■ China Part of satellite falls to earth \n \nA section of a Chinese scientific satellite that was returning from orbit crashed into an apartment building, wrecking the top floor but causing no injuries, a newspaper said yesterday. The capsule crashed into the four-story building Friday in Penglai, a village in Sichuan Province, the Tianfu Morning News said. It said a woman who lived there had left five minutes earlier. A photo in the Tianfu Morning News showed the kettle-shaped capsule, which appeared to be about 2m long, lying amid broken bricks, beams and roof tiles. ``The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year,'' the tenant of the wrecked apartment, Huo Jiyu, was quoted as saying. \n \n■ Malaysia \nKids used as guinea pigs \n \nA doctor involved in traditional medicine practices has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping children and using them as guinea pigs in his experiments to find medical cures, news reports said yesterday. Police detained the doctor in southern Seremban town after a 14-year-old boy filed a police report claiming he had been held captive by the doctor for three months, the Star newspaper reported. The boy, who escaped earlier this week from the doctor's home, accused the 52-year-old doctor of performing numerous experiments on him. \n \n■ Indonesia \nMegawati spurns successor \n \nPresident Megawati Sukarnoputri has decided not to attend this week's inauguration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president, a senior aide said yesterday. ``There are no regulations requiring her presence at the ceremony,'' said Pramono Anung, a senior official in her party. ``She also has no plans to meet him soon.'' Voters overwhelmingly dumped Megawati in favor of Yudhoyono in the country's first direct presidential vote. Media and critics have blasted Megawati for being a bad loser. She tearfully conceded defeat in a vaguely worded speech days after the final results were announced. Yudhoyono had attended the speech, but she never mentioned him by name and also refused to acknowledge his presence. \n \n■ Thailand \n`Fat, old' caddies fight back \n \nTwo hundred employees at the Pinehurst golf course have lodged a discrimination complaint with the Labor Ministry against the management's order for "short, fat, old" caddies to shape up or leave the greens, media reports said on Sunday. Pinehurst has given its female caddies three months to get their weight down to 70kg or lose their status as full-time employees, according to the Bangkok Post. At least 200 of the club's 400 to 700 caddies have lodged a discrimination complaint against the management on the grounds that beauty has nothing to do with toting golf bags and handling temperamental "masters," as they term the club's clientele. \n \n■ China \nRiot cops go to Haiti \n \nNinety-five Chinese riot police, including 13 women, left Beijing for Haiti yesterday, the first Chinese troops to be deployed to the Western Hemisphere. A small advance team left China last month. "This is a very hard task but we are full of confidence to succeed in this mission," one woman officer told state television. The force has spent three months training and passed exams administered by the UN. \n■ France Pierre Salinger dies \n \nPierre Salinger, who served as President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later had a long career with ABC News, has died at a hospital in southern France. He was 79. Salinger died Saturday from heart failure following surgery last week at a hospital in Cavaillon to implant a pacemaker, his wife, Nicole "Poppy" Salinger, said in a telephone interview yesterday. Mrs. Salinger, spoke from Le Thon in the Provence region, where the couple moved four years ago to run a bed-and-breakfast inn. She said her husband moved to France because he was deeply opposed to the presidency of George W. Bush. \n \n■ Poland \nMuseum honors priest \n \nA museum dedicated to the life of a pro-Solidarity priest tortured and murdered by Poland's communist secret police opened Saturday, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the killing. The museum is situated in the cellar of Warsaw's St. Stanislaw church, where Father Jerzy Popieluszko's "Masses for the Homeland" attracted tens of thousands of worshippers. Popieluszko was abducted and killed by police on Oct. 19, 1984, and his body was stuffed in a sack weighed down with stones and thrown into the Vistula River. His grave is located in the church's courtyard. \n \n■ Belarus \nVote held on leader's term \n \nBelarusians voted yesterday in a referendum on whether to change this ex-Soviet republic's Constitution and permit authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko to run for a third term. Voters also were electing lawmakers to the nation's 110-seat House of Representatives, but that legislative organ has little power. The EU and the US had expressed strong doubts that yesterday's election would meet democratic standards, warning that this already isolated nation in Eastern Europe might become further estranged from its European neighbors. Lukashenko, 50, was first elected on an anti-corruption platform in 1994. \n \n■ Spain \nEuropeans row with Cuba \n \nA political row erupted Saturday after Spain and the Netherlands vehemently protested Cuba's refusal to grant entry to three parliamentary deputies who had arrived in Havana to meet Cuban dissidents. Cuban authorities put Spanish deputy Jorge Moragas, who was traveling on a tourist visa, straight back on the plane on which he had arrived from Madrid. Spain immediately summoned Cuban ambassador Isabel Allende to protest the removal of Moragas. \n \n■ Tajikistan \nRussia ups troop presence \n \nRussia will increase the number of its troops in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, to further stability in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Dusanbe on Saturday. He arrived in the central Asian country earlier in the day to discuss security concerns with regional leaders. The two countries agreed on a practically free lease by Russia for 49 years of a military base, as well as on the handover to Russia of the military space observation center at Nurek. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that more than 5,000 troops would be stationed in the country. The space center will be handed over in exchange for the forgiveness of more than US$240 million of the nearly US$300 million which Dushanbe owes Moscow. \n■ United Kingdom Blair to take US missiles \n \nPrime Minister Tony Blair has secretly agreed to let the US station interceptor missiles on British soil for the so-called "Son of Star Wars" defense system, according to a newspaper report yesterday. Britain has agreed "in principle" to a US request to site the interceptor missiles at an existing early warning radar center in Fylingdales, Yorkshire, northern England, the Independent on Sunday reported. According to the paper, the agreement was reached at a meeting last May in Washington attended by senior officials from the British embassy and the US State Department. \n \n■ United Kingdom \nLawmaker slams Liverpool \n \nThe leader of Britain's main opposition party on Saturday ordered a legislator to apologize for a magazine article that depicted the people of Liverpool as senti-mental victims who nurse a "tribal grievance" against the rest of society. Conservative leader Michael Howard said he had told lawmaker Boris Johnson, who also edits The Spectator magazine, to go to the northwestern English city and say sorry. An unsigned editorial in the latest issue of the conservative weekly criticized the "extreme reaction" of Liverpudlians to the death of Ken Bigley, a Liverpool man who was abducted in Iraq last month, held hostage for three weeks and beheaded. \n \n■ United States \nHailstorm causes accidents \n \nA fast-moving storm dumped hail and rain along an 18km stretch of Interstate 95, triggering a string of collis-ions on Saturday that involved 92 vehicles. No deaths were reported, but authorities said 50 people were injured, some seriously, in 17 separate accidents on I-95 in suburban Baltimore. The wrecks were apparently triggered by sunlight shining off sleet dumped by the storm. The accidents started happening about 4:30 p.m. after hail and rain fell on the highway. A section of I-95 was closed in both directions, but authorities reopened all lanes late Saturday night. \n \n■ United States \nFantasy game turns 30 \n \nThousands of Dungeons & Dragons players gathered in game stores around the country Saturday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the grandfather of fantasy role-playing games -- a pop culture phenomenon that has influenced a myriad of video games, books and movies. An estimated 25,000 fans in 1,200 stores celebrated the anniversary Saturday, said Charles Ryan, brand manager for role-playing games at Wizards of the Coast, a Renton, Washington, com-pany that owns Dungeons & Dragons. Shaunnon Drake was at Batty's Best Comics & Games in Atlanta, where gamers, ranging in age from their early teens to mid-30s, munched pizza and played D&D through the afternoon. \n \n■ United Kingdom \n`Erotic gherkin' wins award \n \nA new skyscraper in London popularly dubbed the "erotic gherkin" for its curvaceous shape has won one of Britain's top architecture prizes, organizers announced on Saturday. The building by British architect Norman Foster, officially called 30 St Mary Axe, its address, beat five other finalists to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize. The 40-story tower has swiftly become one of the most recognizable shapes on the London skyline since it was completed earlier this year. The circular, glass-panelled tower, rising to a pointed tip, acquired the "gherkin" nickname well before it was finished, and has also been dubbed "The Towering Innuendo" for its suggestive shape.
A British charity has teamed up with scientists to see whether dogs could help detect COVID-19 through their keen sense of smell, it said yesterday. Medical Detection Dogs is to work with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University in northeast England to determine whether canines could help with diagnoses. It follows previous research into dogs’ ability to sniff out malaria and is based on a belief that each disease triggers a distinct odor. The organizations said that they had begun preparations to train dogs in six weeks “to help provide a rapid, non-invasive diagnosis towards the tail end
Under partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spaniards are allowed to leave home only for essential outings, walking a dog being one of them, but not a rented dog, the Civil Guard said on Wednesday as it sanctioned a man who had repeatedly tried to rent his dogs out via Facebook so that people could walk them. “The man was advertising activities which implied people leaving their homes to rent dogs, or walk rented dogs,” said a Civil Guard spokeswoman in the northeastern Galicia region. “That would be infringing the decree that only permits going outdoors for work, groceries, walking
Britain’s Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19, but “otherwise remains in good health,” his office said yesterday. The 71-year-old and his wife, Camilla, who does not have coronavirus, are currently self-isolating in Scotland, Clarence House said. “The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus,” it said in a statement, using his official title. “He has been displaying mild symptoms, but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.” “The Duchess of Cornwall [Camilla] has also been tested, but does not have
The water service in Odessa, a port city in southern Ukraine, was suddenly overrun this week with calls from worried residents with a peculiar concern. Were officials really planning to run an antiseptic solution through the city’s taps instead of water? The calls were sparked by a message on social media claiming that: “Today, from 11pm until the morning, antiseptic will be distributed” in the water system. The antiseptic supposedly included several different whiskies — a brand for each district. However outlandish the claim, Odessa’s water agency, Infoxvodokanal, still issued a clarification. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, false news stories have spiked in