Man hacks five to death
A man wielding a machete hacked to death a woman and four children and seriously injured two other children in Yingxue Village, Guangxi Province, the Beijing News said yesterday. Friday's rampage by Liang Jiqian, 52, was so sudden that he was able to kill the woman, 38, and four children aged six to seven before being apprehended by police, the newspaper said. It gave no explanation for the attack but said Liang had recently lost his wife to illness and was furious because other children taunted his handicapped 10-year-old son.
Dress rules spark criticism
The Shanghai Normal University has banned "super-short" skirts on its teachers, citing the need to maintain a certain distance from the students, the Beijing Times said yesterday. Only days after the new rules were announced at the university, they have triggered a heated debate among its more than 200 female teachers, the paper said. Some of the teachers have complained that they, too, have a right to be fashionable and a number of students support them, according to the paper. "We like teachers with personality, and especially teachers who dare show their personality," one unidentified student said.
Miners killed in explosion
Twenty-seven miners were killed and five others were still missing yesterday after a gas explosion in a Shaanxi Province coal-mine on Saturday, state media said. The gas blast occurred at 4:20pm in Wayaobao Township Coal Mine in Yanan City, as 39 miners were working beneath the shaft, the Xinhua news agency reported. Only seven miners managed to escape.
■ Hong Kong
Children plead with Tsang
Nearly 600 schoolchildren have delivered a letter to Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) pleading with him to tackle the city's worsening air pollution, a news report said yesterday. Every pupil in Beacon Hill primary school wrote a letter to Tsang asking him to do something to halt the pollution. The letters were delivered to his office and handed to a policeman by a delegation of 15 pupils on Friday, the Sunday Morning Post newspaper reported. A spokesman for the chief executive's office told the newspaper Tsang was on leave and could not say if he would read the letters upon his return.
Half fear another war: survey
Almost half of Japanese fear the country could face war again, with North Korea's nuclear program and China's massive military build-up considered major threats to peace, according to a government survey published yesterday. The Cabinet Office survey, published in all major Japanese newspapers yesterday, said 45 percent of respondents believe Japan may become caught up in a war -- up 1.8 percentage points from a 2003 survey -- while only 16.5 percent disagreed. The survey said that 63.7 percent of respondents cited North Korea's nuclear threat as a possible cause of regional conflict, followed by terrorist attacks and the rapid modernization of China's military.
Search on for terror chief
Security forces fanned out across central Indonesia in search of Southeast Asia's terror chief yesterday, as investigators questioned two suspects arrested in a raid on his hideout. Malaysian fugitive Noordin Top, believed to be behind a string of suicide bombings in Indonesia, has eluded police for years and slipped through their fingers once again early on Saturday. Despite months of surveillance he was not in the safe house in Binangun, a village in Central Java province, when it was overrun by elite anti-terror police. "A team of forensic experts have searched the scene and hundreds of police personnel have been deployed," said deputy spokesman for the national police, Anton Bahrul Alam.