Category Archives: World News


Kalimantan | An ecologist’s dream to watch orangutans in their natural habitat quickly turned into his worst nightmare after being savagely attacked and raped by a 400-pound orangutan in the jungle of Borneo.

Zack O’Reilly, a young 26-year-old from Ireland, who is presently studying biology at Dublin city University and has been a Greenpeace activist for the past three years, had always dreamed of seeing orangutans in their natural habitat and was a strong advocate against the palm oil industry, which is a great threat to the endangered species.



The young man was quickly brought back to a missionary hospital near Kalimantan where he lay unconscious for many hours and where doctors found traces of internal bleeding.

Kelly O’Reilly, the victim’s mother, says she used to tease him, telling her son he looked like an orangutan, but she never suspected he would be sexually assaulted by one, she told reporters in tears


Kekbek Mahlouiak, one of the tour guides present on the dramatic trip, says he has warned various tourists to be careful around the animals.

“I specifically told him to wear a hat and hide his orange hair, that it could entice the orangutans. I’m not surprised of what has happened, I warned him many times. He did not listen,” he told local reporters.

“It is very dangerous for people with orange hair, the males get very excited. A male followed us deep into the jungle many kilometers, he was very aggressive. There is nothing I could do,” he added.


A spokeswoman for the Borneo Tourism Board said it is the first time an orangutan has physically assaulted a tourist on one of their jungle treks.

“We are deeply horrified and saddened by the whole affair. We have offered the young victim a free tour if he ever wishes to come back again and will provide increased security for our travelers in the future,” she added.

A similar incident was previously reported in a Jakarta zoo in 2014, when a young red-haired woman was hospitalized after an orangutan broke out of its cage and tried to mate with the visitor, resulting in the death of the animal by zoo employees.

Taiwan passes first law in Asia to ban the eating of cats and dogs

People who are repeatedly found guilty of the consumption of the animals can be fined up to £130,000.

Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to pass legislation banning the consumption of cats and dogs.

The ban was included as an amendment to animal protection laws and also covers the selling, purchase and possession or dog or cat carcasses.

Taipei had previously banned the sale of dog meat but in 2011 the Taipei Times published claims by activists that slaughterhouses and dog meat restaurants were escaping prosecution.

And a lamb hotpot restaurant was found last year to be serving dog meat to cut costs.

Under the new legislation, anyone found guilty of eating cat or dog meat can be subject to a fine of between NT$50,000 (£1,300) and NT$250,000 (£6,500), according to the China Post newspaper.

Offenders also face public shaming and those who repeatedly break the law face fines of up to NT$5m (£130,000).

The eating of dog and cat meat is not unusual in parts of Asia, despite objections from international animal rights campaigners.

Breeders sell live dogs for meat in and around Yulin, in China’s Guangxi province annually in June.

Residents in Yulin host small gatherings to consume dog meat and lychees in celebration of the summer solstice.

The new Taiwanese law also includes a clause making it illegal to walk a dog by attaching it to a motor vehicle, the China Post said.

One of the leglislators promoting the law, Chiu Chih-wei said there had been several reports of dogs being injured when forced to run alongside a scooter or car driven by their owners.


Boston, MA | Three members of the so-called ‘Irish mob midgets’, a Boston-based criminal organization composed of people of short stature, have been arrested this morning reports the Boston Chronicle.

Security camera footage show the three suspects during a home break-in in which the intruders entered the house through the pet door.

Authorities also believe the crime organization could be behind 55 other similar break-ins in the region.

According to the Boston Police Department, the perpetrators crawled through pet doors, chimneys and small open windows to burglarize many homes in the area

Although the Irish mob midgets officially describe themselves as a “non-profit motorcycle enthusiast group for small people of the Boston area”, several high-profile members of the organization have been arrested in the past years on charges of drug-trafficking, arson and aggravated assault.

British workers encouraged to retire to Thailand after Brexit

British workers encouraged to retire to Thailand after Brexit and snap up a £60k 20-year residency permit – just watch out for your state pension being frozen

  • A Thai official claims Brexit offers UK expats a ‘good opportunity’ to move
  • Government agency Thailand Elite offers 5, 10 and 20 year packages
  • What the officials don’t mention is that your state pension could be frozen 

The UK’s divorce from the EU offers pensioner-age Britons a ‘good opportunity’ to up sticks and move to Thailand, a Thai official has claimed.

With the value of the pound faltering against European currencies and ongoing uncertainty about the rights of Britons living within the EU after Brexit, a residency permit for further afield destinations like Thailand could be the answer.

But, before dumping scarves and jumpers and grabbing some sandals and shorts for the next flight to Thailand, it pays to assess the costs and pitfalls involved in getting a residency pass. In three words, it’s not cheap.

What’s more, onerous rules mean your UK state pension could be frozen if you head to Thailand, meaning expats wouldn’t benefit from any payout hikes..

An ‘exclusive’ 20-year residency pass to Thailand offered by Thailand Elite, the government-owned agency in charge of running the various residency schemes, costs £481 a year, on top of a £48,138 one-off fee.

This 20-year package comes with a state-sponsored ‘concierge service’, entitling members VIP access for their dealings with the government’s work permit, immigration and driving license departments.

The Thai government will also provide complimentary return airport transfers, an annual health check up at a private hospital, spa treatments and complimentary golfing trips.

A 10-year residency package is also available for a one-off fee of £24,066 plus an annual fee, as is a five year package for £12,033.

Speaking to the Press Association, Pruet Boobphakam, president of Thailand Elite, said: ‘I think that Brexit will give us an opportunity to even open more, or to introduce Thailand even on a broader scale … you can live in Thailand for up to 20 years if you’d like to, therefore it would be a good opportunity for both countries, in terms of UK people and the Thai people.’

Meanwhile, Juerg Steffen, of Henley & Partners, an international residence and citizenship advisory firm, said visa schemes like those available in Thailand were providing clarity amid Brexit-related uncertainty.

She said: ‘If you would like to retire today somewhere abroad as a UK citizen, then suddenly because of Brexit it’s not as clear that you can do that.

‘You have to wait for the next two years to see if you can settle in the EU … but with Thailand it is clear.

‘So with Thailand you pay 15,000 US dollars (£12,033) and you can stay there for five years.

‘So from that perspective, it’s very interesting for people who would like to retire abroad in the next few years.’

Living in Thailand can be cheap. Basics like food and transport are far less expensive than in the UK and at present you can get just over 43 Thai baht for £1.

But, what Thai government officials won’t tell you is that when moving to countries like Thailand your state pension will be frozen.

State pensions become fixed when you first retire or move abroad if you decide to live in certain countries, including Canada, India and Australia, but not in others – forcing many to struggle with the cost of living or give up and return home.

The controversial policy means some expats who retired when the basic rate was £67.50 a week in 2000 still get that, rather than the £122.30 which will be received by others who retired that year from today.


Central banks ditching Euro for Sterling

Concerns over political instability, weak growth, and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) negative interest rate policy have led central banks to cut euro exposure; the Financial Times reported, citing a survey of reserve managers at 80 central banks.

The results were compiled by the Central Banking trade publication and HSBC.

It shows that bankers from around the world see the UK as a safer prospect for their reserve investments than the eurozone. They favor the British currency as a long-term, stable alternative, despite uncertainty over Brexit which was formally triggered last week by the PM Theresa May.

Sterling has been strengthening versus the euro since the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday. The pound has gained 2.63 percent resulting in an exchange rate of 1.1785 from 1.1483 previously.

The UK’s decision to quit the EU has not affected the popularity of sterling as an investment currency so far, the poll showed.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said the attractiveness of the pound was undimmed in the longer term. Many bankers expressed hopes Brexit could provide an opportunity for them to diversify portfolios further in the future.

The research also shows the stability of the eurozone was this year’s greatest fear for the 80 central banks. Together they are responsible for investments worth almost €6 trillion. Some of them have cut their entire exposure to the euro, while others have reduced their holdings of investments denominated in euro to a bare minimum.

More than two-thirds of the 80 central banks had changed their portfolio allocation, while roughly the same amount had changed the duration of their investments.

Developing and emerging market central banks were more likely to have shifted out of the euro than those from advanced economies.

The survey highlights concerns over the European single-currency area were based on growing political instability in Europe. Respondents named the European Central Bank’s negative interest rate policy as another key driver for divestment.