Gas traps 20 in mine
Poisonous gas has trapped 20 people in a coal mine in Shanxi Province, the heart of China's coal industry, the Xinhua news agency saidz yesterday. Workers were clearing a mine pit to investigate a previous accident when the gas leaked at dawn, trapping two rescue workers, two mine safety workers, and 16 miners, Xinhua said, citing the provincial mine safety administration. China's coal mining industry is the world's deadliest, claiming 4,746 lives last year or an average of 13 a day.
Man goes on rampage
An Australian man went on a rampage with a stolen armored personnel carrier yesterday, destroying several mobile phone towers and an electricity substation before he was arrested by police. The 45-year-old man, whose identity was not immediately released, led officers on a 90-minute chase as he crashed the privately owned vehicle into mobile phone towers and telecommunications buildings across six western Sydney suburbs. The pursuit ended when the vehicle stalled, New South Wales state police said in a statement. Police charged the man with predatory driving, possession of a prohibited drug and other crimes.
Aide under investigation
A top aide to Malaysia's former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has been arrested and is being investigated under a law protecting government secrets, a senior police officer said yesterday. "He [Nathaniel Tahn] is under investigation at the moment ... related to some government documents," the officer said on condition of anonymity. Anwar angrily criticized the arrest of Tahn who serves as secretary for his Foundation for the Future, an organization which promotes democracy. Anwar said Tahn, 27, is a graduate of Harvard University in the US and has been actively involved in humanitarian efforts in Indonesia and Sierra Leone. "I strongly condemn the detention," he said.
Typhoon injures 34
A powerful typhoon raced up the Japanese archipelago yesterday, injuring at least 34 people, cutting power and snarling transportation, officials said. By afternoon, Typhoon Man-Yi was bearing down on the city of Makurazaki on the southern tip of the southern main island of Kyushu after lashing the Okinawa island chain on Friday with heavy rain and fierce winds. As the storm approached Makurazaki, it was clocking sustained wind speeds of up to 162kph and gusts up to 216kph, the meteorological agency said. The agency warned of heavy rains, high waves and strong winds, predicting up to 1,000mm of rain in parts of the region. It wasn't clear if Tokyo would take a direct hit.
Landslide victims receive aid
Army helicopters dropped dozens of soldiers yesterday near a western Nepal village where a landslide killed at least 21 people and injured several others a day earlier, officials said. Surya Bhandari, Baglung District's chief administrator, said the soldiers would help rescuers who had already reached the village of Goulichaur. The injured people were being airlifted to hospitals, he said. The landslide hit Goulichaur, about 280km west of Katmandu, on Friday morning. Dozens of rescuers including army soldiers, police, Red Cross volunteers and local residents have been digging through the debris since Friday.
■ SOUTH AFRICA
It's not what you wear ...
A drug dealer who tried to peddle his wares to undercover police was arrested while wearing a T-shirt proclaiming "True Champions Don't Do Drugs and Crime," a newspaper said on Friday. The 27-year-old thought he had found new clients and led the officers straight to a stash of marijuana and Mandrax tablets, the Daily Sun reported. The pusher wept in frustration when he realized their identity before being hauled into the back of a police van.
Kidnapped child returned
The latest toddler kidnapped in a rash of attacks in oil-rich in the south returned safely home to cheers and singing, the day after he was seized on his way to nursery school. Three-year-old Samuel, the son of town chief Eze Francis Amadi, was still in his school uniform when security services escorted him home on Friday. He rushed into the arms of his mother. "I'm grateful to God for the safe release of my son, but if he had been harmed there would have been trouble," Eze said. He called on the authorities to find and punish those responsible for kidnapping children.
Brawl interrupts flight
An airplane flying from St Petersburg to Doloman, Turkey, had to turn back mid-flight after a drunken brawl over a young woman spun out of control, police said on Friday. Three young Russians boarded the plane drunk on Thursday and "continued their party on board." "One of them took a fancy to a girl but she did not want to socialize with the new admirer," police said. On rejection, the passenger slapped the woman on her face several times. Another passenger immediately rose to defend her. "A fight began, the situation started to get out of hand and the crew made the only right decision -- to turn back."
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Teens caught in Ghana
The families of two girls from north London arrested in Ghana on suspicion of attempted cocaine smuggling are deeply shocked and distressed, the organi-zation representing them said on Friday. The 16-year-olds' parents, who thought their children were on a school trip to France, were horrified when they were told that they had been held at Accra airport as they tried to board a British Airways flight home, allegedly carrying cocaine worth ?300,000 (US$610,000) hidden in laptop bags. Ghanaian police say they were promised ?3,000 each for transporting the luggage. The pair are to appear in court on Wednesday.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Racist `Tintin' sales boom
Sales of a Tintin comic book have rocketed since the Commission for Racial Equality claimed it was racist, a newspaper reported yesterday. Sales of Tintin in the Congo have shot up 3,800 percent after the watchdog claimed it contained potentially highly offensive material, the Daily Telegraph said. The comic has reached number eight on Internet retailer Amazon's most popular books list, the broadsheet reported. A commission spokesman accepted that its interjection could have sparked the rise in sales. "It is a delicate balance but because we had a complaint from a member of the public we felt we had no choice," he said.
■ UNITED STATES
Group hug for intruder
A would-be robber was disarmed by hospitable hosts who offered him a glass of wine and sent him off with a group hug but no cash. A hooded man broke onto the patio of a Washington, DC home with a gun where a group of friends were finishing dinner. A quick-thinking guest, Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, offered the man a glass of wine. The man accepted and finally said "I think I may have come to the wrong house," and then apologized. He then asked, "Can I get a hug?" Rowan, who works at her children's school and lives in Falls Church, Virginia, stood up and wrapped her arms around would-be robber. The other guests followed. Nothing was stolen, and no one was hurt.
■ UNITED STATES
Man breaks in to use toilet
A Virginia woman who stepped out to buy a newspaper returned home to find that an intruder had made himself comfortable -- on her toilet. The man apparently cut a screen and unlocked a door Thursday while the woman, in her 80s, was out, police said. She had noticed the man outside when she went out and when she returned, noticed that the bathroom door was closed. When she opened the door, she saw him perched on the toilet. "How long are you going to be?" she asked, among other things. She told him she was calling police and he left quickly. The man is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s.
■ UNITED STATES
Wasps bugging diplomats
As if the insurgency in Iraq and the fight against terrorism was not enough, US diplomats are now struggling with a new threat: Menacing "killer" wasps have infested areas around the State Department's headquarters. Large numbers of the fearsome looking insects, which can grow to about 5cm, are congregating in the vicinity of the Harry S. Truman building and causing distress to employees, according to an internal memorandum obtained by the press.
■ UNITED STATES
Soldier shot to avoid duty
A soldier who recently returned from Iraq has admitted he paid someone US$500 to shoot him in the leg so he could avoid returning for another tour. Jonathan Aponte, 20, claimed he had been robbed and shot but changed his story when police questioned him, authorities said. Aponte, who was facing another eight-month tour, had been scheduled to leave last Monday. Apone had joked with his wife about getting shot in the leg so he could avoid another tour, according to the complaint. His wife took the remark seriously, and said she knew a man named who could do the job. Aponte told an investigator that he smoked a cigarette and closed his eyes before he was shot.
Protesters free hostages
Nine police officers were released on Friday night after being held by angry protesters for six hours in southern Peru, a police chief said. Protesters voluntarily freed the officers after local authorities in the Arequipa region agreed to talk with their leaders, who demand the government of President Alan Garcia invest in social projects to bring prosperity to the area. Arequipa's police chief Hernan Tamayo said the hostages were freed after being held for six hours. According to the police, some 1,000 protesters had blocked the highway, some 1,100 km south of the capital Lima, to demand the government invest in the region and express support for a public teachers strike that started this week.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies