‘Bald’ songbird discovered
A “bald” bird discovered in Laos is Asia’s first new species of bulbul, or songbird, in more than 100 years, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said yesterday. Scientists from the Society, as well as the University of Melbourne, identified the bird, which has “a bald head,” WCS said in a press release. They reported their findings in this month’s issue of Forktail, the scientific journal of the Oriental Bird Club, a UK charity. “This paper describes for the first time in over 100 years a new Asian species of bulbul,” the scientists wrote of their discovery late last year in an area of limestone karsts in Savannakhet Province. The bird, named the Bare-faced Bulbul, is not completely bald, but has a narrow line of hair-like feathers down the center of its crown.
Remains found in Vietnam
Investigators have uncovered the remains of the last two servicemen missing since the Vietnam War after a search of thick jungle near the Laos border, the Australian government said yesterday. Defence Personnel Minister Greg Combet said a search team had discovered the remains near where a wrecked Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) plane was found in April. The aircraft, flown by Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, went missing on Nov. 3, 1970, over the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam.
Drug raid nets 1 million pills
Police detained seven men and seized 1 million psychotropic pills worth more than 10 million ringgit (US$2.7 million) in one of the country’s biggest drug raids, official news reports said yesterday. The suspects, aged between 24 and 52, were detained following a raid on a warehouse in the northern state of Penang early on Wednesday, state narcotics chief S. Batumalai said. A total of 1 million pills, comprising a mixture of ecstasy and Erimin pills, were discovered hidden in a large box, Bernama news agency said.
Men At Work lose court case
A publisher claiming Australian 1980s chart-toppers Men At Work stole the riff for their biggest hit won the first round in a legal battle over royalty payments yesterday. Larrikin Music claims Down Under, used by national airline Qantas and among the most popular Australian songs of all time, borrows a riff from Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, a song they own and which was written for a Girl Guides jamboree by Marion Sinclair in 1934. The Federal Court found in favor of Larrikin, saying it did indeed own the copyright and was entitled to defend any infringement — a decision that places in jeopardy millions of dollars in royalties earned from Down Under by Men At Work.
Kim having dialysis: activist
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is undergoing kidney dialysis twice a week as a result of his diabetes, a South Korean activist said yesterday, quoting unidentified sources in Pyongyang. The health of Kim, 67, is the subject of intense interest as he has not formally named someone to succeed him at the helm of the secretive communist state. “His illness suddenly became worse last May, forcing him to receive dialysis,” Open Radio for North Korea president Ha Tae-keung said on a radio talk show. “The nuclear test was carried out in order to prevent Kim’s health problems from sparking rifts among power elites,” said Ha, whose Seoul-based organization broadcasts programs to the North.