Sale sparks stampede
A sales promotion set off a stampede in Chongqing that left two people dead and 11 injured, Xinhua news agency said. Details of the Sunday sale were unclear, but Xinhua said the crowd was scrambling for giveaways during a promotion for a brand of Tibetan medicine. A spokeswoman for Chongqing’s Fuling District government said yesterday that said the company hosting the sale, Fuling Liaofeng Electronics Co, issued an apology.
Toddler escapes jaws
A mother narrowly rescued her year-old son from an attack by a crocodile that had escaped from a nearby farm, a police officer in the Mekong delta said yesterday. The woman was holding her son over a canal to relieve himself on Sunday when the 100kg crocodile leapt out of the water and snapped at the child’s foot. The mother managed to pull her son back and outrun the crocodile that pursued her onto land, the officer said. Four local men subdued the crocodile with ropes and sticks. “It is mating season, so the crocodile was more aggressive than usual,” the officer said.
Teen stabs six
Jonathan Tiplado, 17, was shot dead after stabbing six people inside a Manila police station, police said yesterday. He had been brought in for questioning over a stabbing late on Sunday. While being questioned he pulled out a knife that had been hidden in his underwear and began attacking people, police said. The injured included four teenagers, a community peace volunteer and a police officer.
Activists appear in court
Two Greenpeace members appeared in court on charges of stealing whale meat, in what the environmental group said was a legitimate act to highlight corruption in Japan’s controversial whaling program. Junichi Sato, 32, and Toru Suzuki, 42, appeared in the district court in Aomori for a pre-trial hearing. They were arrested in June last year for allegedly stealing whale meat from a transport company in Aomori and held for 26 days. They face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty. Greenpeace says Sato and Suzuki took the meat to show it was being sold illegally and to highlight there is corruption in the Japanese whaling industry.
Whale rescue under way
Volunteers joined rescue workers yesterday in struggling to save the lives of 17 whales that survived a mass stranding on a beach in Hamelin Bay, south of Perth. Around 80 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins were found beached. “When found this morning there were 25 whales alive, since then a further eight have died,” the Department of Environment and Conservation said in a statement.
About 100 people were working to stabilize the survivors while awaiting equipment to help return them to the sea.
Ex-presidential aide arrested
A former aide to President Lee Myung-bak has been arrested in connection with a widening bribery investigation, an official said yesterday. Choo Boo-kil was taken into custody in Seoul for allegedly accepting up to 200 million won (US$140,000) in bribes from a businessman, a prosecution spokesman said. Choo, a former presidential secretary for public relations, is being investigated for purportedly using his connections with tax officials to help the businessman avoid an investigation.
Royal heir wins dance show
More than 60 years after Italy scrapped its royal family, the youngest heir to the defunct throne has been crowned king for a day after dancing the cha-cha-cha on the TV dance show, Strictly Come Dancing. Emanuele Filiberto, the grandson of the country’s last king, and Russian dancer Natalia Titova won the show’s final round on Saturday night with 75 percent of the phone-in vote. The 36-year-old said he entered the contest “with the aim of letting Italians get to know me,” and has hinted he may stand in European elections. Waving his enormous trophy on Saturday, Filiberto gave a speech worthy of the Oscars, saying: “The victory is above all for the Italians who discovered me.”
Prisoner swap talks not over
Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers both said on Sunday that talks aimed at freeing an Israeli soldier held nearly three years by Palestinian militants are not over, despite last week’s public breakdown of talks mediated by Egypt. Sergeant Gilad Schalit has been held by Hamas-linked militants since June 2006. Olmert spokesman Mark Regev said on Sunday the government was trying to reach a deal with Hamas. “The work is ongoing,” he said. He provided no further details. The head of Hamas’ government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, also indicated a deal was still possible in an article in the Hamas newspaper al-Ray. “Our people are still trying to renew the Egyptian-sponsored negotiations in order to reach a respectable prisoner exchange,” he said.
Spy sentenced to death
The state security court has issued a death sentence in the case of a Yemeni man found guilty of spying for Israel. Two other men received jail sentences of three and five years in the same case. Presiding judge Mouhssien Alwan said the court convicted the trio after it checked the evidence and found out that it was “clear enough to let the court have the degree of certainty to convict them.” The prosecution has charged the three young men with establishing contact with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, offering to work as agents for the Mossad intelligence agency. The group’s leader, Bassam Abdullah al-Haidari, 26, received the death sentence.
Shark kills teenage surfer
A 16-year-old surfer died after being attacked by a shark, media reported yesterday. The youth was part of a group surfing in Port St Johns when the shark bit him in the leg and buttocks, the region’s newspaper, the Herald, reported. He managed to paddle to shore, where his instructor and a lifeguard pulled him to safety. He died later in the hospital from his injuries. The incident is the second of its kind along the Wild Coast in two months.
Second coalition deal struck
Prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a second coalition deal with the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, officials said yesterday. As part of the deal, the religious party will receive four portfolios in the new Cabinet, including interior, housing and religious affairs. The fourth minister from the party will be a minister without portfolio. The move brings Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party, one step closer to forming a government following last week’s signing of a deal with the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures