Bollywood star weds
Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt, jailed last year for illegal weapons possession and links to Mumbai's underworld, has tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend while out on bail, a friend said. Dutt had a secret court wedding with former starlet Manyata Dilnawaz Shaikh in a Goa beach resort on Thursday and was celebrating formal Hindu nuptials in Mumbai yesterday, a friend said. The 48-year-old actor, who was sentenced to six years in prison, was released on bail in November.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Roh accepts resignation
Outgoing President Roh Moo-hyun has decided to accept the resignation of his spy chief, who offered to quit last month over the leak of a document detailing his secret trip to Pyongyang in December, his spokesman said yesterday. Kim Man-bok, head of the National Intelligence Service, offered to resign, saying he had ordered his agency to pass to a media outlet a document containing transcripts of conversations between him and his North Korean counterpart during his trip to Pyongyang on the eve of the Dec. 19 presidential election in the South.
Kashmir strike closes shops
Insurgency-hit Indian Kashmir was brought to a halt by a general strike yesterday as locals marked the anniversary of the execution of a prominent rebel commander. The one-day strike was called by the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in memory of founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in a New Delhi jail on Feb. 11, 1984, for the murder of an intelligence officer. The strike, also supported by other separatist groups opposed to Indian rule over part of the disputed Himalayan region, closed down most of the shops, businesses and offices in the region's summer capital Srinagar.
■ NEW ZEALAND
Security raised after attack
Passenger security screening at its regional airports will be upgraded after a woman attempted to hijack a short-haul domestic flight last week, Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday. Somali immigrant Asha Ali Abdille, 33, was charged with attempted hijacking, wounding and injuring with intent to injure after she allegedly stabbed both pilots and another passenger on Friday on a domestic commuter flight. Abdille demanded to be flown to Australia. The plane landed safely in the southern city of Christchurch. Final recommendations on tighter security measures at regional airports are expected from officials within a week.
Bomb, bullets kill four
A militant mullah and two of his children were killed when a bomb he was preparing in his home exploded prematurely in southern Afghanistan, while NATO troops killed a civilian whose vehicle came too close to a military convoy, officials said yesterday. Mullah Abdul Wasay was tinkering with the explosives at his home on Saturday night in Helmand Province when they blew up, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal. Troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, meanwhile, killed an Afghan riding in a car that had driven too close to the soldiers in the western province of Farah. The troops fired a warning shot that ricocheted and injured the car's driver and killed the passenger, the international military alliance said.
■ UNITED STATES
Roy Scheider dies at 75
Roy Scheider, the actor best known for his role as a police chief in the blockbuster movie Jaws, has died. He was 75. Scheider died on Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock, hospital spokesman David Robinson said. The hospital was not releasing his cause of death. However, hospital spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said Scheider had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital's Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy for the past two years.
■ UNITED STATES
Disney ride catches fire
A ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida has closed after a small fire broke out, sending one woman to the hospital with minor injuries. Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger says a truck engine at the Kilimanjaro Safari ride caught on fire Sunday when an engine hose failed. The blaze was mostly out by the time fire officials arrived. The unidentified woman was taken to hospital after complaining of a knee injury when she jumped from a truck. Finger said three other guests have been treated on the scene for minor injuries.
■ UNITED STATES
Unit heads for Philippines
A unit of the National Guard was scheduled to leave yesterday for a training exercise in the Philippines, the first time New Mexico guard troops will visit the Pacific islands since World War II. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 200th Infantry, based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, will participate in the Balikatan 2008 Training Exercise later this month. The unit is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Marc Arellano. New Mexico has a special connection to the Philippines because of the infamous Bataan Death March at the hands of the Japanese during World War II, which included captured troops from the New Mexico National Guard's 200th Coast Artillery.
■ UNITED STATES
Ski resorts hit by reforms
The standoff in Congress over immigration reform is hitting home in ski country this winter. Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort, for example, usually relies on about two dozen seasonal foreign workers as instructors. Not this year. Stowe had to do "heavy duty recruiting" for its ski school, including a first-ever hiring clinic in last month, human resources director Julie Frailey said. "We need to find some folks," Frailey said. "We do whatever we can without dropping our standards at all." Ski resorts are among the first of seasonal businesses to feel the pinch from a change in federal law that cut back the number of visas for foreign workers.
■ UNITED STATES
Cancer Web sites have errors
Five percent of breast cancer Web sites have mistakes, with those involving alternative or comple-mentary medicine the most likely to be misleading, US researchers reported yesterday. But breast cancer information available on the Internet is more accurate than others carrying health information, the team at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston found. "Our current recommenda-tion to patients is to be skeptical, make sure what patients read is applicable to their specific medical well-being and not to take action without consulting a clinician," said Funda Meric-Bernstam, who led the study.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single