Dozens die after ferry sinks
A crowded ferry sank during a tropical storm, killing at least 42 people and leaving more than 40 missing, officials said yesterday. The death toll from the accident late on Monday could rise because some of those missing were feared trapped inside the sunken ferry, local government administrator Sultan Ahmed said. At least 150 people were aboard the MV Chanpur when it was caught in the storm and sank in the Ghorautra River, a police official in the area about 80km north of Dhaka said. More than 60 people either swam to safety or were rescued by area residents, the official said.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Envoy heads to China
The country's chief nuclear negotiator yesterday left for talks in China, the foreign ministry said, as hopes rose that North Korea will soon disclose details of its long-secret nuclear weapons program. The visit by Kim Sook comes three days after a US envoy returned from Pyongyang with documents on the history of a plutonium bomb-making program dating back to 1986. Kim will meet his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei (武大偉) to discuss issues concerning the six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear programs, foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.
Prodigy goes to polytechnic
An eight-year-old boy has become the youngest student at the Singapore Polytechnic, the institution said yesterday. Among the other accomplishments of Ainan Cawley, a chemistry prodigy, was the creation of a perfume for Mother’s Day. “Our intention is to equip him with the skills needed for a scientist,” his father, Valentine Cawley, told the Straits Times. The child’s parents are supplementing his Singapore Polytechnic courses with home-schooling.
■ UNITED STATES
Cop 'assaulted' with M &Ms
A college student whose friend was being questioned in a hit and run was charged with assaulting an officer with a curious choice of weapons: M&M candies. Sean McGuire was arrested early on Sunday at a convenience store after security guards at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, noticed the colored candies falling on the ground around the officer. When the officer turned around, an M&M hit his shoulder, a police report said. McGuire claimed he threw the candy because he was “sticking up for his friend,” who apparently was the man suspected in the accident, the report said. McGuire was released from jail on Sunday after posting US$1,000 bond.
■ UNITED STATES
Antiques expert indicted
A renowned expert in Asian antiquities has been indicted on fraud charges as part of an ongoing probe into a smuggling ring involving looted art, justice officials said on Monday. Roxanna Brown, 62, the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum at Bangkok University, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Friday for wire fraud, officials said in a statement. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Brown is accused of allowing her electronic signature to be used on appraisal forms that artificially inflated the value of antiquities donated to several museums in southern California for tax purposes, the statement said.
■ UNITED STATES
Police casualties rise
The number of police officers killed criminally or accidentally last year climbed by about 20 percent compared with the previous year, preliminary data released on Monday by the FBI showed. Fifty-seven police officers were killed feloniously in the line of duty last year, up from 48 the previous year, the report said. Most of the officers were shot; two were killed with vehicles. Sixteen were ambushed, 16 died while arresting a suspect and 11 were killed while handling a traffic incident. The remainder died either while responding to disturbance calls, investigating suspicious activities or persons, during tactical situations or while transporting prisoners.