Snow beats Bud Light
Chinese beer Snow leapt ahead of Bud Light to become the world’s biggest selling beer as the country stretches its lead as the largest beer market in the world, provisional data from researcher Plato Logic showed. Snow, which is brewed by SABMiller and its partner China Resources Enterprises Ltd, saw its sales volume jump 19.1 percent last year, putting it well ahead of Bud Light and sister brew Budweiser.
Quake strikes off Sumatra
An undersea earthquake registering 6.1 on the Richter scale struck the west coast of Sumatra yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the National Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said. The quake struck at 1:29pm and was centered in the Indian Ocean, 227km southwest of Bintuhan in Bengkulu Province. It occurred 30km beneath the seabed, but the statement did not say if the quake was a tsunami threat. Earlier yesterday a 6.3-magnitude quake was recorded about 30km off the north coast of Papua New Guinea, the US Geological Survey said.
Freedom House pans PRC
Beijing’s “sophisticated and multi-layered” efforts to censor and control the Internet earned the country a “not free” rating by a US rights group in a report released yesterday. Freedom House, which examined Web freedom issues in 15 countries, listed Cuba, Iran and Tunisia as three others it considered “not free” because of government control of online activity. Freedom House said China has “the world’s most highly-developed censorship apparatus.” The report cited a “sophisticated and multi-layered system” used to censor, monitor and control Internet and mobile telephone activities. It also mentioned the “hundreds of thousands” of people authorities and private providers employ to “monitor, censor and manipulate online content.”
■ NEW ZEALAND
Hiker survives ordeal
A seriously injured hiker spent two days dragging himself 3km down a New Zealand glacier with a suspected broken ankle and wrist after falling down a cliff in the Southern Alps, news reports said yesterday. Matthews Briggs, 33, had lain injured for a week hoping that friends would raise the alarm and searchers would find him. But he eventually set off for a mountaineers’ hut, thinking: “If I don’t get out of here, I’m going to die here,” the Dominion Post reported. In the isolated hut, Briggs found two hunters, who then walked for 13 hours to raise the alarm, and a rescue helicopter lifted him to hospital on Tuesday. In addition to his suspected fractures, Briggs had bone-deep cuts to his leg, back and buttocks.
Wild camels tap into water
Wild camels are entering communities in the outback and turning on taps in search of water, officials said yesterday. “In a number of our communities it’s quite common for camels to enter the community, and if there are any taps adjacent to houses they’re quite capable of either turning the taps on or knocking the taps off so they get water,” said Wayne Wright, head of the Macdonnell Shire Council. The problem was so severe, Wright said, that the council had applied to the government for a A$4.5 million (US$3.1 million) grant to build fences and grids to keep the camels out. The camels are also destroying revegetation projects in desert communities.
Lenin statue vandalized
Vandals set off an explosion yesterday that damaged one of the last Soviet-era monuments to Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in Russia’s former imperial capital, an official said. Nobody was hurt in the night-time explosion outside the Finland train station in Saint Petersburg, the hotbed of the Bolshevik Revolution. The explosion took place at 4:30am and left an 80cm crater in the monument, an emergency services spokesman said, adding that some nearby light fixtures were also damaged in the blast. The Finland Station was where Lenin returned from exile in April 1917 before leading his Bolshevik party to power in a revolution that ushered in more than seven decades of Soviet communism.