Saomai deaths rise to 319
Six days after Typhoon Saomai slammed into the east coast the death toll has risen to 319 and is expected to climb higher as more than 140 people are still missing, officials reported yesterday. In the worst hit city of Fuding, Fujian Province, 24 bodies were found and 94 people are still missing. In the neighboring province of Zhejiang 52 people are still unaccounted for, Xinhua news agency reported. Among the victims are fishermen who died on their boats, including many that had anchored in ports seeking refuge, only for their boats to be capsized and destroyed. Saomai made landfall last Thursday and was the strongest typhoon to hit China in 50 years.
Asian psychology studied
Psychologists from Asia and several Western nations will meet on Bali this week to develop an Asian perspective for their work, including theories on preventing terrorism. "Long-time studies and experience have proven that not all Western theories fit the Eastern context," Sarlito Sarwono, chairman of the one-year-old Asian Psychologist Association, said late on Tuesday. Western theories and paradigms dominate the science of psychology. But such developments as the rise of Asian economies, terrorism in Indonesia and disasters in Asia have prompted more thought about Asian perspectives, he said.
Thieves bungle ATM theft
Thieves tried to use a backhoe to yank ATM machines from a bank in northeast Terengganu state but were forced to abort their scheme when the vehicle's arm got stuck in the building, the New Straits Times reported yesterday. The bank's closed circuit TV cameras recorded the entire incident, the daily said. The footage showed one man sporting a ski-mask and another wearing a helmet tying two cash deposit machines to a harness, the report said. But they left empty-handed because they couldn't get the backhoe through the bank's entrance and abandoned it there, the paper said.
Pregnant Kiko in hospital
Princess Kiko was to be hospitalized yesterday for complications related to her pregnancy, as the country holds its breath for a possible first male heir in the royal family in four decades. The 39-year-old princess will stay in a Tokyo hospital until she gives birth by Caesarean section, reportedly around Sept. 6. The princess was diagnosed with an abnormal placement of the placenta. Officials announced on Tuesday she would be hospitalized to prevent premature bleeding related to the complication and to prepare her for the delivery. The palace said the princess was in a stable condition, and the fetus, whose gender is yet to be announced, has developed normally.
President defends law
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said yesterday that a law cementing a year-old peace deal with separatist rebels in Aceh was a base that could be built on in the future. Responding to criticisms voiced by many Acehnese that it short-changed them on the greater autonomy they had been promised under the historic peace pact, Yudhoyono called "on all sides to accept this law well, as a base to build a more prosperous future in Aceh," during his state-of-the-nation address given in parliament on the eve of the country's 61st independence day.
Implants save woman
A woman's breast implants saved her life when she was wounded in a Hezbollah rocket attack during Israel's war with the militant group, a hospital spokesman said on Tuesday. Doctors found shrapnel embedded in the silicone implants, just inches from the 24-year-old's heart. "She was saved from death," said a spokesman for Nahariya Hospital in northern Israel. The woman has been released from hospital.