Plane crashes in Papua
Authorities are searching for the bodies of 11 people presumed dead after a light plane crashed in Indonesia’s mountainous Papua Province, an airfield official said yesterday. Timika Air Base commander Easter Haryanto, who is coordinating search efforts, said search teams found the Mimika Air plane at a height of 3,474m on a steep slope on Mount Gergaji. Access to the wreckage was difficult because of foggy weather, he added. “The front portion of the plane is destroyed and the right wing is broken. The accident site is surrounded by fog so we will continue the process of evacuation Sunday,” Haryanto said. The plane was en route from Ilaga to the remote highlands town of Kota Mulia with 11 people on board, including a child, when it crashed on Friday. The secretary of the province’s electoral commission as well as a number of other officials were on board the charter flight, which was carrying ballot papers from April 9 national elections.
Terrorism raid nets 31
Police have arrested 31 men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack, an officer said yesterday. Police chief Masudul Haque Nuruzzaman, from Kushtia district 100km west of the capital Dhaka, said the men were members of the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. “Among the 31 arrested was the group’s chief of the Kushtia district who trained and fought in Afghanistan,” Nuruzzaman said. “The arrests were made on Friday during a raid on a meeting. We have intelligence to suggest they were preparing an attack.” Jihadi books, leaflets, gunpowder and bomb-making materials were seized during the meeting, he said. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a worldwide group that wants to combine all Muslim countries in a unitary Islamic state.
Glass found in food
Police have ruled out a targeted campaign of sabotage against Swedish poultry producers or other food companies despite numerous incidents of pieces of glass found in chicken and other food. “In our view this is not a coordinated attack against food supplies,” Anders Wretling of the National Criminal Police told the Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter. Police have found 80 instances of glass, needles and pieces of plastic in food in recent weeks, with 30 of them related to chicken.
Spinster untroubled by fame
Singing sensation Susan Boyle said on Friday that she’s untroubled by people drawing contrasts between her angelic voice and dowdy image after she was thrust into the international spotlight. The unlikely star, who sprung to fame after her appearance on a British televised talent competition became an online hit, said she loves the attention and isn’t bothered by those who poke fun at her unpolished appearance. “It goes with the territory,” Boyle said on Friday. “It doesn’t bother me.” In a telephone interview from her home in the Scottish town of Blackburn, Boyle did express some impatience with questions over her love life: The 47-year-old Scot raised eyebrows when she told a British television audience last Saturday that she’d “never been kissed.” “It was said as a joke, not an advert. Can we move on?” Boyle said, laughing. She has appeared on the US’ Larry King Show and a spokesman for Oprah had confirmed that she was being lined up as a guest. By yesterday, a video clip of Boyle’s singing debut on the Britain’s Got Talent television show last weekend had received nearly 23 million views on YouTube.