Three people electrocuted
A man and his two son's were electrocuted while installing a television antenna in southern Vietnam, a local official said yesterday. Nguyen Van Le, 51, and his sons, aged 30 and 18, were killed trying to install the antenna on the roof of their home in Soc Son commune in the Mekong Delta region, said Diep Quoc Phong, an officer with the commune people's committee. "The electrocution occurred when the antenna suddenly fell onto an electric cable running across the roof," Phong said. The three were killed instantly while a third son, 28-year-old Nguyen Van Diep, was seriously injured, Phong said.
Maids a `murderous team'
Two Indonesian maids formed a "murderous tag team" to suffocate a Singaporean woman, news reports yesterday quoted the prosecution as saying at the start of the defendants' murder trial. Deputy Public Prosecutor Amarjit Singh said Monday that evidence would show the two maids allegedly planned a week ahead to kill Esther Ang Imm Suan, a 47-year-old oil-rig company purchasing officer, steal her cash and valuables and fake a robbery. Ang's maid, Juminem, 19, and her former husband's domestic helper, Siti Aminah, 16, have been accused of strangling the woman and using a wine bottle to hit her abdomen and head several times at her condominium on March 2 last year. They each took turns suffocating Ang with a pillow and jumping on her abdomen, The Straits Times reported.
■ New Zealand
Airplane's wheel falls off
A wheel fell off a Mount Cook Airlines plane with 60 people aboard as it was taxiing down the runway for takeoff at Christchurch Airport, it was reported yesterday. The 66-seater ATR aircraft's nose landing gear axle broke, but it was safely brought to a halt and nobody was hurt in Monday's mishap, Radio New Zealand reported. The airline initiated an inquiry, and general manager Peter O'Regan said the plane was only six years old, was checked regularly and had been reliable to date.
Greenpeace fights for trees
The environmental group Greenpeace and Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper Co (APP) are again clashing over a large Chinese project, this time a paper plant in southern Hainan Province, state media said yesterday. Hainan Jinhai Pulp and Paper Co, a subsidiary of the paper making giant which also has extensive operations in Indonesia, officially started production Monday amid protests from environmental campaigners. the China Daily reported. With a capacity to produce a million tonnes of pulp every year, it is the largest project of its kind in China, according to the newspaper. "APP is promoting a manufacturing method that combines tree planting, pulp and paper-making together in the industry," said Yao Xusheng, chief executive for APP in China.
PM takes advice from Gere
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whose tension with political foes often spills over, got some advice yesterday from American actor Richard Gere -- follow the Dalai Lama and listen to your rivals. Gere was in Japan to promote his film Shall We Dance? and Koizumi took him up on the offer, taking his hands for a few steps with the actor in front of the cameras at the prime minister's residence. Gere told reporters later that Koizumi promised to see the film, a remake of the 1996 Japanese original by the same name, "at least 10 times."