Tue, 06 May 2003

Sumanto copycat arrested

PALU, Central Sulawesi: Police captured on Monday a grave robber whom villagers say is a copycat of cannibal Sumanto after he escaped from a psychiatric hospital in the provincial capital of Palu.

Head of the Palu detectives unit First Insp. Sabil Umar said police found 28-year old Yunus hiding in a house on Jl. WR Supratman in Palu on Saturday.

"The hospital escapee is being detained at the West Palu Police Station and we plan to send him back to the hospital," Sabil said on Monday.

Yunus escaped through one of the air ducts at the psychiatric hospital last Friday. He was committed to the psychiatric hospital last month for digging up the corpse of a two-month-old baby from the village graveyard. Sumanto, shocked Indonesians last January with his revelation that he ate corpses.

Police say Yunus is mentally ill after he told of a voice inside his head that told him to dig up the corpse. -- Antara

;JP;bkm; ANPAa..r..

Search still on for 'burning pencil' JP/ /Across

Search still on for 'burning pencil'

KENDARI, Southeast Sulawesi: Authorities here continue to search for the crash site of a burning pencil-like object, which officials mistook for the falling debris of an Italian satellite.

The object was seen crashing into the forest near Mount Wani in the Southeast Sulawesi regency of Muna on April 25.

Witnesses described the sighting as something like a burning pencil falling from the sky. The sound of the crash was heard within a radius of around 60 kilometers.

"Police officers, members of the Indonesian Military, and locals have tried looking for it but haven't been successful," said Muna regent Ridwan on Sunday.

According to the Indonesian National Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN), the object could have been a meteor or the satellite of another country, probably Russia, he said.

He added the regency would ask for a police helicopter to comb the thick forest area around Mount Wani.

The object was initially thought to be the debris of the Italian satellite BepooSAX, which fell into the Pacific Ocean on April 30. -- Antara

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Indons, Filipinos to exchange news JP/ /Across

Indonesians, Filipinos to exchange news

MANADO, North Sulawesi: Reporters from the North Sulawesi capital of Manado and from Davao City in southern Philippines have signed a deal here to foster cooperation between publications of the neighboring countries.

The agreement was signed on Sunday by Friko Poli from the Komentar daily, Dikxi from the Manado Post daily and Gill Abarico of the Davao Press Association.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the two sides will cooperate in the exchange of information, and organize visits by journalists to Manado and Davao, the second largest city in the Philippines located on southern island, Mindanao.

Friko said the agreement would help build understanding between the people of both countries.

North Sulawesi is bordered by the Philippines' southern island of Mindanao. The agreement followed last week's visit by the Philippine Foreign Minister Blas Ople to Manado. Ople called for closer cooperation between the two regions, in particular in the field of antiterrorism. -- Antara