Fighter jet crashes
An F-16 fighter jet crashed in the Yellow Sea yesterday but its two pilots ejected safely, the Defense Ministry said. The two-seater aircraft was on a routine training mission from a base on the west coast when it crashed, the ministry said. “The two pilots ejected safely and were rescued by an air force helicopter and a boat in the West Sea [Yellow Sea],” a ministry spokesman said, adding the cause of the accident was not immediately known. He said investigators were trying to collect debris off Taean County, about 150km southwest of Seoul.
Pilgrims killed in crash
At least 24 pilgrims were killed and 75 injured when a truck carrying them from a Hindu shrine overturned on a road in Punjab yesterday, a news report said. The accident occurred near the town of Anandpur Sahib early yesterday when the truck was returning from the Hindu shrine of Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh state, the IANS news agency reported. Twenty-one people were killed on the scene and three succumbed to injuries on way to the hospital, the PTI news agency said in its report. The injured were moved to a government hospital in Anandpur. Ravi Kumar, one of the wounded, told IANS “the driver was heavily drunk and he was driving the vehicle at a very high speed.”
Hungarian loses appeal
An 87-year-old alleged war criminal accused of murdering a young Jewish man in World War II yesterday failed in his latest bid to escape extradition from Australia to Hungary. Charles Zentai is accused of beating to death teenager Peter Balazs in 1944 in Budapest while serving as a soldier in the army of his native Hungary, then allied with Nazi Germany. Zentai was last August found eligible for extradition, but has mounted a series of challenges to the decision, including an appeal to the Federal Court on the grounds the case against him was legally unsound. But the Federal Court yesterday upheld his extradition.
British protester sentenced
A British man who unfurled banners denouncing China’s human rights record on a major Hong Kong bridge on the day of the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony has been sentenced to six months in jail. A court document said Matt Pearce, a 33-year-old teacher from Bristol, England, was convicted of creating a public nuisance and sentenced on Monday. On Aug. 8, Pearce hung two banners on road signs on Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma Bridge that said, “We want human rights and democracy” and “The people of China want freedom from oppression.”
Man falls from CCTV towers
A man fell to his death from the futuristic Beijing headquarters of the country’s state broadcaster, state media said yesterday. The 23-year-old cleaner fell 45 stories on Sunday from the still unfinished China Central Television tower, Xinhua news agency reported. The report said it was not known whether the death was an accident or a suicide, but police had ruled out foul play. The headquarters building — two massive leaning towers that are joined at the top — became a symbol of the country’s modernization during the Beijing Olympics and was slated to be occupied by the state broadcaster later this year.
Group seeks more patrols
A maritime watchdog yesterday urged an international naval coalition patrolling the waters off northern Somalia to extend its watch to the country’s eastern and southern coasts. The warning came amid a spike in attacks in the area. The latest attack occurred late on Monday, when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at a South Korean bulk carrier off eastern Somalia. The vessel managed to escape after carrying out evasive maneuvers, the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center said.