• Asylum seekers die while trying to land on Christmas Island
• Botched terrorist attack in Sweden
• Bernie Madoff’s son hangs himself on anniversary
• Facebook founder named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
Asylum seekers die while trying to land on Christmas Island
A boat from Indonesia carrying Iranian and Iraqi asylum seekers crashed onto rocks as it was trying to land on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean – the location of an Australian immigration detention centre.
At least 30 people, including women, children and babies were killed when huge waves overcame them or threw them onto the jaggered rocks. Dozens more remain missing.
42 people were rescued after grabbing onto life-jackets thrown into the water by residents or after they managed to swim away from the rocks towards two Australian Navy boats.
Onlookers watched helplessly from on top of the cliff as the asylum seekers grabbed onto bits of floating debris and struggled to stay afloat.
Botched terrorist attack in Sweden
An Iraqi-born British man Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly attempted to blow up a busy Swedish shopping district in central Stockholm on Saturday in what was the country’s fist suicide bombing.
Al-Abdaly blew himself up just after his car exploded a few blocks away. He was the only person killed from the two blasts but two others were injured.
In an email sent to a Swedish news agency 15 minutes before the first explosion, he claimed to have targeted Sweden because of its military involvement in Afghanistan and its supposed acceptance of the famous Danish cartoon drawing mocking the prophet Mohammed.
Despite the reasoning given, Sweden is seen as very tolerant country that takes in a large number of immigrants and refugees (the largest number of Iraqis of any Western country) and gives very generously in aid.
Bernie Madoff’s son hangs himself on anniversary
Mark Madoff, the eldest son of American Bernie Madoff who is serving a 150-year sentence for defrauding investors of US$18 billion in an elaborate Ponzi scheme, is believed to have committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest.
The 46 year-old was found by his father-in-law hanging from a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday after he had earlier sent an email asking his vacationing wife to check on their two-year old son who was sleeping in the next room.
Mark Madoff had reported his father to the authorities, and despite being included in several pending lawsuits for benefitting from the proceeds, was not believed to have been involved in the scheme.
Facebook founder named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
America’s Time magazine has named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg its ‘Person of the Year’.
The decision is based on the person deemed to have had the most influence on world events that year.
They said the social networking service, which now has over 500 million users, was “transforming the way we live our lives every day.”
Zuckerburg has a net worth of US$6.9 billion and is the world’s second youngest billionaire (behind his co-founder Dustin Moskovitz who is a week younger).
He recently signed on to Warren Buffett’s and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge, a campaign where American billionaires are pledging to give away at least half their wealth before they die.
Photo – Mark Zuckerburg