US embassy rammed by car
Three men in a car rammed a gate at the US embassy in Beijing late last month, but little damage was caused and the incident is being investigated, an embassy spokesman said yesterday. Chinese police have released few details about the ramming, Richard Buangan said. The embassy did not report the incident at the time. The three men were immediately taken into police custody and the embassy’s security officers were seeking more information, Buangan said. Their identities are unknown to the embassy, he said. Beijing police and China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to questions about the incident that they asked to be faxed to them. The incident occurred at around 3pm on Jan. 28, during China’s week-long Lunar New Year holidays.
Gold abandoned on plane
Vietnamese customs agents discovered 6.4kg of gold jewelry abandoned on board a Vietnam Airlines flight after it landed in Hanoi, an airline official said yesterday. Local press said the airport authorities believe the gold, estimated to be worth US$185,000, was left behind by someone who decided they could not smuggle it past customs. Vietnam Airlines spokesman Trinh Ngoc Thanh said the jewelry had been found in four packages sitting on the co-pilot’s seat after a flight from Hong Kong landed in Hanoi on Wednesday. The flight crew, including the Polish pilot, two Vietnamese co-pilots and eight Vietnamese flight attendants, denied ownership of the jewelry. “We will take strict action against anyone the police find guilty,” Thanh said.
Probe into emissions plan
The government has convened a parliamentary inquiry into its plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, but denied yesterday it was backing away from the scheme that is scheduled to launch next year. The government said in a brief statement on Thursday that it had asked the lower house’s economics committee to make inquiries and report back to parliament on its proposed emissions trading scheme, part of a climate change policy unveiled in December. The move prompted Greens Party Senator Christine Milne to question whether the government was looking to delay its own scheme, which has come under fire from local industry for imposing additional costs at a time of global economic downturn.
Beach reopens after attack
The nation’s most famous beach reopened yesterday, hours after a surfer’s arm was shredded by a shark — the second shark attack in Sydney in as many days. The 33-year-old man, whose name was not released, was bitten on Thursday around dusk at Sydney’s popular Bondi Beach and suffered severe arm injuries, police said. Other surfers helped him to shore, where volunteers helped to stop his bleeding. The man underwent 10-hour surgery at St Vincent’s Hospital and was in serious but stable condition, spokesman David Faktor said.
Mellow yellow refresher
A hard-line Hindu organization, known for its opposition to “corrupting” Western food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow’s urine, often seen as sacred in parts of India. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next two to three months, but did not give a specific date for its commercial release.