■ South Korea
Ex-professor shoots judge
A former South Korean professor shot a judge in the stomach with a crossbow in an apparent protest against one of his rulings, police investigators said yesterday. Kim Myong-ho, a former mathematics professor at a Seoul university, faces charges of attempted murder for the attack outside the judge's home late on Monday, police said. The shooting was apparent payback after Seoul High Court judge Park Hong-woo on Friday upheld a ruling denying Kim reinstatement to his job. Kim, sacked from his job in 1995, was waiting outside the judge's home with a crossbow, bolts, knife and a rope, police said. The judge is in hospital in a stable condition.
Flu strain confirmed as H5N1
Tests have confirmed that bird flu detected in chickens in southern Japan was the virulent H5N1 strain, the Japanese Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. About 4,000 chickens died last week at a farm in Kiyotake town in Miyazaki prefecture. Earlier test results on Saturday only confirmed the bird flu strain was an H5 virus, but not which one. Yesterday, further tests by the National Institute of Animal Health near Tokyo identified the virus as H5N1, the virulent strain that has been blamed for more than 160 human deaths worldwide, Agricultural Ministry official Hiroyuki Ozono said.
One of `eight immortals' dies
A leading Chinese revolutionary, Bo Yibo (薄一波), one of China's so-called "eight immortals," has died in Beijing at the age of 98, press reports said yesterday. No official announcement of Bo's death was issued, but Hong Kong Phoenix Television and the Sing Tao Daily both reported that Bo had died at a Beijing hospital late on Monday. Born in 1908, Bo was a Marxist revolutionary during the 1920s and 1930s and organized armed resistance against Japan's invasion of China during World War II. In the reform and opening period that began in the 1980s, he was known as one of the Communist Party "immortals," the aging revolutionary leaders who retained influence over state affairs through the 1990s. His third and youngest son is Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai (薄熙來).
Groom might be female
A Malaysian Islamic court is investigating a marriage between two Malay Muslims amid suspicions the groom may actually be a woman, a report said yesterday. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in the conservative majority-Muslim nation. The New Straits Times said Mohamad Sofian, 40, and Zaiton Aziz, 43, were married in December 2002 by an imam in western Malacca state. But problems arose when the state's religious affairs department refused to register the marriage, questioning the gender of Mohamad Sofian, whose birth certificate bears a woman's name "Mazinah Mohamad," the newspaper said.
Australian caught with drugs
An Australian man has been charged in Singapore with cannabis trafficking and faces up to 20 years' imprisonment if convicted, a court document showed. Michael Karras, 38, was accused on Monday of trafficking in 495g of cannabis after being arrested last Tuesday at an apartment in eastern Singapore, according to his charge sheet. If found guilty, Karras faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane. The charge sheet did not provide any other details on his arrest.
Leftist politician shot dead
Gunmen burst into the home of a political leader in the northern Mexican state of Durango and fatally shot him, two family members and an employee, authorities said on Monday. Jaime Meraz Martinez, 63, a former lawmaker and an adviser to the left-leaning opposition Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, was shot three times on Sunday night and died hours later at a hospital, said Ruben Lopez, a spokesman for Durango state investigators. Lopez said the gunmen also killed 61-year-old Maria Meraz, the politician's wife; 34-year-old Jaime Meraz, his son; and Jorge Marquez, a 22-year-old taxi driver. Meraz's daughter-in-law, who was wounded in the attack, told police at least two gunmen were involved, Lopez said. He added that no arrests had been made and that investigators were still trying to determine a motive.
■ United Kingdom
Teenager killed by train
A teenage girl was killed on Monday after being hit by a train while crossing a line with a group of youngsters in North Wales, British Transport Police said. The Arriva train from Holyhead to Cardiff struck the girl near Johnstown at about 7pm. "We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a teenage female on the line near Ruabon railway station," the police said in a statement. Duty Inspector Ian Hampton said the victim had been crossing the line with up to four others. "One of the children was unfortunately struck and was killed," he said, adding that the rest of the group ran off but had since been found and were safe and well. Police were not treating the incident as suspicious. North Wales Police, ambulance and fire and rescue services were on the scene with the transport police and the railway line remained closed as an investigation got under way. The age and identity of the teenage girl had yet to be confirmed.
Trains offer new service
Starting from Monday, passengers on some of the nation's long-distance trains can buy tickets for male, female or mixed compartments. "Russian Railways is introducing this service on eight of its trains at the request of its passengers, mainly women," the operator said in an English-language statement. It added that the new service, available on trains in eight directions, was a pilot project and if successful would be extended to other trains. Unlike Europeans or Americans who increasingly travel by plane, many Russians spend days crossing their vast country aboard trains usually in four-bed compartments because it is a cheaper and often safer alternative.
One sextuplet dies
One of the six babies born last week to a Vancouver-area couple in Canada's first delivery of sextuplets has died, a radio station reported on Monday. The sextuplets have been in intensive care since they were born prematurely after 25 weeks of gestation, but one died late last week, CKNW Radio reported, citing sources within British Columbia Women's Hospital. Hospital officials declined to comment, citing the family's request for privacy since the four boys and two girls were delivered. The family's name has never been made public. Medical officials have said that care for the babies in this case could be more complicated because the parents are members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which object to the use of blood transfusions.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around