Lovesick man detained
An Australian businessman who said he was lovesick and depressed was detained over a bomb threat that forced an airline flight to make an emergency return to China, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Guangzhou police identified the man as Hong Kong-born Wong Chung-wah. A China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou to Sydney returned to Guangzhou late on Monday after a passenger found a note on board warning of a bomb. More than 200 passengers were evacuated while police searched the aircraft, Xinhua said. Wong was detained after police identified him as the author of the note by verifying his handwriting, Xinhua said.
Abbot's wheels spark row
Shaolin Temple abbot Shi Yongxin (釋永信) has caused a stir by accepting a 1 million yuan (US$125,000) car -- and even suggesting he hoped for a bigger present next year, Xinhua reported yesterday. Shi received the the car from local officials in recognition of his services for tourism. Thousands of Internet users have reacted with a mixture of anger and support, Xinhua said.
Alleged plotters nabbed
Police announced the arrests yesterday of two men accused of using computer technology to aid terrorists. Agung Prabowo, 23, was accused of helping create a Web site that suggested ways to assassinate foreigners in Jakarta, said Colonel Petrus Reinhard Golose of the national anti-terror task force. Agung Seyadi, 31, allegedly bought a computer for jailed Bali bomber Imam Samudra, who planned to use it to illicitly collect funds for terrorist attacks, he said. Neither has been charged, Golose said.
Thieves strike at jewel show
Thieves have pulled off a spectacular diamond heist in Sydney, stealing more than 500 diamonds worth more than A$1.5 million (US$1.1 million) from an international jewelry exhibition held under high-tech security. Despite X-ray machines, metal detectors, security cameras and a log book of everyone entering the exhibition, a security bag containing 500 uncut diamonds was stolen, organizers said. Police believe the bag was stolen either en route to or at the Australian Jewelry Fair which ran from Sunday to Tuesday at a convention center in Sydney's Darling Harbor.
Wayward Canadian wolf dies
A Canadian gray wolf that was recently recaptured after escaping from a zoo in the northern part of the country has died of a lung infection, a zoo keeper said yesterday. A tracker shot the wolf with a tranquilizer pellet on Aug. 6, about a month after the animal escaped from Chiang Mai Night Safari. The wolf, which is believed to have roamed nearby forests feasting on local chickens during its weeks of freedom, was then returned to the zoo but kept in quarantine as a precaution to protect the other wolves. Supot Methawiwat, who looked after the animal after it was returned to the zoo, insisted however that the animal did not die of bird flu, which is rampant in the region.
■ New Zealand
Porn stars take to the street
Two dozen bare-breasted porn stars paraded on motorcycles and military vehicles down Auckland's main street yesterday after beating efforts by officials to prevent the promotional stunt. Thousands of people, many of them clicking away with cellphone cameras, lined the street for the parade by male and female porn actors, most semi-clad in black leather, to publicize an erotica show in Auckland later this week. The crowd was reportedly bigger than that for the city's annual Santa Parade at Christmas time.