off on Monday with Leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and her pro-business rival Aecio Neves racing to win over supporters of an ousted third-place candidate and other voters frustrated with a stagnant economy.

Neves, a centrist senator who has pushed for greater trade and lower government spending but who had been widely written off until the last few days of the campaign, rode a late surge in support to a strong second place with 33.6 per cent support in Sunday's first round of voting.

He will face the leftist Rousseff, who won 41.6 per cent support, in the October 26 runoff that will decide what has been Brazil's most unpredictable election in decades.

Rousseff remains a slight favorite due to her enduring support among the poor, but Neves is within striking distance.

Brazil's main stock index soared as much as 8 per cent early on Monday, and the real currency gained as much as 3 per cent as investors were cheered by the strong showing from the candidate they preferred all along.

Both remaining candidates immediately shifted their focus to the 21 per cent of voters who backed the third-place finisher, environmentalist Marina Silva. Silva's campaign fell apart late in the race amid questions about her shifting views on major issues, but could still help swing the election with an endorsement. ó Reuters

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HK protests fade, face test of stamina
Civil servants return to work, students back to their classes

Hong Kong, October 6
Pro-democracy protests in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong subsided on Monday as students and civil servants returned to school and work after more than a week of demonstrations, but activists vowed to keep up their campaign of civil disobedience.

Protesters lifted a blockade of government offices in the heart of the city, which had been the focal point of their action which initially drew tens of thousands onto the streets.

The civil servants were allowed to pass through protesters' barricades unimpeded.

By late Monday afternoon, about a hundred protesters remained in an area that houses offices for international banks as well as the main stock exchange, although some students on campus remained defiant and promised to return after classes in the evening.

"I hope students can persist. If we retreat now we will lose the power to negotiate," said Chow Ching-lam, studying on the ground at the protest site near the offices of the city's Beijing-appointed leader Leung Chun-ying.

The protesters remain at a stalemate with Leung's government and there was no sign of movement on talks that were proposed to end the stand-off.

The protests have ebbed and flowed over the past week, with people leaving the streets overnight to return later. The test on Monday will be whether that pattern continues in the face of the government's determination to get Hong Kong back to work.

Fearing a crackdown after city leaders called for the streets to be cleared so businesses, schools and the civil service could resume on Monday, protesters who have paralysed parts of the former British colony with mass sit-ins pulled back from outside Leung's office.

The main road leading into the Central business district remained closed to traffic even though many protesters had left during the night. Heavy traffic was reported on other thoroughfares. Some banks that had closed branches during the unrest of the past week also threw open their doors for business on Monday. ó Reuters

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IS raises flag in eastern Kobani

Mursitpinar (Turkey), Oct 6
Islamic State militants raised their flag on a building on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after an assault of almost three weeks, but the town's Kurdish defenders said they had not reached the city centre.

A black flag belonging to Islamic State was visible from across the Turkish border atop a four-storey building close to the scene of some of the most intense clashes in recent days.

Local sources inside Kobani confirmed the group had planted its flag but said that Kurdish forces had repelled their advances so far.

"ISIL have only planted a flag on one building on the eastern side of town. That is not inside the city, it's on the eastern side," said Ismail Eskin, a journalist in the town. ó Reuters

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BRIEFLY


The South Korean Air Force aerial demonstration team, the Black Eagles, perform during the press day of the Gyeonggi Air Show in Suwon on Monday.
The South Korean Air Force aerial demonstration team, the Black Eagles, perform during the press day of the Gyeonggi Air Show in Suwon on Monday. AP/PTI

NYT apologises for cartoon on Indiaís Mars mission
New York
: Days after it published an offensive cartoon mocking India's successful Mars mission, The New York Times on Monday apologised saying it was not trying to "impugn" India but was highlighting that space programmes are no longer the exclusive domain of rich. "We apologise to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon. We appreciate that readers have shared their feedback, which we welcome," Andrew Rosenthal, NYT's Editorial Page Editor said. PTI

Boat operator charged over Indian touristsí deaths
Bangkok
: The operator of a Thai tourist boat, which was swamped by a huge wave killing two Indians onboard, has been charged with reckless driving causing death. The tourists, Yash Agarwal, 27, and Pankhuri Mittal, 26, rented the longtail boat that drowned when the boat was lashed by a huge wave off the coast of Railay beach, east of Phuket. PTI

Search for missing MH370 enters new phase
Melbourne
: A new phase of the multimillion dollar search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 began on Monday in a refined zone in the remote Indian Ocean after a long pause, in a last ditch-effort to solve the greatest aviation mystery. PTI

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