Bank note harms stomach
A man paid the price when he swallowed a polymer bank note, which punctured his stomach, media reports said yesterday. The 29-year-old was in stable condition after surgery on Thursday at a hospital in south central Khanh Hoa Province, according to the Web site of Tuoi Tre newspaper. The patient had suffered from severe intestinal pain for a week after ingesting the 100,000 dong (US$4.76) note for unexplained reasons, the report said.
Island sale sparks probe
Jakarta is to investigate the illegal sale of 13 islands in the latest of a series of corruption scandals in one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, officials said on Thursday. The National Land Agency (BPN) has been accused of giving ownership papers for the islets off Lombok island, near Bali, to a number of individuals and companies, West Lombok administration spokesman Ispan Junaidi said. Junaedi said the islets — diving and snorkeling hotspots with huge coral reefs teeming with marine wildlife —include Gili Renggit, Gili Tangkong and Gili Nanggu, which is dotted with pristine beaches and is known locally as the “Paradise Island.” West Lombok BPN chief Udin Syafrudin denied that his office had issued the ownership certificates. “We’ve never issued that kind of papers. Some may make investment on the islands by building resorts, but not owning the land, and this is not against the law,” he said.
Dolphin season extended
Fishermen in the dolphin-hunting town of Taiji have extended their catch season by one month and this week caught about 60 long-finned pilot whales, a local official said yesterday. Every year the town’s fishermen corral about 2,000 dolphins into a secluded bay, select a few dozen for sale to aquariums and slaughter the rest for meat, a practice long deplored by animal rights campaigners and depicted in Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove. This catch season began in September and was due to end last month. “But we resumed the hunt after the Wakayama government extended its permission by one month until the end of May following a poor catch this year,” a Taiji Fisheries Cooperative official said by telephone. Animal rights activist Scott West of the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society reported on the catch in a blog post. “The pilot whales in the Cove did not quietly go to their deaths,” he wrote, describing how more than 20 of the animals were killed. “They fought as best they could, churning up the water and dashing on the rocks.”
Bombing verdict released
The 52 victims of the London suicide bombings six years ago were unlawfully killed, a coroner formally ruled yesterday. The verdicts, after a five-and-a-half month inquest into the worst peacetime attacks on British soil came as London police chief Paul Stephenson warned that another attack could come at any time. The coroner, Justice Heather Hallett, was also expected to make several recommendations for preventing deaths in any future such incident. The inquest at London’s High Court heard how the victims were killed during an “unimaginably dreadful wave of horror.” Four British Islamists — Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Hasib Hussain, 18, and Jermaine Lindsay, 19 — detonated bombs on three packed underground trains and a bus in the morning rush hour on July 7, 2005. As well as killing themselves and the 52 others, they injured more than 700 people.