Name change causes upsets
The 50 residents of a small hamlet on Hainan island thought changing the name of their village would improve their fortunes. Instead, it left them in a legal limbo after police computers were unable to register a very rare character that is part of the new name, the China Daily said yesterday, citing an earlier report in the Nanguo Metropolitan News. "Many villagers have not been able to get marriage certificates and are facing difficulties while seeking jobs, traveling and dealing in property," the China Daily said. A fortune teller had advised the village to change its name. It's name used to be Tianmeidong, but was changed to Tianwei, plus a third character that even the Nanguo was forced to describe it because its computer could not write it.
Rudd leads Howard in poll
Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd still has a winning margin over Prime Minister John Howard, an opinion poll released yesterday showed, despite a scandal over his visit to a New York strip club four years ago. The poll published in the Australian newspaper showed Rudd had extended his lead as preferred prime minister to 46 percent against 39 percent for Howard. The telephone survey of 1,152 voters was taken between last Friday and Sunday, when newspapers revealed the boozy visit Rudd made four years ago on a taxpayer-funded trip to the UN. His Labor Party led the ruling Liberal-National coalition 55 points to 45 on a two-party-preferred basis.
Japanese diver saved
A Japanese man, who went missing on a diving trip, was rescued after 10 hours adrift at sea, news reports said yesterday. The 32-year-old, whose family name was given as Miyazawa, was pulled to safety by fishermen. He appeared dazed and did not know where he was when rescued on Monday. He had gone on a diving expedition to photograph corals with a friend but failed to resurface. Police quoted by the Bernama news agency said Miyazawa was apparently swept away by strong underwater currents. He was taken to hospital for observation and reunited with his family.
Body returned after 40 years
The snow-preserved body of a soldier was given to his family in Assam state yesterday, nearly 40 years after he died in a plane crash in the Himalayas,an army commander said. Soldiers discovered the frozen bodies of Mahendranath Phukan and two others half-buried in snow on a glacier at an altitude of 5,300m on a search earlier this month,close to where an army plane crashed in 1968 in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh state.
Men jailed for bombing
Four men were jailed for 25 years by a court on Monday in connection with three attacks that killed three foreign tourists in Cairo two years ago. The tourists were killed in a bomb attack at a famous bazaar in Cairo's district of al-Azhar in April 2005. A suicide bomber attacked tourists later in the same month while his sister and girlfriend opened fire at a tourist bus. The four attackers were killed in the attacks, while 26 people, including 11 tourists, were wounded. The State Security Supreme Court also handed down jail terms of between one and 10 years to five other defendants. Four others, including two women, were acquitted.
Serial killer believed caught
Police said on Monday they believe they have captured a serial killer responsible for the deaths of at least five young women between 1983 and 1990. Police in the western town of Aachen arrested a 51-year-old man for stealing scrap metal in March. At the time of his arrest fingerprints and DNA samples were taken and cross-referenced with a central criminal database. "Two weeks ago the DNA samples showed a match for one of the unsolved murders," a police official in Aachen said. The man has since confessed to five murders and the authorities are now trying to determine whether he killed anyone else, the police said.