Ten die in mine fire
Chinese authorities have detained the owners and managers of a mine where a fire killed 10 people and blamed faulty electric cable for the blaze, state media said yesterday. Sixty-three miners were working underground when the fire broke out Monday at the Longxin Coal Mine in Handan, a major coal-producing area in north China's Hebei Province. Rescuers managed to rescue 52 workers and recovered 10 bodies. One miner was still missing.
ATM `monk' arrested
Police have arrested a suspected embezzler dressed up as a monk, state media said. Chen Boshi, a manager in Jiangxi Province, was suspected of embezzling US$126,500 from his power company and fled to the temple in Hubei Province last October, Xinhua news agency said on Monday. After a tip-off, police searched several temples in the Henggang Mountain area and "noticed a monk in his 40s wearing a cassock and glasses, walking away on a mountain path with a string of beads in his hand," Xinhua said. He had eight ATM cards on him when he was caught.
Struggling to meet Kyoto
Greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March, reversing a modest decline in the previous year and taking it further from its Kyoto Protocol target to cut pollution. Japan's Environment Ministry said preliminary data showed that the country's emissions of greenhouse gases were 1.364 billion tonnes in the fiscal year. It said the figure was high because of increased heating fuel use at homes and offices in the winter, which was the coldest in two decades.
UK troops pull back
British troops pulled out of a troubled southern district yesterday following an agreement with local elders and officials, a NATO spokesman said. The decision to withdraw from Helmand Province's Musa Qala district came after an agreement with tribal elders, the provincial governor and the support of President Hamid Karzai, said Mark Laity, a NATO spokesman. The troops left "because of the sustained period of calm," Laity said. "There has not been any contact with the Taliban." Musa Qala has been one of the most volatile regions of Helmand, where about 4,000 British troops who deployed to the province in the spring have been battling Taliban militants.
Firm apologizes over slur
A government-linked Islamic finance group has officially apologized after its religious chief advised Muslim staff not to give holiday greetings to Hindu colleagues for an upcoming celebration he described as blasphemous. The apology was posted on publicly traded Takaful Malaysia's Web site yesterday. The company, which is majority-owned by Malaysia's Bank Islam, has already distanced itself from an e-mail memo sent by its religious department chief, Mohamed Fauzi Mustaffa, that advised Muslim employees against wishing Hindus "Happy Diwali." ``We would like to apologize for any confusion and ill-feelings that may have arose from the e-mail,'' the company said on its the Web site.
PM criticizes India
India has provided no evidence of Pakistan's alleged involvement in the Mumbai train bombings in July, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Monday, urging New Delhi to desist from blaming Islamabad. "India has no right to accuse Pakistan without any proof," state media quoted Aziz as telling reporters. He said no evidence had yet been provided to Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during a visit to London, last week said that New Delhi would provide Islamabad with evidence of Pakistani involvement in the deadly Mumbai train bombings that killed 186 people.