Boy dies from bird flu
A young boy died from bird flu yesterday, bringing the country's death toll to 56, while a woman infected with the H5N1 virus was being treated in hospital, the health ministry said. The two patients lived in different towns on the outskirts of Jakarta and had not been in contact with each other, said a staffer at the health ministry's bird flu information center. The two-and-a-half-year-old boy who died was admitted to hospital on Sunday, said the staffer, who declined to give her name, citing ministry rules.
US citizen deported
A Vietnamese-born US citizen who was convicted last week on charges of plotting against the government was deported from the country yesterday, officials said. They said Nguyen Thuong Cuc, 58, whose 14-month detention drew attention in the US ahead of this week's visit by US President George W. Bush, had her sentence reduced. "I can confirm that [Nguyen] has left Vietnam," said a spokeswoman at the US consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh City. On Friday, a People's Court sentenced Cuc and two other Vietnamese-born US citizens to 15 months imprisonment, including time served, and ordered them expelled within 10 days of finishing their prison terms.
Air guitar shirt rocks
Australian scientists have invented a T-shirt that allows air guitarists to play actual music as they strum the air. The T-shirt, created by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is called a "wearable instrument shirt." The shirt has sensors in each elbow and sleeves to detect and interpret the air guitarist's arm movements -- one arm chooses chords and the other strums imaginary strings. The gestures are then connected wirelessly to guitar audio samples to generate the music. "It's an easy to use, virtual instrument that allows real time music making, even by players without significant musical or computing skills," Richard Helmer, an engineer at the organization, said in a statement yesterday.
Al-Qaeda operative captured
US forces have captured an al-Qaeda operative who had escaped from the main US military prison last year, a Pakistani newspaper reported yesterday. The man, identified as Abu Nasir al-Qahtani, was captured recently in the southeastern province of Khost, the News newspaper said, citing Taliban supporters in the Pakistani border region of North Waziristan. Al-Qahtani has been referred to in some news reports as Mohammad Jafar Jamal al-Kahtani. The US military said on Nov. 6 a "known al-Qaeda operative and five other extremists" had been captured during an operation near Khost town early that day.
Mine blast kills 24
A colliery explosion killed at least 24 miners yesterday, state media said. The early morning gas blast happened at the Nanshan Colliery in Lingshi County, Shanxi Province, which Xinhua news agency blamed on the improper use of explosives at the village-run mine. "The mine, whose safety license has expired, had already been ordered to halt production," CCTV state television said, adding there were at least 34 miners underground at the time of the explosion. The blast came just a week after an explosion killed dozens of miners in another part of Shanxi and prompted authorities to launch a coal mine safety overhaul in the province.