Mount Soputan erupts
A volcano erupted on Sulawesi island early yesterday, sending plumes of smoke and hot ash shooting 1,500m into the air, officials said. There were no reports of injuries or damage, but villages along Mount Soputan's base were covered in volcanic dust and many residents were wearing face masks, local volcanologist Sandy Manengke said. "Smoke and debris keep spewing from the mouth of the volcano," he said, adding there was no immediate need for evacuations because the nearest villages were well away from the danger zone. However, farmers who regularly work soil along the mountain's fertile slopes were told to stay clear of the peak.
Strike closes schools
A strike called by a students' union to protest the beatings of students shut down schools in the capital yesterday. All elementary schools and high schools in Kathmandu were closed and tens of thousands of students stayed home. The strike was called by the Nepal Student Union, the student wing of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepali Congress party, to protest the beatings. The Nepal Student Union said its supporters were attacked at Thapathali College in Kathmandu on Monday. A half-dozen students were severely hurt. It was unclear who the attackers were, or what their motivation was. No immediate comment was available from officials.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Five killed on Ferris wheel
Five family members fell to their deaths from a Ferris wheel after the car they were riding in unexpectedly overturned on Monday at an amusement park in the southern city of Busan, police said. Four people, including a 68-year-old woman and a seven-year-old boy, died at the scene after they fell 20m at around 5:20pm, police said. A 28-year-old woman who was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment died later, police said. There were seven relatives riding in the Ferris wheel car, but the other two were able to cling to handholds and avoid injury, police officer Yoon Jae-man said.
Legless and oblivious
A motorcyclist cruised 2km down a road without noticing his right leg had been severed, media reports said yesterday. Police suspect that Kazuo Nagata, 54, was unable to feel the pain because it was so acute. Osada was on a ride with some 10 friends on Monday when he lost his right leg from the knee down after hitting a dividing barrier on a road in Shizuoka prefecture, the Yomiuri Shimbun said. He did not notice his leg was gone until he had to change direction. His friends went back to pick up his leg, which was transported with Nagata by ambulance to a hospital, the Mainichi Shimbun said.
Bus driver was wanted
The driver of a bus that crashed killing 20 people in the country's worst road accident had two outstanding arrest warrants for reckless driving, initial results of an investigation showed yesterday. Rohizan Abu Bakar, 28, who was among the dead, also had 13 summonses from police, the official Bernama news agency said. It was not clear however why he had managed to evade arrest or how why the operator of the express bus hired him despite his record. According to transportation authorities, Rohizan apparently fell asleep at the wheel.
Dead soldiers identified
Army researchers have identified five soldiers nearly 60 years after they were killed in the 1948 war that led to the establishment of Israel, the army said on Monday. The five soldiers, who belonged to the Givati infantry brigade, were killed on April 28, 1948 near the Arab village of Tel Arish, which today lies near the city of Holon, south of Tel Aviv. The soldiers' remains were buried anonymously and the army spent years trying to establish their identities. These were ultimately established after years of intensive research, which included advanced DNA testing that was conducted in the US, the army said.