■ Solomon Islands
Hermit returns home
A man lived as a hermit in a jungle cave for 40 years before returning home when his fire went out. The man, identified as Philip Uduota, from the northeast of the island of Malaita had been living alone in a mountain jungle cave since 1964. Uduota, who is aged about 80, depended on food which he gathered from the forest but he returned to his home village in search of fire after his own fire went out. After reaching home, his relatives urged him to remain and he decided to stay with them.
Floods leave 36 dead
Torrential rains and mountain torrents have left at least 36 people dead and 42 missing in Hunan Province, as rescuers worked to evacuate people and ferry in supplies. So far around 100,000 people have been moved from the affected villages in mountain areas of Hunan. At least 3,500 buildings have collapsed, injuring many who were sleeping inside, as the rainy season arrived with a vengeance. "More than 100,000 people have been evacuated," a ministry official said.
Opposition leader detained
Authorities yesterday detained a top opposition leader and accused him of plotting to disrupt a parliamentary debate on allowing multiparty democracy for the first time in the Indian Ocean archipelago. The opposition group, the Maldivian Democratic Party, strongly denied the charge against party Chairman Mohamed Nasheed and called his arrest -- along with three party colleagues -- "deplorable." Nizin Sattar, a senior member of the party from the MDP office in exile in Sri Lanka, said eight uniformed policemen had stormed Nasheed's home after climbing over the compound gate, bundled him into a police jeep and sped off.
Bollywood bans smoking
The government is to outlaw all images of smoking in Bollywood films and television shows in a move praised by campaigners as a "sensible step" but attacked by film-makers as a curb on artistic freedom. The ban, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, will outlaw shots showing cigarette packs and advertising hoardings. Foreign movies and serials, increasingly popular especially when dubbed into local Indian languages, will have the offending images electronically blurred. The ministry of health said that films predating the ban with offending scenes would need to run a series of health warnings across the bottom of the screen. Thailand also banned smoking scenes in films in 2000.
Finders can't be keepers
A 23-year-old faces up to five years in jail for larceny after finding a bag containing more than 250,000 dollars (US$190,000) in cash in a Sydney street and failing to turn the loot over to police. The unidentified man allegedly hid part of the money under his desk at work and put the rest in a safety deposit box. A detective said finders can be keepers, but only if they surrender their treasure to police for investigation and it goes unclaimed. "There's an obligation on members of the public who find things on the street to hand them over to the appropriate authority, ie the police," he said. "In this case the amount exceeded more than a quarter of a million dollars and therefore that makes it a serious offense." The man told police he found the money weeks ago. If the cash goes unclaimed, it goes to the state.
Phone offers drink advice