Missing Indian-American found dead in car boot

Tuesday 21st January 2020 14:46 EST

The body of an Indian-American woman, who was reported missing by her family when she failed to return home last month, has been found dead in the trunk of her own car, a media report said.

Sureel Dabawala, a 34 year-old from Chicago was reported missing on December 30, 2019. After many days of frenetic search, she was found wrapped in a blanket in the trunk of her own car by private investigators hired by the family. No arrests have been made so far as the autopsy report was still awaited. Sureel was the daughter of Schaumburg based Asharaf Dabawala, a respected physician in the area, hailing from Gujarat. The cause of Sureel's death still remains unknown, police said as investigations and toxicology reports which would help authorities determine the cause of death may take up to a month.

2 Indians among 7 pickpockets held in Melbourne

Australian police have charged a gang of suspected pickpockets, including two Indian nationals, who allegedly targeted several public transport users and shoppers in Melbourne's Central Business District over the last two months. Four men and three women - including five Sri Lankans - aged between 25 and 28 were charged with theft-related offences. Several incidents on train and tram networks, and in shopping areas led to investigations by detectives, the report said. The local police in Victoria arrested four of the seven suspects while the remaining three were arrested in Albion. The Australian Border Force 'may look at' deporting the foreign nationals, Victoria Police spokesperson Melissa Seach was quoted as saying.

Tulsi Gabbard wins a push-up contest

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard defeated a man in a push-up challenge after he asked the Hindu Congresswoman if she could beat fellow party contender Joe Biden in such a contest. The incident took place on January 16 while she was addressing a crowd in New Hampshire, New England. “Former Vice President Biden has randomly challenged people in the audience to a push-up contest even if they’re in walkers. Do you think you could take him?” a male attendee asked the candidate. Gabbard replied, “My educated and informed guess would be yes ... But I would take most people to a push-up challenge.” Challenge accepted. Then the man joined Gabbard on stage, where the two competed before she ultimately won. The incident comes after Biden got into a heated exchange at an Iowa event last December, challenging a supporter to a push-up contest.

Menstruation huts in Nepal destroyed

Authorities are knocking down tiny huts in western Nepal where women have been exiled during menstruation and exposed to cold weather and threats from animals and even sexual assaults. Government officials accompanied by police and local politicians were going to villages and towns in Kanchanpur district, tearing down the sheds mostly made of mud walls and covered by straw roofs, chief district officer Sushil Baidhya said. The custom of exiling menstruating women has persisted in parts of west Nepal though the Supreme Court banned it in 2005. A new law criminalized it last year, with violators who force women into exile facing up to three months in prison or a fine of 3,000 Nepalese rupees.

Asia Bibi case: 86 jailed for protests

A court in Pakistan has sentenced the brother and nephew of a radical party chief along with 84 others to 55-year prison terms each for taking part in protests in 2018 over the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in a controversial blasphemy case. The anti-terrorism court (ATC) was hearing a case against the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers who held violent protests and clashed with police over the arrest of party chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi in 2018. Those convicted include TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s brother Ameer Hussain Rizvi and nephew Mohammad Ali, the report said. The court also ordered the convicts to collectively submit Rs 12,925,000 and directed authorities to seize their moveable and immoveable assets. In November 2018, over 2,000 people, including the chief of a radical party, were booked under terrorism and other charges of rioting, attempting murder and hurling threats in different parts of Punjab province during the three-day protests following Bibi’s acquittal.

Pak talk show slapped with notice

The Pakistan authorities have issued a 60-day notice to a talk show aired on channel ARY News for "willful attempt to debase and demean a state institution by dragging it unnecessarily in a debate." Sharing the notice to Kashif Abbasi's show 'Off The Record' on Twitter, the regulator said that it has banned the programme for 60 days. According to the notice, the airing of such content violated the PERMA code of conduct adding that the host of the show Kashif Abbasi was quite unprofessional who actually did not intervene or stop the unethical act performed by one of the panelist, Federal Minister Faisal Vawda said.

Death for 10 in Bangladesh political bombings

A court in Bangladesh sentenced 10 members of a banned Islamist militant group to death for a deadly bomb attack on a Communist Party rally in 2001. Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court Judge Mohammed Rabiul Alam made the decision in a crowded courtroom while four of the defendants were in the dock. Six of the defendants are not in custody, while another two who are on the run were acquitted. All of those on trial belong to the banned group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami. The group considers the Communist Party an anti-Islamic force. On Jan. 20, 2001, bomb attacks on a party rally in Dhaka killed five people and wounded 50 others. The judge said investigators found Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami’s former leader was responsible for the attack but his name was dropped from the case because he was executed in 2017 over a separate attack.

Airline apologises for forcing passenger to take pregnancy test

A Hong Kong-based airline has apologised for forcing a passenger to take a pregnancy test before a flight to Saipan, a US territory in the Western Pacific that is a popular destination for so-called birth tourism. The carrier, Hong Kong Express Airways Limited, said that it had stopped administering pregnancy tests after reevaluating the contentious practice. The apology came a little more than two months after the passenger, Midori Nishida, blogged about her experience on a flight from Hong Kong airport to Saipan, which is in the Northern Mariana Islands. The commonwealth has become a magnet for expectant Chinese mothers because babies born on the island are eligible for US citizenship.

Warm weather shutters Japan ski resorts

Record low snowfall in Japan has forced many ski resorts to shut their doors and is threatening a World Cup ski jumping competition, with organisers forced to truck in extra powder. Northern Japan saw just 38 per cent of its average snowfall in December, with only a "little" snow seen in western Japan, the country's meteorological agency said. The snowfall figures for December are the lowest since the organisation started collecting records in 1961, an agency official said. "There are various factors behind the small amount of snow this season but climate change is among them," Motoaki Takekawa, an official from the agency's global environment section, said.

17 school children hurt after plane dumps jet fuel

Twenty-six people, including 17 children and nine adults, complained of minor injuries after a plane apparently dumped jet fuel over a school playground, while en route to Los Angeles International Airport. The incident took place at Park Avenue Elementary in California, inspector Sean Ferguson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. The department tweeted that the substance was jet fuel. While the children, who were playing in the playground when the plane dumped the fuel, were treated by firefighters and paramedics at the school. A video shows the Delta Flight 89 overhead with white streaks coming from the tips of the wings. Alan De Leon, who shot the video, smelled jet fuel and felt irritation in his eyes. The Federal Aviation Administration further confirmed that the Shanghai-bound plane declared an emergency shortly after takeoff and returned to Los Angeles airport.

Man asks judge to let him have sword fight with ex-wife

David Ostrom, 40 of Kansas, has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife Bridgette Ostrom, and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies. The Ostroms have been embroiled in disputes over custody and visitation issues and property tax payments. The judge had the power to let the parties “resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” he said. He also asked for 12 weeks’ time so he could secure samurai swords. Citing irregularities the Judge said he won’t be issuing a decisions anytime soon.

‘DEPORTM’ licence plate raises furore in Utah

Utah lawmakers want to know how a licence plate with the phrase “DEPORTM” got approved despite state rules against expressing contempt for any race, religion or political opinion on vanity plates. While people have the right to freedom of speech, the messages that appear on licence plates are different because they must be approved by the state, said Republican Senator Daniel Thatcher. Lawmakers are expected to question the director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and his boss, the state tax commission director. It comes after a picture of the plate gained attention online last week.

The owner of the “deport” plate has not been identified.

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