Ten electrocuted on bus
Ten people were electrocuted when an 11,000-volt power line touched the bus they were riding in northern India, a newspaper reported yesterday. Sixteen other passengers suffered burn injuries, the Hindustan Times said. The packed bus was traveling through Chandpur village in Uttar Pradesh state on Sunday morning when it touched the low-hanging overhead wire, which set the tires on fire. Seeing that more people were being electrocuted when they tried to get down to safety, one passenger tried to lift away the wire using a wooden flagpole he was carrying, but the wire fell back and electrocuted him.
Low-caste cook attacked
Children at a school have gone without their state-funded midday meals for two months because upper-caste officials have been attacking the school's low-caste cook, a newspaper reported yesterday. As a Dalit, Lali Devi, the cook at a school in Pipri village in the eastern state of Bihar, is at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. Upper-caste men on the school's committee think she is a lesser human being who can taint things simply by touching them. Disgusted at the thought of her preparing their children's food, they dragged her from the kitchen and assaulted her, the Hindustan Times said yesterday. The men also assaulted her husband and hid Devi's utensils because she had touched them, the newspaper said.
Flight attendant packs heat
A flight attendant was caught trying to carry a pistol on board a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on Monday, police and airlines officials said. The woman, in her mid-20s, was carrying the pistol in her hand luggage as she tried to board a PIA flight from Karachi to the port city of Gwadar, they said. "She was caught this morning by Airports Security Force personnel and has been handed over to the police now," said Maqsood Ahmed, a Superintendent of Police. It was not immediately clear as to why the woman tried to take the weapon onto a flight. Ahmed said police were investigating.
Twenty killed in bus crash
Twenty people were killed and several others critically injured yesterday in a bus crash thought to be one of the country's worst traffic accidents. The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which skidded before overturning near a village in northern Perak state, the official Bernama news agency said. The accident left seven people in critical condition. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi blamed human error for the crash, saying the road was well maintained and was "in first class order."
Jiang Zemin suffers setback
Former president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) suffered a political blow when his son and the security chief were left out of the running for seats in the Communist Party Central Committee, sources with ties to the leadership said. The setback, coupled with the arrest of a former secretary to a late vice premier and a son of Shanghai's disgraced party boss, strengthened the hand of incumbent President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) ahead of the party's five-yearly 17th congress in the autumn. Jiang Mianheng (江綿恆), a vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and You Xigui (由喜貴), director of the party's Bodyguards Bureau, lost in Central Committee straw votes earlier this year, the sources said.
Reptiles found in luggage