Second bomb discovered
A second unexploded bomb was recovered in Iligan City yesterday, three days after twin explosions killed three people and injured dozens, police said. The explosive, made from an 81mm mortar shell, was found in a garbage dump, police said. It was the second unexploded bomb found in the city since two shopping centers were bombed on Thursday. On Friday, a bomb was found inside a bakery just hours after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo left the city. Authorities said no group claimed responsibility. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has denied involvement in the bombings.
Pre-nuptial HIV test urged
The government will urge non-Muslim couples to take voluntary HIV screening tests before tying the knot due to high levels of infection among married women, the deputy premier said. Such screening is already compulsory for Muslims as part of a pre-marital course. While new HIV infections dropped to 3,452 this year, compared to 6,756 in 2003, infections among women through sexual intercourse rose from 5.02 percent of total cases in 1997 to 16.3 percent last year.
Southern violence kills two
Separatist insurgents shot dead a railway security guard and two bombs killed one woman and injured 11 people in the restive south, police said yesterday. A 49-year-old railway security guard was shot dead in troubled Yala Province in a drive-by shooting as he left his house late on Saturday morning, they said. Later the same day a small bomb hidden inside a motorcycle and triggered by a mobile phone, detonated in front of a convenience store in nearby Pattani Province and injured eight people.
Nation favors miracle pig
A pig that survived 36 days buried in the rubble of May’s massive Sichuan earthquake has been voted the nation’s favorite animal, but the attention has made him fat, lazy and bad-tempered, state media said. The hog, trapped in a sty after the 7.9 magnitude quake, was bought by a local businessman who was moved by its ordeal and named it “Zhu Jianqiang,” or “Strong Pig.” It survived by eating charcoal and drinking rainwater. Now it has been voted top of an online poll of animals “who moved China” this year, the weekend edition of the China Daily said. People come from all over to see the pig at its new home in a museum, the newspaper said, but it was becoming increasingly spoiled and ungrateful.
‘Bad’ drugs sicken dozens
A dozen people were hospitalized and 20 more received medical treatment after a “bad batch” of drugs was distributed at a party in Melbourne, ambulance officials said yesterday. Paul Holman of the state medical service Ambulance Victoria said more than 30 people aged between 17 and their early 20s fell seriously ill at a party on Saturday night. Emergency room staff treated symptoms ranging from fits to breathing problems after the partygoers took the drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, known as GHB.
Blaze kills eight, six missing
The death toll from a massive fire that gutted a major shopping mall in the garrison city of Rawalpindi has risen to eight, with six others still missing, officials said yesterday. Rescuers were combing through the debris in search of survivors at Ghakhar Plaza, which partially collapsed 12 hours after the blaze erupted in the early hours of Saturday, Deputy City Commissioner Haseeb Athar told reporters. “Eight people have died and 59 were injured. Six are still missing,” Athar said. The cause of the massive blaze, which engulfed hundreds of shops, was not immediately known. Plaza owner Shahid Zafar, a former federal minister, told private Geo television that the blaze in Rawalpindi — the twin city of the capital Islamabad — had caused millions of dollars in losses to shopkeepers.