Fifteen workers feared dead
At least 15 workers were feared killed in an explosion yesterday at a gelatin manufacturing plant in the west, a news report said. The blast near Nasik City was so powerful that a three-floor building inside the factory complex collapsed, the Press Trust of India news agency said quoting unnamed police officials. The explosion occurred early yesterday, when there were about 20 workers inside the factory that operates round the clock through three shifts, the PTI report said.
Lovers in death pact
A man and a woman killed themselves "for love" with a bomb that exploded in a hotel room in Yunnan Province, police and media said on Friday. Local police think the pair had an adulterous affair and chose to die together rather than live apart, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The bomb went off early on Thursday evening at the Jindi Hotel in Jinggu County, injuring another two people and littering the streets outside with shards of broken glass. An official with the local police department said there was a bomb, but he declined to provide further details.
Authorities yesterday rescued a Japanese yachtsman who was attempting to become the oldest solo sailor to circumnavigate the world without stopping. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Ikuo Kashima, 77, hit trouble overnight when his yacht was disabled by a freak wave in the Southern Ocean about 100km southwest of Tasmania. Kashima left Japan nine months ago in an attempt to the break the record without stopping at any ports, his Web site said. AMSA spokeswoman Tracey Juggins said Kashina made a distress call via satellite phone to Japan in the early hours of yesterday morning after the wave damaged his 12m yacht Korasaa77.
Five killed by rebels
Five people, including two Muslim children, were killed by suspected Islamic rebels in separate attacks in the violence-torn south, police said yesterday. A group of militants ambushed a motorcycle late on Friday and shot dead a 45-year-old Muslim man and his two children -- an 11-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy, in Yala, one of three Muslim-majority provinces. Also in Yala, a 37-year-old Muslim man was hacked to death by militants in public view at a market late on Friday, police said. They also found the body of a man in a river in the province. While the case was still under investigation, police suspected he was a victim of the three-year insurgency.
Woman dies on rollercoaster
A woman died and at least 21 were injured yesterday in a roller coaster accident at a theme park crowded with holidaymakers, police and fire officials said. The incident happened in the early afternoon at Expo Land, Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, police confirmed. At least 21 people were injured, he added. The exact details of the accident were not immediately known but according to Jiji Press the ride tilted while it was running and some passengers were thrown out. Officials from the theme park could not be reached for immediate comment. The roller coaster can fit as many as 24 people and riders use it standing up, instead of being seated.
■ UNITED STATES
Prison keys for sale on eBay
Keys to the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa are for sale on the Internet auction site, prompting a change of locks. The keys belonged to a locksmith who retired from the prison in 1974. He died two years later and when his wife died last year, an auctioneer was hired to sell off the estate, which included the keys. Someone bought the keys and put them up for sale on eBay, claiming that some still work. Jerry Burt, the prison's warden, said he does not know how the retired locksmith obtained the keys. Burt said some locks at the maximum-security prison have been changed since 1974 while others have not, prompting the change. "We did it as a precaution," Burt said.
■ UNITED STATES
Wallet found after 56 years
On April 11, 1951, sailor Val Gregoire, 18, was hit over the head while on shore leave in Boston. When he came to, his wallet -- and his pants -- were gone. Gregoire's family were familiar with the story, which became part of family legend. But now they have proof. The wallet was discovered by demolition worker Richard Bagen at Boston's Paramount Theatre as he was tearing down a wall, his wife said. There was no money in the wallet, but it contained Val's Navy identification, a copy of his birth certificate and more than a dozen photos. She managed to track down Jeannette Gregoire and mailed the wallet to her.
Warlord sworn in as mayor
A former warlord was sworn in as mayor of the capital Mogadishu on Friday, handing in weapons to the government and pledging to bring peace to the war-torn city. "This town needs peace after many years of bloodshed and criminal acts. We have to be cautious and take steps against insecurity," said Mohamed Omar Habeb, the former ruler of the Middle Shabelle region before his ouster by Islamists last year. He also handed over weapons to the government in a bid to encourage the public to disarm.
■ UNITED STATES
Tornado strikes hospital
Rescuers pulled about 30 people from a partially collapsed hospital yesterday and searched with dogs for others believed trapped in crumbled buildings after a tornado leveled much of Greensburg, Kansas. At least one person was reported killed and dozens were injured. The tornado struck on Friday night, damaging about three-quarters of the town. A storm front spawned tornadoes along a a line stretching northeast from Greensburg through central Kansas. Greensburg's injured were taken to hospitals as far away as Dodge City, where the Western Plains Medical Complex confirmed one fatality.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Kazakhs perform Borat tune
The West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra chose an unusual composer to headline its London performance on Friday: Borat's real-life brother. Erran Baron Cohen, the brother of actor Sacha Baron Cohen, composed the 16-minute piece, Zere, which debuted at St. James' Church in central London. The irony of working with a Kazakh orchestra was not lost on Baron Cohen, a trumpet player who also composed the score to his brother's movie. "After I'd got over the initial shock of being rung up by someone from Kazakhstan, I thought it was a great accolade if they liked the music in the film so much that they asked me to write for a symphony orchestra," Baron Cohen told the Daily Telegraph.
■ UNITED STATES
`Dukes of Hazzard' car sold
A version of the General Lee -- a 1969 Dodge Charger made famous in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard -- fetched a winning bid of nearly US$10 million in an online auction. If the bidder comes through with cash or financing for the US$9.9 million price, the car will be the most expensive item ever sold by eBay Inc, company spokeswoman Catherine England said. Actor John Schneider, 47, who played the blond heartthrob Bo Duke in the show, sold the car, which was not featured in the original show but carries the signatures of the cast.
■ UNITED STATES
Presidential doubles nabbed
Two robbers dressed as former US presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon last month during two bank heists in Kentucky, police in Tennessee said. William Hendrick, 57, and Richard Parrott, 58, were arrested on Wednesday. The pair, who were convicted of bank robbery in Florida in the 1980s, face federal armed bank robbery charges. Police said the pair may be fans of an old Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves movie in which robbers wore masks of presidents Reagan, Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson. "I don't know if these guys were sitting around watching Point Break before the first robbery," Bowling Green police officer Barry Pruitt said.
■ UNITED STATES
Anti-gay broadcast panned
Authorities in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are trying to figure out who broadcast a biblical message against homosexuals over the public announcement system at the international airport. Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion personally apologized on Friday for the incident that prompted a male couple to issue a complaint. Someone "entered the PA system in our airport and through that PA system they uttered a statement that's found in Leviticus 20:13," Eggelletion said. The verse states: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death."
Cat terrifies mailwoman
Neither rain, sleet nor snow can stop Canada Post's trusted carriers from delivering the mail, but a cuddly house cat seems to have done just that. Reports said a Winnipeg couple was refused mail delivery this week because their cat terrifies the mailwoman. Canada Post spokeswoman Kathi Neal said the eight-year-old black cat has "growled and leapt up to try to scratch the mail carrier's face" on three occasions in the past six months. "I don't think it's really the devil in disguise [as newspapers have quipped in headlines], but cats can be every bit as dangerous as dogs, and are sometimes very territorial," Neal said.
■ UNITED STATES
Six-legged calf born
A days-old black Angus calf romps about a central Nebraska farm just like any other -- only this one romps with six legs. "He's a real freak," said Brian Slocum, who said the calf was born last Sunday to one of his cows. "I've never seen anything like this before."The two extra appendages -- one a front leg, the other a back -- extend from the calf's pelvic area. The calf also has organs for both sexes. David Smith, a veterinary specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the calf's twin sexes indicate the embryos for what might have been fraternal twins likely fused during development, producing one calf with extra parts.
Henry Tong (湯偉雄) and Elaine To (杜依蘭) were preparing to spend their first wedding anniversary in separate prison cells until their acquittal for rioting during Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. There were gasps and tears of relief in court on Friday last week as a judge declared prosecutors had failed to prove that the couple took part in clashes with police in July last year. The pair walked free in a ruling that has potential consequences for hundreds of other protesters facing similar charges. However, they have a long journey ahead as they try to rebuild their lives and business. “We have already been punished,”
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged