Bus crashes kill 37
Nineteen people were killed and 25 injured yesterday when a bus plunged into a dry river bed near the northern town of Rampur, 180km east of New Delhi. Four of the injured were in a critical condition, a local official said. The bus had left the hill resort of Nainital for the capital. On Tuesday 18 people died when their bus veered off a bridge near Mumbai.
Beslan kids to get therapy
Ten children who survived a school hostage holdup in Russia's southern city of Beslan have arrived in China for a month of therapy, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. The children, and four chaperons, arrived in the city of Sanya in Hainan Province on Tuesday, Xinhua said on its Web site. The site ran a picture showing one of the Russian girls, wearing a garland of flowers, being greeted by a local schoolboy. Another photo showed an adult Russian delegate handing over a gift to a representative of Sanya city -- an oil painting of Beslan's mountains. The children, averaging 13 years old, suffered either gun wounds or verbal threats during the holdup, Xinhua said. China's health department dispatched a medical team to Russia in March to examine the children, it said.
`Marathon boy' outrages
A four-year-old child has been dubbed India's "marathon boy" after he ran a 65km race on Tuesday, but critics accused his coach of risking the boy's health for cash. Budhia Singh covered the distance in just seven hours and two minutes, after setting out to become the youngest Indian to cover the marathon distance. Born in a slum in Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern state of Orissa, Budhia was a year old when his mother sold him for just 800 rupees (US$20) after his father had died. Biranchi Das, a local judo teacher, adopted Budhia and later discovered his unusual stamina.
Pedophile to be deported
A serial pedophile will be deported back to Britain following his release from prison after the Australian government revoked his visa on character grounds, officials said yesterday. William John Gallagher, 62, has a history of sex offences against young boys dating back to 1973. He was due to be released from prison last month, but the New South Wales state government won an order to keep him locked up until it could prepare a case against him under a new law that allows for high-risk sex offenders to be kept in jail indefinitely. However, the immigration department decided to revoke his visa on character grounds before the new law could be tested. Gallagher will now be handed over to immigration officials for deportation on his release on May 14.
China bars voodoo dolls
Beijing has reportedly slapped a ban on the import on handmade "voodoo" dolls from Thailand because of rising concerns over their popularity among young people, media reports said on yesterday. Authorities imposed the ban after parents complained that their children were using the dolls to perform "black magic" rituals against people they hate by piercing the toys with needles, the Nation newspaper said. Kanya Thuailai, manager of the Saen Ha Co that markets the dolls, made mainly from string and wire, said that China was the only country to have imposed a ban on the toys. She said the handmade dolls were supplied by 250 villages in Chiang Mai Province.