11 killed in strong quake
At least 11 people were killed and 65 injured when a strong earthquake shook Indonesia's Papua province yesterday, collapsing buildings and starting fires, officials said. A series of aftershocks continued to rattle the coastal town of Nabire, 3,000km northeast of Jakarta, hours after the morning quake, measured at 6.4 on the Richter scale by the National Earthquake Center. "We're still in panic," Jahron, a pilot who lives in Nabire, told Reuters by telephone. "We can still feel the aftershocks, people are now setting up tents outside their houses because they are still afraid to be inside," he said. Earthquakes often occur in Indonesia, an archipelago that lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire where plate boundaries intersect and volcanoes regularly erupt.
Aborigines go on rampage
Police reinforcements were flown to north Queensland's Palm Island after more than 300 Aborigines went on the rampage yesterday after a local died while in police custody. Palm Island's police station was torched and other buildings damaged. The rioters are believed to have blocked the airstrip with cars to stop police being brought in from nearby Townsville. Palm Island resident Nicky Bull said the riots were worse than those in the Sydney suburb of Redfern earlier this year. The Redfern riots, the worst racial riots in Australia's history, left 50 police officer injured and led to dozens of arrests.
An Indian army officer was dismissed and another suspended after a court martial found they splashed tomato ketchup on civilians to make them look like dead separatist rebels, officials said yesterday. An army spokesman said Colonel H.S. Kohli took photos of civilians covered with tomato sauce and posing as corpses and gave them to his senior officers as proof of separatist killings in the northeastern state of Assam. "The colonel tried to use the photographs to back his claim for a gallantry award and was subsequently tried and found guilty in a court martial," an army spokesman said.
Immigrant roundup gets help
More than half a million civilian volunteers will be given the power to arrest illegal immigrants next year, local media reported yesterday, despite fears that such a move would encourage vigilantism and undermine the law. Home Minister Azmi Khalid said that from January onward some 560,000 members of two neighborhood security watch organizations would help police and immigration officials round up illegal foreign workers, the national news agency Bernama reported. The immigrants, mostly from neighboring Indonesia and other parts of Asia, had ignored an earlier government amnesty offer to leave Malaysia without punishment, Bernama said.
■ United Kingdom
Smelliest cheese picked
Vieux Boulogne, a soft cheese from France, has been certified as the world's smelliest cheese by an team of researchers at Cranfield University in England which used an "electronic nose" to analyze the odor of the cheeses, with a panel of 19 human testers also giving their opinion. Vieux Bou-logne, from Boulogne-sur-Mer, is aged for between seven and nine weeks, and has a rind brushed with beer. In second place was Pont d'Eveque, a cow's milk cheese from Normandy. Down in 10th place was Epoisses de Bourgogne, a cheese so smelly it is reputedly banned from public transport in France. English Cheddar, aged between six and 24 months, was one of the least smelly cheeses tested, along with Parmesan cheese from Italy. They ranked 14th and 11th respectively.