Penisless man wins claim
A man has been awarded more than 500,000 yuan (US$62,000) in compensation 19 years after a hospital severed his penis by mistake, local media reported yesterday. Dou Xueliang of Anshan, Liaoning Province, suffered the loss in 1987 when he went to have a penis infection treated, the sina.com Web site said. Doctors mistook Dou's problem for cancer and removed most of his penis, "causing him to lose his sexual functions," according to the report.
Landslide buries village
Seventeen people are missing after a landslide at a gold mine in the northwest engulfed their homes, Xinhua news agency reported. It said five villagers were in hospital after a cascade of toxic gold tailings buried their homes following the collapse of a dam wall at the mine in Shaanxi Province on Sunday. "The local government has taken emergency measures to prevent the poisonous content in the tailings, including sodium cyanide, from polluting the environment," Xinhua said.
■ Hong Kong
Journalist on trial
A Hong Kong journalist detained in China on accusations of spying for Taiwan will face trial soon although no date has been set yet, his wife said. Mary Lau (劉敏儀), the wife of Ching Cheong (程翔), chief China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times, said she had been informed by the Hong Kong government about the impending trial. Hong Kong security chief Ambrose Lee (李少光) declined to comment on the news but said the Security Bureau was in contact with Chinese authorities about the case.
Soldier buried after mixup
The first Australian soldier killed on active duty in Iraq was buried with full military honors yesterday amid confusion over the cause of death and a bungle which saw the wrong body initially sent home from Baghdad. Prime Minister John Howard attended the funeral of Jake Kovco, 25, a sniper deployed to provide security for Australian officials in Baghdad, who died after he was shot in the head in his room in the Iraqi capital on April 21. Australia's Defence Force originally said Kovco died after an accident while he was cleaning his handgun, but an inquiry is now under way after it was found he was not cleaning his gun at the time. Australian newspapers said a coroner had found the gun was not close to Kovco's head when he was killed, lessening the possibility his death was suicide.
■ New Zealand
Rocker leaves hospital
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has been released from a New Zealand hospital which had monitored a head injury he reportedly suffered falling out of a palm tree in Fiji, a spokesman for the hospital said yesterday. Richards, 62, suffered a mild concussion last week while staying at the exclusive Wakaya Club resort in Fiji last Thursday. Mystery still surrounds exactly how Richards hurt his head. A Rolling Stones spokeswoman has only said that he suffered a concussion, without detailing how.
■ Hong Kong
Elderly woman assaults cop
An elderly woman driver was arrested yesterday for allegedly pushing a policeman to the ground when he tried to issue her with a parking ticket, according to police officials. The woman allegedly snatched the traffic policeman's notebook before assaulting him during the incident on a roadside in the city's Mongkok district yesterday morning. A police spokesperson said the officer was treated for minor injuries in hospital and an "elderly woman" was later arrested for alleged assault. The woman's exact age was not immediately known.