More coal miners die
At least 29 miners were killed in a coal mine after a gas explosion on Tuesday, state media reported, in the latest accident to plague the nation's notoriously dangerous mining industry. The explosion occurred at the Weijiadi coal mine in the northwestern province of Gansu when 71 miners were working underground, Xinhua reported. At least 19 people were injured, it said. A ventilation system was being checked when the blast occurred, general manager Wang Jun was quoted as saying.
Mogul detained over tax
Multimillionaire Zhou Weibin (周偉彬), a member of China's top 500 rich list, has been detained on suspicion of tax evasion, state media said yesterday. Zhou, the head of a printing ink empire in Guangdong Province, is suspected of deliberately failing to pay value-added taxes worth 6.47 million yuan (US$820,000), the China Daily said, citing police. With a personal wealth of 800 million yuan, Zhou was No. 438 on a rich list compiled by Shanghai-based accountant Rupert Hoogewerf and published last month.
Groups cool on reform
Human rights groups yesterday welcomed changes to China's death penalty law with reservations, urging the country to disclose the number of people it executes and embrace broader legal reform. China, which executes more people than the rest of the world combined, said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court would reclaim its right to final review of death sentences from Jan. 1, ending the practice of allowing executions on the order of lower courts.
Three militants killed
US and Afghan troops killed three "terrorists" during a clash yesterday with militants in violence-hit southeastern Afghanistan, coalition officials said. Another suspect was captured during a raid at a compound in Khost Province near the Pakistani border. "Credible intelli-gence led the combined force to the compound which was a refuge for terrorist network facili-tators," officials said. According to the officials, the militants were hiding among women and children, none of whom were injured during the attack.
Not too violent, please
Film chiefs have told the makers of Rambo IV: In the Serpent's Eye movie due to start filming in early next year to avoid excessive violence for fear of corrupting youth or dama-ging the environment. "We have warned them that any violence has to be reason-able because we care about young people," said Wanasiri Morakul, a director at the Thailand Film Office. Much of the movie will be filmed in national parks and Wanasiri said officials would be keeping a close eye on the movie-makers to ensure they did not damage their surroundings.
Man sentenced in scandal
The Tokyo District Court yesterday sentenced Akira Shinozuka, a former construction company branch manager, to a suspended prison term in a high-profile construction scandal involving falsified earthquake-resistance data, a court official said. The scandal, which broke last year, has caused wide-spread concern in one of the world's most earth-quake-prone nations. Some residents in the more than 200 buildings for which false data was used, have been forced to move out of their condominiums so they could be demolished because they did not meet safety standards.
Dengue kills 12
An outbreak of dengue fever has claimed 12 more lives across the country, taking to 151 the number of people killed by the deadly mosquito-borne illness, a senior health ministry announced on Tuesday. Six of the deaths during the past 24 hours were reported from New Delhi, which took the dengue toll in the national capital to 67, with 2,640 people infected. Nationwide, 8,951 dengue-related cases have been reported since July-end when the virus first surfaced. Another 1,682 people were suffering from chikungunya disease which, like dengue, is transmitted to humans through bites of the Aedes mosquitoes during the rainy season.