Air pollution goes up
Forest fires in Indonesia have sent air pollution to the highest level in Singapore this year, the National Environment Agency said on its Web site. The agency said south-southwesterly winds had helped blow smoke from land and forest fires in Jambi and South Sumatra to Singapore, obscuring sunlight and reducing temperatures and visibility. The city-state's Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) level reached 73 -- or "moderate" -- on Monday, although rain was expected to bring some relief. Each year, uncontrolled slash-and-burn practices by farmers, plantation owners and loggers on the Indonesian islands sends billows of smoke to Singapore, Malaysia and southern Thailand.
Police probe floating body
Police said yesterday they started an investigation into the death of an ethnic Indian man whose body was found floating in the Singapore River a day earlier. Police said the case is being investigated as an unnatural death. The man, believed to be in his 20s, was found on Monday morning floating face down near a busy office complex. He was dressed in blue jeans and a black T-shirt, but barefoot. Police said he had no injuries. The man was carrying no identification and police have not yet identified him.
■ South Korea
Highway pileup kills 11
At least 11 people were killed and 50 injured yesterday in a multiple-car pileup on a key highway bridge on South Korea's west coast, officials said. Two trucks collided on the Seohae Grand Bridge around 8am and caused more than 20 vehicles to crash into each other because of heavy fog that created blinding conditions for motorists, police officer Choi Kyung-wook said. Lee Eun-seok, an official at Korea Highway Corporation, said a total of 29 vehicles were involved in the collision. The incident occurred as millions of South Koreans began traveling to meet relatives for the Korean Thanksgiving holidays.
Meeting to tackle dengue
The government was set to hold an emergency meeting yesterday on an outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease that has killed 14 people in northern India in the past six weeks, media reports said. The meeting was called after thousands of health workers in New Delhi went door to door spraying pesticides to stop the spread of the disease on Monday. New Delhi health administrators, meanwhile, were also set to meet after one city hospital was found to be a central breeding ground of mosquitoes that spread the disease, the Times of India daily reported. At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the country's premier state-run health institute, 19 doctors and students have fallen ill with the disease and one has died.
Olympic medalist dies
Peter Norman, the Australian who stood between the US athletes staging the civil rights protest from the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 64. The medal presentation for the 200m at Mexico City was significant for the black power salute by American gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Norman, the silver medalist, wore a human rights badge on his shirt during the ceremony, in support of the two Americans. "It was like throwing a pebble into the middle of a pond, and the ripples are still traveling," Norman said last year.
Restaurateur wins shell-off