Four shot dead in Kirkuk
A Kurdish militiaman, Turkman policeman and two Sunni Arab civilians have been killed in three separate attacks by guns fitted with silencers in Kirkuk, police said on Saturday. The northern oil hub is plagued with tensions among its rival Kurdish, Turkmen and Arab communities. Assailants gunned down Bassem Abbas al-Bayati, a policeman of Turkman origin, as he returned home on Saturday in the center of the city, Lieutenant Colonel Kamel Ahmad said. A Kurdish peshmerga fighter, Karwan Jumaa Hussein, was killed the same way in northern Kirkuk, and two Sunni brothers, Shehab and Bilal al-Mufurdji, were shot dead in an eastern district of the city late on Friday.
Heavy rains claim eight lives
Heavy rains triggering floods and landslides have killed at least eight people, destroyed houses and damaged roads, the government said yesterday. Landslides killed six people in Bac Kan Province on Saturday and cut off roads, telecommunications and power to a district after heavy rains fell on Friday night, the government said in a disaster report. Floods also killed two people in the neighboring provinces of Cao Bang and Ha Giang, while three others, including two children, were carried away and remained missing, the report said.
Minister faces charges
The foreign minister is among dozens of “Yellow Shirt” protest leaders who will face charges relating to a crippling airport blockade in Bangkok last year, police said. Police issued summonses to 36 leading members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, including Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, a former member of the group, Police Lieutenant General Wuthi Puavej said on Saturday. Police have issued summonses “against people who were involved with the closure of Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports for the charges of illegal assembly, invasion, breaches of aviation law and terrorism,” Wuthi said.
Roll-your-own is not safer
Roll-your-own cigarettes, favored by some smokers who think they are safer than the factory-made products, could be more dangerous, even when filters are used, research released yesterday showed. Murray Laugesen, a public health specialist based in Christchurch, said a study found that smokers of roll-your-owns inhaled 28 percent more smoke, even though they contained less tobacco than factory-made cigarettes, because they tended to suck more intensively. “Roll-your-own smokers inhale more to get the most value from their cigarettes and don’t let so much be wasted, while smokers of factory-made cigarettes let a lot of their smoke drift into the air,” Laugesen said.
Viagra found in coffee
Authorities have confiscated 900 boxes of coffee laced with Viagra, a newspaper report said yesterday. Health Ministry officials raided a company in Kuala Lumpur that marketed the coffee as an energy booster, the New Straits Times said. The report did not say whether the package labeled Viagra as an ingredient. The report said the 900 confiscated boxes containing about 9,000 coffee packets were worth more than 72,000 ringgit (US$20,000). Some of the Viagra-laced coffee had been distributed nationwide, it said. Viagra is legal in Malaysia, but it requires a prescription. The drug helps men get an erection, but it can pose a heart hazard, especially when taken with certain medications.