Failed candidates die
A candidate who failed to win a seat in fiercely contested parliamentary elections committed suicide and at least two others died from heart attacks, police and local news reports said on Wednesday. Thousands of candidates invested their life savings — in some cases their homes — to campaign in the elections. The posts pay around US$1,200 compared with the average monthly wage of less than US$200.
Plane misses beachgoers
Beachgoers had a lucky escape on Thursday when a small plane crash-landed in the sand then flipped over in the sea. Phil Walters and his co-pilot were flying the single-propeller Piper Cub towing an advertising banner above the tourist town of Caloundra in northeastern Queensland state when the engine stalled. Witnesses said the plane hit the sand, flipped and came down in the shallows. The two pilots walked away with scratches and bruises, after initially shocked beachgoers helped them escape the upside-down plane.
Poll condemns Tiananmen
A student poll has found China should be held accountable for its military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananamen Square in 1989 in which hundreds were killed. The University of Hong Kong held a three-day campus-wide referendum on whether China should “rectify” its verdict on the June 4 protests. Only 19 percent of 10,000 undergraduates cast votes in the poll, but 93 percent of them supported the move, the student union said.
Vice president named
Fiji’s self-appointed rulers drew another military ally into their ranks yesterday with the appointment of Epili Nailatikau as vice president. Nailatikau, a former army commander who is credited with guiding interim prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama through his military career, was handpicked by President Josefa Iloilo who last week declared himself head of state. The political shakeup follows a court ruling last week that Bainimarama’s military-led government was illegal. Iloilo sacked the judiciary and abandoned the Constitution. He reappointed Bainimarama as prime minister and declared that his decrees could not be challenged in court.
Man awaits Prada verdict
The wealthy German head of a mortgage corporation was yesterday awaiting a verdict after standing trial accused of stealing a US$360 Prada bag from a Hong Kong hotel bar. Timo Woskowiak, 43, from Berlin, Asia-Pacific head of Hypo Real Estate, was arrested in November after allegedly taking the bag, which had been left at the bar of the Four Seasons Hotel where he was staying. Police found the bag in his room and arrested him six days later, the South China Morning Post reported. Woskowiak denied a charge of theft, saying he planned to return the bag to the Prada store.
Earthquakes kill 22
Two earthquakes, magnitudes 5.5 and 5.1, killed at least 22 people and destroyed several hundred homes when they struck two hours apart in the east, local authorities said yesterday. The quakes hit overnight the district of Khogyani in Nangarhar Province. “Four villages were seriously damaged by the two earthquakes. Twenty-two people have been killed and 30 injured. More than 200 homes have been destroyed,” the district chief said.
Guide to safe shaving
Men can avoid nicks and cuts from their razors by shaving before breakfast, said a German-language skin care Web site run by several organizations active in promoting cosmetics and healthcare. As the stomach starts to digest, the heart rate and blood flow increases. As there is more blood flowing through the arteries beneath the skin on the face and neck, there is a greater danger of being cut after eating. In addition, facial hair should be well moistened before shaving. The hair swells almost like a sponge swells when it is moistened and it is easier to cut, the Web site said.