Police break up protest
Police yesterday broke up demonstrations and arrested protesters who were demanding the release of the former crown prince Paras Shah, who was detained for questioning after he fired a gun into the air following an argument. Police official Babukaji Giri said about 150 protesters gathered in Kathmandu and 17 were detained for attempting to attack police officers and vehicles and for blocking traffic. Meanwhile, 500 protesters also imposed a general strike in two districts in the south, blocking highways and forcing markets and schools to shut down, Giri said. Shah was taken in for questioning on Tuesday about the firing incident that followed an argument on Saturday night with two guests at a restaurant in Chitwan. Shah has admitted firing his gun, but defended his action, saying he could not bear to hear insults against his family and country.
Runaway bear captured
A young bear that bolted from a zoo on the outskirts of Seoul has been captured on a nearby mountain after nine days on the run, zoo officials said yesterday. The six-year-old Malaysian black bear nicknamed “KKoma” (Kid) escaped from Seoul Zoo at Gwacheon on Dec. 6 and was sighted on a mountain about 6km away. Kkoma was found yesterday in a trap placed at the mountain summit and appeared to be in good shape, a zoo spokesman told Yonhap news agency. Zoo officials said they plan to move KKoma back to its cage after giving it a medical check-up. Plans to anesthetize the 30kg male bear so he can be moved more easily have, however, hit a snag: The weather on the mountain is cold enough to freeze the liquid.
‘Extinct’ salmon found
A salmon species thought to be extinct for 70 years is alive and well in a lake near Mount Fuji, Kyoto University science professor Tetsuji Nakabo said yesterday. The black kokanee, or kunimasu in Japanese, was thought to have died out in 1940, when a hydroelectric project made its native lake in Akita Prefecture more acidic. Before then, 100,000 eggs were reportedly transported to Lake Saiko, but the species was still thought to have died off. Nakabo said his team of researchers found the species in Lake Saiko, about 500km south of the native lake. He posed for pictures and video with a specimen that was dark olive with black spots on its back. The kunimasu grow to about 30cm in length. Nakabo said the lake had enough kunimasu for the species to survive if the current environment is maintained, though he said in interviews he hoped fishermen would not catch it.
Naked postman nabbed
A postal carrier says he simply wanted to cheer up a woman on his rounds who seemed “stressed out” when he decided to deliver mail in the buff. A police report says the 52-year-old man told the woman he would deliver the mail in the nude to her office in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, to make her laugh. The report says that on Dec. 4 he brought the mail wearing only a smile. The mail carrier was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior several days later. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the man admitted delivering the mail naked was a stupid thing to do.
Fireman admits siren death
A fireman has admitted causing the death of a farmer who was crushed to death by his herd of cows after they were startled by fire engine sirens. Julian Lawford pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to a charge of causing the death of Harold Lee by careless driving, the Press Association reported on Tuesday. Lee, 75, was trampled to death by his cows as he walked them along a country road near his home in Burtle, Somerset. Lawford, 49, was due to stand trial accused of manslaughter by gross negligence but admitted the lesser charge, which was accepted by the prosecution.
Archbishop slams Santa
A Roman Catholic archbishop surprised his parishioners by telling the children that Santa Claus was not real, but instead a commercialized symbol of Christmas. “That’s not Christmas,” Archbishop Fabriciano Sigampa of the city of Resistencia said in mass, insisting that children should not confuse celebrating the birth of Christ “with a fat man dressed in red.” Sigampa’s ire was aroused by plans for a snow covered cabin in the city’s main square where a Father Christmas figure would hear children’s wishes and receive donated toys to be given out to poor children. “Surely, in the coming days there will be a deluge of advertisements after they inaugurate the house where a fat man dressed in red lives. And we should not confuse ... Christmas with that.” Sigampa has attracted controversy before. In the 1990s, he caused a stir by ordering a mural for a cathedral that showed the Virgin Mary with then president Carlos Menem and members of the Catholic hierarchy.
Uniform hospitalizes troops
Sharp new military uniforms, created by a top fashion designer, have landed hundreds in hospital after proving too thin to withstand ferocious winter cold, a state daily said yesterday. Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that between 60 and 250 servicemen have been laid up with everything from flu to pneumonia as Arctic chills sweep through the country’s northern reaches. “They literally felt naked outside,” the paper quoted the mother of one solider as saying. “Many of them ended up in hospital. Ours developed pneumonia,” she said of her son. The government daily said defense officials have admitted not receiving complaints about the uniforms in time to do anything ahead of the winter season. Introduced in 2008, the parade uniforms designed by fashion celebrity Valentin Yudashkin are threaded with gold and more shapely and chic, in a throwback to the uniforms of the imperial Tsarist army. The field versions, meanwhile, are lighter and come with thinner but more mobile boots.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday