Employees kill executive
Staff wielding iron bars allegedly beat to death an executive at an Indian-Japanese firm outside New Delhi in protest against the sacking of fellow employees, newspapers said yesterday. Joginder Singh, 45, a human resources manager at Allied Nippon, died on Sunday, one day after suffering head and chest injuries in clashes with hundreds of workers at the auto parts firm, the Times of India said. Two other senior managers at the firm in Ghaziabad were being treated in hospital, the paper reported, adding that nine people had been arrested. Some reports said 400 employees had been involved, and that Singh had been eating lunch when he was bludgeoned with iron rods and other heavy equipment from the factory.
Man plans spider stay
“Spiderman” Nick Le Souef said he was “a bit silly” to live in a Melbourne shop window with hundreds of poisonous spiders for three weeks for charity, but was confident he would not be bitten. He hopes to raise as much as US$50,000 for a children’s charity by spending the next few weeks eating, sleeping and working among hundreds of redbacks, tarantula-like huntsmen and black house spiders. “I am a bit silly doing what I am doing,” he said of his decision to closet himself with potentially lethal spiders. “I’ve been bitten by snakes, and I’ve been stung by stingrays and poisonous fish. But I’ve never been bitten by a spider. So there you go.” Le Souef said the spiders, who will live with him in the 3.6m-by-1.2m window of his opal shop, will have better things to munch on, including the live cockroaches and crickets he is providing for sustenance. Le Souef said he planned to start his challenge accompanied by 400 spiders, but had been thwarted by the spiders, which had been eating each other over the weekend. Le Souef said he would spend his time cutting opals and writing his memoirs.
Northern defectors rising
Seoul says the number of North Koreans defecting to the South has surged in recent years because of economic suffering in the North, with more than 10,000 defections over the past three years. The Unification Ministry said yesterday that about as many North Koreans have defected since 2007 than in the entire previous period since the Korean War ended. The overall total stands now at 20,050. Most defectors travel through China. More than 2,900 defected last year alone.
Diabetes goes unchecked
The nation has the highest number of diabetics in the world at 92.4 million, but 61 percent of them do not know they have the disease, the China Daily reported yesterday. “A combination of poor public awareness and limited access to early detection services are largely responsible for the low diagnostic rate on the mainland,” Ji Linong, head of the Chinese Diabetes Society, was quoted saying. A total of 13 percent of total medical spending, around US$25 billion, is diabetes--related, the newspaper report said, citing a study by the Chinese Diabetics Society and the International Diabetes Federation. “The cost of treating diabetes will rise rapidly in the next 10 to 20 years, as patients who have gone undiagnosed develop serious complications whose treatment will definitely cost more,” Ji said. The 61 percent of undiagnosed diabetics face higher risks of suffering eyesight or kidney problems and risk having strokes, the report said.
First couple serves Cabinet
The first female foreign minister, the newly appointed Michele Alliot-Marie, is a trail-blazer in another domain: She represents half of the first couple to serve together in the country’s Cabinet. The 64-year-old former defense and justice minister, who replaced former foreign affairs minister Bernard Kouchner in Sunday’s reshuffle, lives with partner Patrick Ollier, the new minister in charge of parliamentary relations. Never before in the history of the Fifth Republic has a couple served together and — if his past declarations are anything to go by — 65-year-old Ollier is as surprised as anyone at the development. “I’m alone in knowing I’ll never be a minister, it’s the drama of being in love,” he lamented last month as he and other lawmakers from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP were contemplating the upcoming shake-up. Then, some political commentators thought he had a chance at promotion, but only if his more successful long-term partner were fired. In the end, the veteran politician was promoted, and saw her spouse moving up as well. Ollier remains a junior minister, working under Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s office, while Alliot-Marie is foreign minister and minister of state, an honorific that makes her the No. 3 figure in the Cabinet.
US satellite launched
Moscow launched a rocket carrying a US communications satellite into space on Sunday, the rocket’s manufacturer said. Scheduled for 8:29pm, the Proton-M’s launching from Moscow’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan “took place as anticipated,” the Khrunichev center said in a statement. The US LightSquared telecommunications satellite is to be placed into orbit to cover the US, the Caribbean and Hawaii. The launching was the 10th of a Proton rocket since the beginning of the year.
Terrorist risk increases
The Horn of Africa nation is the country most at risk from terror attacks after overtaking Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a worldwide study published yesterday by a British global risks advisory firm. The US is placed 33rd, ahead of France, ranked 44th, and Britain, ranked 47th, according to the Terrorism Risk Index (TRI) calculated by the Maplecroft company. Sixteen countries, including Colombia, Thailand, the Philippines and India, were deemed to be at “extreme” risk of attacks, while Iran, Nigeria, Spain and Myanmar were all classed as “high” risk countries.
Aid workers disembark
Ten aid workers and seven Libyan officials left stranded on board a ship hired to carry aid from Libya to the Middle East disembarked on Sunday and are waiting for their travel documents to leave the country, a representative of a pro-Palestinian aid group said. “They were freed [Sunday] morning after the prosecutor’s office intervened,” Dimitris Pliotis, an official with aid organization “A ship for Gaza” told reporters. The captain of the ship, Strofades IV, and an official from the company that owns the ship were being held overnight and face abduction charges, judicial authorities said on Sunday. They were to appear before a magistrate yesterday. The Greek-owned cargo ship broke its moorings at the Libyan port of Derna amid a chartering dispute on Wednesday last week and arrived at Piraeus on Friday, with the aid workers — seven Britons, two Irish nationals and an Algerian — and the Libyan officials on board.
Girl’s death saddens mom
The biological mother of the Australian-born girl whose remains police say were found in North Carolina said in a television interview that her daughter’s death has left her crushed. Emily Dietrich is in Hickory, North Carolina, where her daughter was reported missing more than a month ago. She told the Seven Network of Australia that she has received sympathy from police and community members in North Carolina. Hickory police said on Friday they found a bone that matched the DNA of Zahra Baker. It was found in an area near where the girl lived with her father and stepmother until mid-September.
Final respects paid to boss
Family and friends of a mafia kingpin slain this week poured into a funeral home on Sunday in Montreal, paying respects to the man who led the most powerful criminal operation the country has ever known. Amid a tight police presence, business associates and family members of Nicolo Rizzuto Sr began a second day of mourning at the Loreto funeral home in St Leonard, an Italian borough of Montreal. The 86-year-old patriarch was gunned down on Wednesday last week at his home in what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated hit. The murder capped a series of slayings of Sicilian mobsters and attacks against the powerful Rizzuto clan, who controlled Montreal’s underworld for 30 years.
Prison uprising kills three
Three inmates were killed early on Sunday in a riot at a detention center in the north — the third deadly uprising at the country’s prison facilities in less than a week, media reported. The riot occurred around dawn, at a detention center about 30km from the city of Manaus, as inmates protested overcrowded conditions. “The facility was built to hold eight inmates, but we have about 40,” Geraldo Pereira de Oliveira, an official investigating the incident, told news Web site G1. On Thursday, another prison riot in Manaus also ended with three inmates dead, while one two days earlier in northern Maranhao killed 18 prisoners, four of whom had been decapitated. During each uprising, inmates had been revolting to demand better conditions in their badly overcrowded facilities.
Medalist nabbed last year
A Summit County sheriff’s office detective said the pilot of the US Olympic gold medal-winning four-man bobsled team was arrested for driving under the influence in Park City last year, months before the Vancouver Games. Summit County sheriff’s Detective Ron Bridge said Steve Holcomb was arrested during a traffic stop on Oct. 22 last year. Bridge said Holcomb was pulled over for a traffic violation. He said Holcomb failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 7.
Car dealer offers AK-47s
A Florida car dealership is trying to drum up business is offering an unusual perk for potential used-truck buyers: A free AK-47 assault rifle. General sales manager Nick Ginetta said that since the promotion was announced on Veterans Day, business has more than doubled at Nations Trucks in Sanford. Customers would have to pass a background check before using the US$400 gun shop voucher. They also have the option of using the money toward other firearms, or they can request a check in that amount instead. The dealership has fielded some complaints about the deal.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made