A footbridge packed with tourists broke at a resort on Java yesterday, killing five people and injuring 29 after they plunged into a rocky riverbed, police and tourist officials said. The victims were evacuated to three nearby hospitals, said Surono, an employee at the Baturaden resort in Central Java province, adding that they fell more than 20m after one of the steel cables holding the small bridge snapped. Local police chief Emron Putra Agung said five people were killed and 29 injured.
Gangster sentenced to death
Shanghai's top gangster has been sentenced to death with his wife and 18 other members of his gang handed prison terms, state press reported yesterday. Li Bin, 40, the self-proclaimed "King of Shanghai's underworld" was found guilty of heading a criminal network that trafficked in drugs, organized attacks and illegally possessed weapons, the China Daily reported. The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate Court sentenced Li to death on Tuesday, while also jailing his wife and 18 of his gang members for terms of between 15 months to life. Li was a career criminal who had previously spent 15 years behind bars in six separate stints, the paper said.
Jailed troops moved
Manila was to transfer yesterday six detained Marine officers, suspected of leading an alleged plot against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in February, to a more secure location amid talk of an escape plot. Reports that rogue troops would spring the officers as part of fresh attempts to destabilize the government prompted the transfer, a military spokesman said.
Police confiscate animals
Police in the central highlands have confiscated 350kg of snakes, turtles and iguanas destined for restaurants in China, police said on Tuesday. The animals were to be released to the wild on Tuesday, said Hoang Minh Thong, a police officer in Quang Nam Province, 800km south of Hanoi. Thong said the animals were being transported on a bus and were destined to be sold in China, where they would be served as delicacies. Although the sale of wild animals is illegal in Vietnam, traders continue to smuggle exotic creatures across the border to China, where they are popular in restaurants.
Politicians demand inquiry
Italian opposition politicians on Tuesday demanded a full inquiry into claims that up to 50,000 people a year die in local hospitals because of medical error. A report presented to a congress organized by the Italian Association of Medical Oncology concluded that even the most conservative estimate pointed to a figure of 14,000 deaths a year, which is twice the death toll on Italy's roads. The association's broad definition of medical error included not only malpractice, but also flaws in the health system such as lengthy waiting lists.
Writer injured, driver killed
A well-known local novelist was injured while his driver was fatally shot in an attack late on Tuesday in the capital, Podgorica, the police said. The attack occurred around 10pm outside author Jevrem Brkovic's home in downtown Podgorica, when three masked assailants came up to him and began beating him, police spokeswoman Tamara Popovic told reporters. Brkovic's driver, Srdjan Vojicic, who saw the attack and had just driven the writer home, rushed to his assistance but was shot dead in the commotion in which gunshots were fired by one of the attackers.