A fire broke out on a ship carrying thousands of Australian sheep as it docked in Kuwait, the Australian government said yesterday. None of the animals were hurt. \nTim Langmead, a spokesman for Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss, said "a small fire" started Sunday in wheat being loaded for the animals to eat. \nThe MV Cormo Express has been the focus of international attention for weeks as it tours the Persian Gulf seeking a country willing to take its cargo of some 50,000 sheep. \nThe sheep originally were bought by a Saudi importer but were rejected last month after officials in that country said too many of the animals were infected with the disease scabby mouth. \nSince then the Australian government has bought back the sheep and is trying to sell or give them away, amid criticism from animal rights groups at home and abroad that the live animal trade is inhumane. About 4,000 of the sheep have died during their two months at sea. \nThe government and farmers fear the sheep's plight could damage Australia's live animal export industry, which is worth A$195 million (US$125 million) a year, both domestically and internationally. \nLangmead said Canberra was still awaiting a detailed report on the blaze, but understood several tonnes of feed were destroyed. About 1,000 tonnes of wheat were being loaded when the fire broke out. \n"Initial reports we have are that it was caused by static electricity setting fire to feed," said Langmead. "Anywhere there is grain dust from wheat stocks there is always some possibility it can be easily ignited." \nAbout 40 placard-waving animal welfare activists gathered outside Parliament House yesterday to protest the trade. \nSenator Andrew Bartlett, who leads the Australian Democrats Party, told the small group that he would present to Parliament this week a petition signed by 20,000 people urging an end to the trade. \n"The torture has gone on long enough, the excuses have gone on long enough, it is time for this cruelty to be brought to an end and for this government to be brought to account and to listen to the overwhelming wishes of the Australian people," said Bartlett, whose party controls eight seats in Parliament's upper house, the Senate.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”