Grenade kills drunken man
A drunken Cambodian fishermen dropped a hand grenade in a karaoke bar near Bangkok early yesterday, killing himself and injuring 10 others, police said. The man, who was not identified, had been drinking with friends at the karaoke bar in Samut Prakan, Police Lieutenant Chalermsak Komolwasi said. It was unclear why he was holding the hand grenade, but the incident appeared to be an accident, Chalermsak said. "A drunken Cambodian fisherman took out a hand grenade from his pocket before it fell to the ground and exploded," Chalermsak said.
Pilot collects mushrooms
An air force pilot has been suspended from flying duties after allegedly landing his helicopter in the countryside to collect wild mushrooms for his mother, a spokesman said on Friday. The air force ordered the suspension and began investigating after villagers in Kanchanaburi Province reported the incident, said spokesman Captain Monthon Satchukorn. Villagers said that a helicopter had circled a jungle clearing on Wednesday before landing, and when some of them went to investigate, they found that the pilot had gone. When the pilot eventually returned, he told them he had been collecting mushrooms for his mother.
Earthquake rattles Sumatra
A moderate undersea earthquake struck Sumatra early yesterday, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said. No damage or casualties were reported after the 5.3-magnitude earthquake, the agency said. The quake was centered 10km underground, about 212km northwest of Sinabang, a main town on Simeuleu island in Aceh Province, the agency said. The US Geological Survey recorded the quake's preliminary magnitude at 5.1 and said the epicenter was about 1,665km northwest of Jakarta.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Sailors return home
Four South Korean sailors have returned home after six months held in captivity by Somali pirates, officials said yesterday. The four arrived at Incheon airport late on Friday, officials said, adding they then traveled to Busan by train for family reunions. Han Seok-ho, 40, skipper of the two South Korean-owned vessels hijacked by Somali pirates in May off Somalia, and three other crew members all looked healthy, they said. All 21 sailors, including the four South Koreans and other nationals, were released last week. "I'm so glad to return alive. I thank all the Korean people for their interest in our release," Han said.
EU diplomat criticized
Malaysia has sent a protest note to the EU condemning critical remarks by the group's outgoing envoy as meddling in the affairs of the Southeast Asian nation, state news agency Bernama reported. The diplomat, Thierry Rommel, said this week that Malaysia was living under an effective state of emergency after police used tear gas and water cannons last weekend to break up the biggest anti-government protest in a decade. The note came on Rommel's last day in Malaysia. Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said: "As a diplomat, [Rommel] should be more cautious when issuing statements," adding that Rommel had not helped enhance ties between Malaysia and the EU. "We feel that it is appropriate that his term has ended. We are very happy that he has left Kuala Lumpur," Syed Hamid said.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Security adviser tells all
A newly appointed top British intelligence adviser raised eyebrows on Friday after colorful and indiscreet details of his personal life, including his home address and his wife's mobile number, were revealed on his own Web site. Alex Allan, appointed on Thursday as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, details his love for the cult US band The Grateful Dead and reveals a picture of him in 1969 with microphone hair, flares and Paisley-print cravate strumming on a guitar. A spokesman for Allan told the Daily Telegraph he would not be commenting but the personal information would be removed.