Bus crash kills 13 in Guizhou
At least 13 people were killed when a bus in which they were traveling plunged into a valley in the country’s mountainous Guizhou Province in the southwest, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The bus carrying 44 people veered off a highway in Guizhou’s Yanhe County to fall into an 80m-deep ravine, the agency said. It was not clear how many were injured. China’s roads are the deadliest in the world, with overtaking on blind mountain corners common.
Internet crackdown begun
Authorities have launched a crackdown against major Web sites that officials accused of threatening morals by spreading pornography and vulgarity, including the dominant search engines Google and Baidu. The Ministry of Public Security and six other government agencies announced the campaign at a meeting yesterday, state television reported, showing officials hauling digital equipment away from one unidentified office. The meeting “decided to launch a nationwide campaign to clean up a vulgar current on the Internet and named and exposed a large number of violating public morality and harming the physical and mental health of youth and young people,” the report said.
Swimmers flee sharks
Thousands of beachgoers fled from the sea on Sunday after sharks were spotted off some of Sydney’s most popular beaches, raising concerns the number of potential man-eaters in the country’s waters is increasing. Shark alarms sounded and people were cleared from the water off Coogee, Maroubra, Bronte and Tamarama beaches after three hammerheads, between 3m and 4m long, were sighted, said Donna Wishart of Surf Life Saving New South Wales. A surveillance helicopter and rescue boat tried to shoo them further out to sea, she said.
Woman sets husband on fire
A woman who allegedly set fire to her husband’s genitals because she believed he was having an affair appeared in court on a murder charge yesterday. After the fire spread through the family home, Rajini Narayan, 44, told neighbors she had only wanted to burn her husband’s penis “so it belongs to me and no one else,” prosecutors said. “It’s just his penis I wanted to burn, I didn’t mean this to happen,” she was quoted as saying, the Adelaide Advertiser reported. Prosecutors said Narayan’s engineer husband Satish was asleep in their home when his wife doused his genitals with methylated spirit and set them on fire on Dec. 8. The blaze spread when he jumped out of bed and knocked over the bottle of spirits, the court heard. Satish Narayan, 47, died in hospital last week.
Hu: US ties to stay strong
President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) used one of his last official talks with US President George W. Bush to voice confidence that bilateral ties would remain strong, the foreign ministry here said. Hu made the remark while talking to Bush by telephone late on Sunday Beijing time, a little more than a fortnight before president-elect Barack Obama moves into the White House. “In a new historical period, China and the United States will definitely be able to stick firmly to the overall direction of a relationship characterized by constructive cooperation,” Hu said. “This will help develop a Sino-US relationship that is healthy and stable, comprehensive and deep,” he said.
WWII bombs disposed of
Bomb disposal teams defused two World War II bombs and carried out controlled explosions on two more on Sunday after 15,000 people were evacuated from nearby residential areas. The 250kg bombs were believed to have been dropped by British Royal Air Force planes on the north town of Osnabrueck more than 60 years ago. They were discovered between 2m and 5m under the earth of a housing estate mainly used by the British military until the soldiers were pulled out of Osnabrueck several months ago. The first two bombs were rendered harmless on Sunday morning, but experts were unable to defuse the others and covered them with earth and bales of straw to minimize the effects of the blast.