Panties trigger bomb alert
Two bags with a note warning they would blow up if opened triggered a bomb alert at a Japanese university -- before explosives experts found they contained women's underwear and a chocolate cake. Police evacuated Kyushu University's pharmacology department yesterday and called in the bomb squad after a staff member found a white paper bag with a note that said "To Yoko, if you open this it will explode" and a pink plastic bag marked "This one too." Two female students had meant the parcels as a birthday present for a friend, and thought the note would stop anyone from touching the bags.
Nine nabbed in cocaine bust
Chinese and US agents yesterday announced the arrests of nine people in the country's largest ever seizure of smuggled cocaine. Those held included two Colombian nationals arrested in Hong Kong, along with suspects from Hong Kong and China, officials of China's customs agency and the US Drug Enforcement Administration said at a news conference. Officers confiscated 142.7kg of cocaine smuggled from Colombia, an official said.
Beijing wants Uighurs back
Beijing yesterday demanded the return of five Chinese Muslims released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center, blasting a US decision to allow them to seek asylum in Albania. "The five people accepted by the Albanian side are by no means refugees but terrorist suspects," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) said. The US freed the five Uighurs after concluding they posed no threat to the US but might face persecution if they returned to China.
Varansi bomb suspect killed
Indian soldiers in Kashmir yesterday shot dead a suspected Muslim militant, who police said was behind bomb blasts in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in March that killed 15 people and wounded dozens. "On specific information, Zubair was killed in a fierce encounter in Handwara," said Nitish Kumar, a police official, adding the man was considered to have played a leading role in the Varanasi attacks. Kumar said Zubair, who has one name, came from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and was attempting to flee to Pakistan.
■ Hong Kong
ISPs must identify pirates
Hong Kong's movie industry won a court order demanding that four local Internet service providers identify users who downloaded pirated copies of movies using the file-sharing software BitTorrent, a broadcaster reported yesterday. The four companies have three weeks to comply, Hong Kong TV station Cable TV reported. An earlier court document identified the plaintiffs as One Hundred Years of Film Co, Hero China International Ltd and Applause Pictures Ltd, co-founded by Hong Kong director Peter Chan (陳可辛).
Elders' order causes death
An 11-year-old boy was strangled by relatives who killed him rather than obey an order from tribal elders for them to marry one of their womenfolk to the child, police in Karachi said on Monday. The marriage had been ordered in compensation for the kidnapping of the boy's sister. Mohammed Asif was killed on Sunday, five months after his 15-year-old sister was abducted from their home. The children's father, Saeed Akbar, a rickshaw driver, appealed to a tribal council for justice after the kidnap.
Recluse dies of `shock'
Police arrested a director and members of a nonprofit organization on Monday for allegedly killing a 26-year-old hikikomori social recluse from Tokyo after forcibly taking him out of his apartment, a news report said. Shoko Sugiura, director of Ai Mental School in the city of Nagoya, and four staff members allegedly forced the the reclusive man out of his apartment in Tokyo in the middle of last month and took him to a school dormitory. The man was classified as a hikikomori, a term that has been coined to describe young shut-ins who refuse to go out of their rooms for work or school. In the name of treatment, the man was chained to a pillar, even during meals, in the school's dormitory for four days before he was taken to a nearby hospital. He died from traumatic shock, the daily paper quoted the police as saying. His parents had requested the school to take their son but were never aware of physical restraint or confinement.