Bus crash kills 17
An overcrowded long-distance bus crashed in southern China yesterday, killing 17 people and injuring more than 30, Xinhua news agency said. The bus, licensed to hold 49 passengers but carrying 63, was on its way from Shenzhen heading north when it hit a fence in Changsha, Hunan Province. China has the highest annual road death toll in the world, with accidents claiming nearly 107,000 lives last year.
Sex gets teacher jail
Australian physical education teacher was imprisoned for a minimum of two years yesterday for having sex with a student during a school-sponsored trip. Travis Glenn Robertson, was 23 and in his first teaching job at Templestowe College in the southern city of Melbourne when he began a relationship with his victim, a girl who was 15 at the time. Robertson later had group sex with the victim and a former female student on a trip to Turkey, and again in a Melbourne hotel.
■ Sri Lanka
Paris-based media freedom group Reporters Without Borders yesterday condemned a bomb attack on a Sri Lankan Tamil-language newspaper that killed a security guard and wounded two others. Attackers on a bicycle hurled grenades at the Sudar Oli newspaper, allegedly linked to the country's Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday evening. The attack came eight days after two bombs were thrown at another branch office of the newspaper in Colombo. No one was injured since the bombs did not explode.
Traffic police offer discount
Traffic police are offering a half off discount on millions of unpaid tickets to mark the National Day, and will set up counters at major shopping malls to clear the backlog. Malaysia will celebrate National Day today -- the 48th anniversary of independence from British rule. Traffic police chief Gingkoi Seman Pancras said officers were hoping to collect fines from motorists who have defaulted on 3.4 million summonses since 1999. "I call on all Malaysians to take up this offer to pay up or face action," Gingkoi said.
Internet nudity raises fears
A researcher has warned of a new threat to public health and morality -- naked Internet chatting. Up to 20,000 Chinese log on to chat rooms each night in various states of undress and communicate using webcams, Shanghai Daily said yesterday. "At first, we thought it was merely a game for a few mentally abnormal people," China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang said. "But as our research continued, we found the problem was much larger than expected." Liu gathered data on 10 site participants, eight of whom were single men aged 25-35 without steady jobs.
Language school favors men
Prestigious Peking University has deliberately favored applications to its language school from men this year, just a week after China trumpeted women's progress in gender equality. The school had tipped the scale towards males students, despite lower admission test scores, to bring down the proportion of women from around 80 percent to 70 percent. "If you come to our school, you feel like you have stumbled on a beauty pageant," an unnamed school official was cited in the China Daily yesterday. "Having so many girls around certainly makes for a lovely scene, but it does not lead to gender balance in the student body."
Pilot held for selling manuals