Canadians found dead
Two Canadian men were found dead in their room at a Kowloon hotel, with unidentified white powder discovered near the bodies, police said yesterday. Cleaning staff at the Metropark Hotel found the pair, aged 29 and 45, just after 3pm on Saturday afternoon, with one of the deceased in the washroom and another lying on a bed, a police spokeswoman said. Neither man has been identified and their cause of death will not be confirmed until autopsies are performed, she said.
Opposition protest quashed
Police yesterday used tear gas and batons to break up a protest by opposition activists demanding President Mohammed Nasheed step down over the island nation’s worsening economic plight. Opposition spokesman Mohammed Shareef said dozens of people were injured at the early morning clashes that erupted after crowds gathered in the capital, Male, on Saturday. “The demonstration was crushed brutally,” Shareef said by telephone. “At least 30 of our supporters were arrested including a parliamentarian, and scores of women supporters.” Police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam said officers had used tear gas and batons in self--defence after coming under attack when trying to break up the protest, and that public property had been damaged.
‘Smooth’ thieves make haul
Police said yesterday they were investigating how “smooth criminals” walked off with more than 3 million ringgit (US$1 million) worth of diamond jewelry from a gem exhibition. District police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed said officers were probing the heist, which took place at the exhibition stand of famous local jeweler Habib at a suburban mall in Kuala Lampur on Friday night. Officials from the jewelry company said the robbers, three “foreign--looking men and a woman,” approached the stand at closing time when staff were busy packing the gems away for storage, according to the Star daily. “While some of the men distracted the staff by asking questions, their accomplice sneaked to the back and stole one bag filled with diamond-studded jewelry,” the official said.
Slave drivers jailed
A court has jailed a couple for forcing a group of mentally challenged people to work like slaves at a factory in Xinjiang, Xinhua news agency said in a report seen yesterday. The Tuokexun County court sentenced Li Xinglin (李興林) to four-and-a-half years in prison on Saturday on charges of violating the labor law, Xinhua said. His wife, Li Yunhua (李雲華), was given a two-year jail sentence suspended for three years. The two were fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,690) each. The Lis were convicted of forcing 18 mentally handicapped people to work long hours without pay at their factory, which makes construction materials, since 2006, Xinhua said. The defendants restricted the workers’ freedom and beat them.
Gunman kills mayor
A gunman has killed the mayor of a central city, as the victim and others bowed their heads in prayer before a public dance to celebrate an annual fiesta. President Benigno Aquino III said one other official was hit and wounded during the attack late on Saturday on Calbayog Mayor Reynaldo Uy in Samar Province’s Hinabangan Township. Aquino broke the news of the killing of Uy, his political ally, during a May Day speech before trade union leaders yesterday.
World Tai Chi day marked