Aussie actions irk Fiji
The country's political crisis simmered yesterday as the military demanded the police chief's resignation in a standoff that has involved Australia. Fijian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has been at loggerheads with armed forces chief Commander Frank Bainimarama for the past month over two contentious pieces of legislation. Australia was dragged into the crisis when the military accused it of breaching Fiji's sovereignty by sending police and equipment into the country last Friday.
■ South Korea
Budding kidnapper caught
A 31-year-old man was arrested on charges of plotting to kidnap the father of Chan Ho-park, a South Korean baseball pitcher in the US Major League, a prosecutor said yesterday. The man, known only as Choi was arrested on Sunday in Chuncheon City. Choi, who had major debts, allegedly drew up a detailed plan to abduct Park's father and demand US$2 million in ransom. Choi was caught after trying to recruit fellow kidnappers through the Internet.
■ Hong Kong
Henry Fok mourned
Hailed as a "patriotic businessman" in China, Hong Kong native Henry Fok (霍英東) received a high-profile send-off in his hometown yesterday. Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) and former president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) were among those who sent their best wishes. Born to a poor family, Fok became a successful businessman with investments in property and petroleum. He was a member of the National People's Congress. Fok passed away at age 83 in Beijing on Oct. 28.
Nine killed in tornado
A tornado ripped through a northern town yesterday, killing at least nine people and injuring 25, officials said. Several hours after the twister, two people were missing and believed to be trapped under the rubble of flattened homes and offices. The tornado, which knocked out electricity and flipped over cars, hit the town of Saroma on the northern island of Hokkaido. It was the worst tornado-caused disaster on record. Local TV showed a scene of devastation, with a wide swath of collapsed buildings, badly damaged cars and utility poles strewn across streets. Many of the victims were construction workers building a tunnel near the town, officials said.
Police brace for protests
Police and paramilitary forces fanned out across New Delhi preparing to confront striking shop owners angered by government plans to demolish illegally constructed buildings. Fearing violence by the protesters -- who have repeatedly clashed with police in recent months -- authorities also ordered all schools closed in the city. Countless commercial buildings in New Delhi have been thrown up in recent years with little regard to zoning laws, and a government campaign to tear them down has in the past year sparked repeated protests.
Tabloid suspends editor
A government-linked tabloid suspended an editor yesterday following an uproar over his paper's weekend edition on sex. The Malay Mail announced that Zulkifli Jalil was suspended starting yesterday as part of an internal review by parent company New Straits Times Press into a set of articles on sexual habits of citizens in Kuala Lumpur. The government, through various holding companies, controls the New Straits Times Press group of companies, which owns the English-language Malay Mail and its weekend version.