Wild elephants kill three
A herd of nearly 150 hungry elephants rampaged through a village in the remote northeast, trampling to death a young family as they slept in their hut, a resident and a wildlife official said. The elephants destroyed four homes in Assam state’s Karbi Anglong village on Friday night, resident Rimi Marak said. A farmer, his wife and their five-year-old daughter died in the incident, he said. The herd left a nearby forest reserve in search of food nearly two weeks ago, state forestry officer M.K. Dhar said. Forest guards tried in vain to drive the elephants back using firecrackers and lighting torches, Dhar said. The region is home to about 5,000 wild elephants, whose natural habitat has been increasingly diminished by human development. Conservationists say wild elephant attacks have killed more than 700 people in Assam in the past 17 years.
Leader breaks arm
The arrival of the Lunar Year of the Ox did not bring any luck to Prime Minister John Key, who broke his right arm falling at a celebration in Auckland, his office said yesterday. Key — who was born in a year of the ox, 1961 — fell when leaving the stage by some stairs at a Lunar New Year event at showgrounds in suburban Greenlane on Saturday morning. A doctor confirmed that his arm was broken in two places and a cast was applied, a statement said.
Moderate earthquake strikes
A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck the southwest late on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, with local media reporting some material damage. The quake hit at 8:41pm in the border area between the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou, at a depth of 10km, the USGS said. The Guizhou Metropolitan News, a local newspaper, said there were no immediate reports of injuries, but described unspecified damage to buildings.
Lee replaces security chiefs
President Lee Myung-bak replaced the country’s security and police chiefs before a possible Cabinet reshuffle. Lee named Public Administration and Security Minister Won Sei-hoon as the head of the National Intelligence Service, the presidential office said in a statement in Seoul yesterday. Kim Suk-ki, currently the city’s police chief, will helm the National Policy Agency, the statement said.
Interpol wants Ho relative
A relative of chief executive Edmund Ho (何厚鏵) was wanted by Interpol, in the latest twist in the city’s biggest graft scandal. The international police organization has issued a “red notice” for Chan Lin-ian, brother-in-law of Ho’s brother, and his wife Lam Man-i, over suspected money laundering. Arrest warrants for the pair had also been issued by authorities, the Interpol Web site said. A red notice means that the persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions and that Interpol will assist the national police forces in identifying or locating them with a view to their arrest and extradition. Chan, 53, had been implicated in the corruption case of former public works minister Ao Man-long (歐文龍), who was jailed last year for 27 years on 57 counts of bribe-taking, money laundering, abuse of power and other charges, the Sunday Morning Post said. Chan’s company, Shun Heng Construction, came under investigation last year after it allegedly provided kickbacks to Ao over three public works projects it undertook between 2003 and 2006, the newspaper said.