Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ANTARCTICA

Lost plane finally found

An expedition has found what it believes to be remains of the first airplane brought to the frozen continent, on an icy shore near where it was abandoned almost a century ago. Australia has searched for many years for the single-propeller Vickers plane at Cape Denison, where the nation’s most famous polar explorer, Douglas Mawson, abandoned it during his 1911 to 1914 expedition. “Luck has been on our side,” said Tony Stewart, leader of the current expedition, after the discovery on New Year’s Day. Mawson’s dream of staging the first flight over the Antarctic ice cap was shattered even before his expedition sailed from Australia. The plane crashed in a demonstration flight weeks before Mawson was due to set sail, damaging the wings. With no time for repairs, he removed the wings and took the rest to use as a tractor to haul equipment across the ice. But even as a tractor it failed. Its engine seized up in the cold.

■INDIA

Train collisions injure 50

Four trains collided yesterday in two separate accidents caused by dense winter fog, killing five people and injuring about 50 others. The first accident took place about 270km southwest of Lucknow, when a train entering a station rammed another train that had stopped. Ten people were injured, a senior police official said. A second accident occurred about 100km southwest of Lucknow and left five people dead and 40 injured, some seriously, district magistrate Anil Sagar said. “Both these accidents were due to dense fog,” railway official N.K. Srivastava said. He said the trains were traveling at low speeds in both accidents.

■BANGLADESH

Seventeen die in bus crash

At least 17 people were killed and 47 injured as a bus skidded off a road in dense fog early on Friday. Inspector Israfil Hawlader said the bus plunged into a narrow ditch on a fog-shrouded highway in Kanaipur, 120km southwest of Dhaka. “At least 17 passengers have died and another 47 were injured. The injured were rushed to local hospitals,” he said.

■CHINA

Workers killed in blast

Nine workers were killed and eight injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory, state-run media said yesterday. The blast happened on Friday at Xinping Firecrackers in Shaanxi Province, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local work safety bureau. Police launched a search for the factory boss, who fled after the explosion, Xinhua said. The country’s fireworks industry is notorious for lax safety standards.

■ITALY

Berlusconi sings love songs

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has returned to an old passion of his while recovering from last month’s attack at a rally: writing Neapolitan love songs, news reports said. Berlusconi also made his first public appearance since the Dec. 13 attack, going to a shopping mall close to his villa in Milan, Corriere della Sera and other newspapers said on Friday. The reports said the prime minister spent about two hours in the mall on Thursday afternoon before going back to his villa to host a New Year’s Eve dinner party.

■ITALY

Man seeks New Year’s arrest

A Sicilian man stole sweets and a packet of chewing gum so he could get arrested and spend New Year’s Eve in a jail cell rather than be with his wife and relatives, media reported on Friday. The 35-year-old Sicilian first showed up at a police station on Thursday asking to be arrested because he preferred spending the night in prison rather than with his family, but was rebuffed because he had not committed a crime, the Agi news agency said. The man immediately went to a tobacco shop next door, where he threatened the owner with a boxcutter as he grabbed a few sweets and a packet of gum. He then waited until police arrived to arrest him for robbery, the news agency said.

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