Reporter dies from attack
A newspaper reporter has died after an intruder broke into his home, doused him with chemicals and set him on fire while he was sleeping. The Laborer newspaper said 50-year-old Le Hoang Hung died on Saturday at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City after 10 days of treatment for burns covering 20 percent of his body. His colleague Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai said Hung covered the southern Mekong Delta for the newspaper for nearly 10 years. She said the attack could have been in revenge for his reporting.
Category 2 cyclone threatens
A cyclone is racing toward the flood-ravaged northeast, rattling nerves throughout a region that has already suffered billions of dollars worth of damage from a months-long crisis. Cyclone Anthony intensified to a Category 2 storm yesterday with winds of 130kph. It was expected to cross the Queensland coast early this morning. The Bureau of Meteorology told residents in coastal communities to brace for destructive winds and more flooding. Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the storm a “big, cruel blow” to residents who have already dealt with months of flooding. Heavy rains that began in November last year caused massive flooding nationwide, killing 35 people and damaging or destroying 30,000 homes and businesses.
Police trace carbon theft
The theft of pollution permits that forced the closure of the spot market in EU emissions permits last week may have originated in Romania, a police official said on Saturday. Police identified between eight and 10 Internet protocol addresses that hackers used to attack Greece’s national registry for carbon trading rights, said the official, who declined to be named. “We have located the addresses in Romania, Interpol has been notified,” the official said. The spot market for EU emissions permits was closed after allowances worth up to 30 million euros (US$41.12 million) were stolen from the national registries of several European countries. National registries are the place where so-called EU allowances are electronically assigned to trading companies and polluters in the EU emissions trading scheme, the bloc’s chief weapon against climate change. The theft, possibly a concerted hacker attack, was the latest in a string of scandals and added to factors discouraging other countries from adopting similar cap-and-trade systems.
‘Regal prophylactics’ on sale
While the nation has a public holiday to celebrate Prince William’s wedding, one company is taking the party one step further with souvenir condoms that urge lovers to “lie back and think of England.” Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction is producing special celebration packs that bear the slogan: “Like a royal wedding, intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion.” Critics have dismissed the novelty condoms as “tasteless.” Hugh Pomfret, a spokesman for the company, insisted they were “a unique way to remember this great British occasion ... In years to come, they will be a timeless memento of a magical wedding day.” Presented in regal-looking purple and gold, each pack bears a picture of William and fiancee Kate Middleton gazing into each other’s eyes, and adds it contains a “triumvirate of regal prophylactics,” which are “lavishly lubed” and “regally ribbed.” “England boasts some of the finest lovemaking in the world, with a tradition of coitus going back generations,” lovers are told.
Soldiers seize 90kg of drugs
Soldiers seized nearly 90kg of drugs from the cargo area of an Aeromexico commercial plane scheduled to fly to Tijuana, the military said on Saturday. Agents discovered the shipment on Friday at the airport in Guadalajara, the country’s second-largest city, the Defense Department said in a statement. They confiscated about 50kg of crystal methamphetamine, 30kg of heroin and 10kg of methylphenidate, which is often used to cut heroin, according to the statement. There were no arrests. The Defense Department did not say how the drugs were discovered or give further details on the shipment. Phone calls to Aeromexico representatives rang unanswered on Saturday. Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California, is a major staging point for funneling drugs into the US.
Zelaya wanted power: Lobos
President Porfirio Lobo says ousted president Manuel Zelaya told him point-blank that he wanted to stay in power despite a constitutional prohibition — the very ambition that opponents alleged to justify the coup that toppled Zelaya. Lobos told opposition radio station Radio Globo that Zelaya made the declaration in March 2009 — three months before Zelaya’s ouster. Before and after the coup, Zelaya repeatedly denied wanting to extend his term. Zelaya is exiled in the Dominican Republic. He did not answer a telephone call seeking comment on Saturday. Lobo said on Saturday that Zelaya asked him to drop his bid for president — but did not say what he was offered in return. Lobo went on to win the November 2009 election.
Fujimori treated for cancer
Former president Alberto Fujimori, sentenced to 25 prison for human rights abuses, was hospitalized for a fourth time for cancer treatment, one of his sons said on Saturday. Kenji Fujimori said that the cancerous lesions on his father’s tongue have regrown, and that the he was returned to a hospital specializing in cancer treatment late on Friday.
Sandbar sprouts furniture
First, a baby grand piano mysteriously showed up on a Miami sandbar. A day after it was removed, a small table with two chairs, place settings, a bottle of wine and a chef statue appeared on the strip of sand. The latest prank has officials worried the sandbar could become a target for more mischief and they are warning such activity is illegal. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says anyone caught leaving items on the sandbar will be arrested. A 16-year-old art student admitted that he put the piano on the sandbar in Biscayne Bay as part of an art project, and a crew removed it on Thursday. The table for two has also been taken down.
Ant farm inventor dies
Milton Levine’s Eureka moment came in 1956, when he spotted a mound of ants during a Fourth of July picnic poolside at his sister’s Southern California home. Recalling how as a boy he had collected ants in jars at his uncle’s farm in Pennsylvania, he told his brother-in-law and business partner, E.J. Cossman: “We should make an antarium.” The resulting product — Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm — has been a staple in children’s bedrooms ever since. More than 20 million have been sold. Levine died on Jan. 16 at age 97, his son Steven said.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference