■ New Zealand
Frustrated bomber held
Police arrested a man yesterday after he threatened to blow himself up in the city of Tauranga. A 57-year-old Slovakian man was arrested and a fake bomb was found after police entered the Devonport Towers hotel. The man entered the hotel late Thursday morning threatening to blow himself up. Staff said he wanted to speak to Prime Minister Helen Clark. A former room mate of the man said he was frustrated because immigration authorities would not renew his visa to stay in New Zealand.
Static man shocks staff
A man who favoured polyester clothes built up enough static electricity in his body to burn holes in the carpet he walked on, news reports said yesterday. Frank Clewer generated an estimated 30,000 volts of static electricity just in a shopping trip in the city of Warrnambool, it was reported. The first Clewer knew of it was when cracks started coming from his jacket. He left behind burn holes the size of coins. The local fire brigade was called and the building was evacuated.
Fireworks staff killed
An explosion at a fireworks factory killed 13 people and injured four others in Hunan Province, state media said yesterday. The explosion destroyed seven workshops at the Jiangnan fireworks plant in Yiyang city late Thursday afternoon, the Xinhua news agency said. "This is the most serious fireworks production accident so far this year in the province's fireworks industry," provincial safety official Wu Guanbao said. One of the four injured remained in serious condition.
Mob attacks golf course
One person was killed and 18 others injured Thursday when 150 villagers demanding jobs staged an armed assault on a golf course in the New Delhi suburbs, police said. A security guard was killed when the mob opened fire. Villagers, guards and some club members were hurt in the clashes as the protesters vandalised the Japypee Golf Club. The villagers say the club's management promised to employ people on whose land the nine-hole course was built, but later reneged on its promise.
Shanghai hikes subway fares
Managers of Shanghai's heavily overcrowded subway system have hiked fares in hopes of persuading more people to take the bus, the city government said yesterday. About 1.3 million people use the subway every day in Shanghai, a city of about 20 million people, well beyond the three lines' intended capacity. Train cars are usually jam-packed, ensuring long rush hour waits to board. Fares calculated on distance ridden rose by 1 yuan (US$0.12) on Thursday, bringing the cost of the cheapest ride to 3 yuan, the city government said in a notice posted on its Web site.
Landslide buries school
A landslide triggered by torrential rain engulfed a primary school in southeastern Myanmar and up to 30 people, most of them children, are feared dead, the Red Cross said yesterday. "So far as we heard, a primary school building was buried under a mountain of earth," a Red Cross official in Yangon, capital of the former Burma, told reporters. "Ten bodies have been found and about 20 are still missing while about 30 were injured. Most of them are young pupils," said the official, who did not want to be identified. State-owned media in military-ruled Myanmar have not reported the incident, which occurred on Wednesday in Kyaung Kaw, a village around 630km southeast of Yangon.