Bus stowaway caught
A Myanmar national was caught clinging onto the underneath of a bus while trying to sneak his way into Singapore from Malaysia, immigration officers said yesterday. The driver of the bus behind noticed a body beneath the SBS Transit vehicle and alerted his colleague. Tiew Eng Lee, the driver, then told immigration officers he suspected there was a man hiding under his bus, officials said. Using a mirror to check, Immigration officers spotted the man. He told investigators he got under the bus in Johor Baru and wanted to look for work in Singapore. He faces up to six months in jail and three strokes of the cane if convicted of illegal entry.
Asylum sought in school
Eight North Koreans entered a South Korean school in Qingdao yesterday in a bid to seek asylum in South Korea, the South's Yonhap news agency said. The entry came a day after Seoul protested Beijing's repatriation of seven North Korean asylum seekers who entered an international school in the Chinese city of Yentai in August. "The eight North Korean escapees heard about the repatriation at a safe house yesterday, but we let them go ahead because they strongly wanted to go to South Korea whatever the risk," a source who helped the asylum seekers said. North Korean defectors face imprisonment, forced labor and even execution if they return to their homeland.
Two killed by mousetrap
Police arrested a farmer for killing two passers-by with an electrified mousetrap near Hanoi last Wednesday, police said yesterday. Dinh Khac Nguyet, 35, was arrested shortly after Bui Van Huyen, 16, and Dinh Khac Anh, 29, were found dead in his paddy field, according to the criminal police chief of the province, 92km south of Hanoi. Nguyet had used 220 volt electric wires to set a mousetrap in his field, said the police chief. The men were killed as they traversed the field. Police said the man was likely to face murder charges because he knew that the electrified mouse traps were both dangerous and illegal.
Phone plan to stop bombs
Unregistered mobile phones will stop working in the insurgency-plagued southernmost provinces by the middle of next month, in an effort to curb bomb attacks triggered by cellphones, Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasathidya said yesterday. "Starting Nov. 15, you must have registered your number," he said. "We wanted the three southern provinces to be a special zone, we must know all telephone numbers in the area," said Chidchai, who is also justice minister. "This measure will help prevent militants using mobile phones to trigger the bombs," he said.
Dengue cases increase
More than 1,200 suspected cases of dengue fever were reported last week, the Health Ministry said yesterday, with the death toll from the mosquito-borne disease reaching 76 so far this year. Officials have escalated efforts to curb the disease by inspecting construction sites and residential areas where mosquitoes might thrive in stagnant water, said Ramlee Rahmat, the director of the ministry's disease control division. Between January and the first week of this month, 29,820 suspected dengue cases were recorded, an increase of nearly 30 percent from the same period last year, Ramlee said.
■ United Kingdom
Smuggling ring busted
British police said they smashed a suspected people smuggling ring believed to be one of the biggest in Europe in a series of raids in London yesterday. Five men, including former asylum seekers alleged to have been among the vast criminal network's highest ranking operators, were arrested. It is believed the group, a large pan-European organization, could potentially be responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of people into the country illegally in the last few years. One police source described its scale as "absolutely massive" and "frightening." The gang is thought to have lured thousands of economic migrants from eastern Europe to Britain with the promise of a better life.