Arms merchant arrested
A man who has admitted parachuting arms into the Indian state of West Bengal in 1995 was arrested on Friday after officials in agreed to back his extradition, authorities said. A prosecutor said police had long known that Niels Holcks, 47, was in Denmark, but negotiations over his possible extradition had dragged on for years. “It is correct that we have had knowledge of Niels Holcks’ whereabouts in Denmark since 2001,” Birgitte Bundsgaard said. “The reason why the ministry of justice decided to arrest him today is partly that it has taken several years to negotiate the terms for a potential extradition with Indian authorities.”
Bullet removed from head
A US military doctor removed a live round of ammunition from the head of an Afghan soldier in an unusual and harrowing surgery. Doctors say a 14.5mm unexploded round — more than 5cm long — was removed from the scalp of an Afghan National Army soldier at the Bagram Air Field hospital last month. When the Afghan soldier, in his 20s, arrived at the base, doctors thought it was shrapnel or the spent end of some sort of round, said Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Terreri, a radiologist deployed from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. But as he reviewed a CAT scan of the soldier, he realized it was a much bigger problem, an Air Force news release said last week.
Mine death toll mounts
Rescuers recovered yet another body at a coal mine in the north, bringing the death toll from a massive flood to 26, state media reported yesterday. Twelve people still remained unaccounted for at the huge, unfinished Wangjialing mine in Shanxi Province, 13 days after it was flooded in the latest high-profile incident to hit the country’s notoriously dangerous mining sector. The flood left 153 workers trapped underground, but 115 were rescued alive on Monday in what officials called a “miracle.”
Asylum block questioned
A decision to temporarily block asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka could face a legal challenge, lawyers said yesterday. On Friday, Canberra announced it would immediately stop taking fresh applications from asylum-seekers from those two countries, as it attempts to thwart people smuggling operations. But the Australian Lawyers Alliance said the policy, which means new arrivals from those countries cannot apply for asylum for between three and six months, could breach the law by discriminating against Afghans and Sri Lankans. “The law in Australia and the rule of law is such that laws have to be applied equally, irrespective of where a person comes from or their race,” the alliance’s Greg Barns told ABC Radio.
Cat terrifies postal service
Britain’s postal service says it has suspended deliveries to a woman following repeated attacks by her 19-year-old cat. Royal Mail said on Friday that it had halted deliveries because postal workers had already sustained “nasty injuries” at the address in the town of Farsley, near Leeds in northern Britain. The woman was identified as a 43-year-old pharmacy worker. Media reports say she found it hard to believe that her cat, named “Tiger,” could be behind the attacks. She told two newspapers the animal spent most of its day sleeping and didn’t have the energy to chase postal workers.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year