Health inspectors are conducting checks on a restaurant in southern China after 11 cockroaches were found in one dish, a news report said yesterday. The cockroaches were found in a bowl of spare ribs served up to a group of diners at the restaurant in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The diners did not demand any compensation from the restaurant after discovering the insects, the South China Morning Post reported.
Bali bombings anniversary
Australia will pay for 1,500 relatives of the 88 Australians killed in the Bali bomb attacks to travel to the Indonesian resort island in October for the first anniversary of the blasts. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday he also plans to travel to Bali for the Oct. 12 anniversary of the explosions, which killed a total of 202 people -- mostly foreign tourists partying in two separate nightclubs. Four Indonesian men, including three brothers, accused of playing central roles in the bomb attacks are currently on trial in Bali.
Typhoon kills four
One of the most powerful typhoons in years ripped into south China, killing at least four people and injuring 16, the official China Daily said yesterday. Over one million people were affected by the storm, the seventh typhoon to hit coastal areas in China this year, it said. Winds of up to 185kph pounded the southern province of Guangdong when Imbudo hit land at noon on Thursday. Three deaths occurred in the city of Luoding, where the storm injured 12 and killed many farm animals. One person was killed in Enping, a coastal city in western Guangdong. It was the most powerful storm to hit the country since 1998.
Article on Koran banned
Newsweek magazine is standing by a story about new interpretations of the Koran that Pakistan authorities have banned for allegedly being offensive to Islam. Pakistan's Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said this week that customs authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the magazine's latest edition. An article on Newsweek's Web site deals with a new interpretation of Islam's holy book by a German scholar of Semitic languages, who argues that the language of the Koran has been misinterpreted and that in verses detailing the rewards of heaven the text's original word, meaning "white raisins," was mistaken for the word "houris," or dark-eyed virgins, the article says. He also questions Islamic rulings that women cover themselves and says the Koran was originally a Christian document.
Paramilitary scam cracked
Malaysian police have cracked a suspected scam selling ranks in a bogus paramilitary force which is believed to have a membership of more than 8,000 people. A total of 21 people have been arrested so far in connection with the so-called Federal Special Forces of Malaysia, said the official Bernama news agency. The suspects, aged 20-35, were detained to assist in investigations on whether or not the organization was involved in other criminal activities, police said. The group has made hundreds of thousands of dollars from its activities, which include selling commissions and rankings in the bogus military group, the New Straits Times daily said.
Arafat cousin attacked
A grenade fired at the office of a cousin of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Thursday missed its target and struck an adjacent jail, injuring 10 prisoners, Palestinian security sources said. The sources said that the rocket-propelled grenade had been aimed at the office of Major-General Musa Arafat, the head of Palestinian military intelligence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It missed the office and struck the roof of a prison in the same complex, the Palestinian Authority's main security center in Gaza City, injuring 10 inmates. Seven were taken to the city's Shifa Hospital, the sources said.
`Carmen' factory to close
Carmen, Bizet's sultry cigarette-maker from Seville, and her kind will never again be seen after a multinational on Thursday pulled the plug on the city's last tobacco factory. The thousands of feisty, independent-spirited female cigarette-rollers -- the cigarreras -- employed by Seville's factories in the 19th century inspired French composer Georges Bizet to write an opera based on one, Carmen. The last of these factories is due to be closed within two years by Altadis, the Franco-Spanish multinational. It said a decline in sales of black tobacco meant it had to lay off the 200 workers left there.
■ United States
Ice cream found fattening
Ice cream and milkshakes bought from parlors can contain more fat and calories than burgers and pizzas, US researchers have found. In some cases a single dessert contains two days' worth of saturated fat, while others are the calorific equivalent of an entire meal. The researchers admit they found the results staggering. The Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington found that a Ben and Jerry's waffle cone dipped in chocolate and filled with a single scoop of "chunky monkey" ice cream had more saturated fat than a pound of spare ribs.
■ United States
Arms export charges laid
Two California men have been charged with illegally attempting to ship components for fighter jets and missiles to China. The indictment charges Amanullah Khan, 54, and Ziad Jamil Gammoh, 53, of conspiring to export the weapons components to China from their United Aircraft and Electronics business in Anaheim, California, without obtaining proper US licenses or permission. Khan and Gammoh, both naturalized US citizens, are in custody in California, officials said. They allegedly attempted to export to China parts for F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat and F-5 fighter jets, Hawk surface-to-air missiles and AH-1J attack helicopters.
Independence party wins
Bermuda's center-left Progressive Labour Party held onto power in a general election on the oldest British colony on Thursday, defeating the United Bermuda Party by 22 seats to 14. But it was unclear if the party, which is committed to freeing the mid-Atlantic island of 62,000 people from British rule, will push for independence in its next term, as party leader Premier Jennifer Smith had not unveiled her plans. Opinion polls before the vote suggested the PLP and the UBP were running neck and neck and although the PLP won a clear majority of seats, it garnered just 51.65 percent of the popular vote to 47.98 percent.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete