Crackdown on plastic grows
Beijing will expand a ban on free shopping bags, state media said, as it tries to further curb its addiction to plastic in a bid to rid the country of “white pollution” that clogs waterways, farms and fields. Bookstores and pharmacies nationwide will soon be forbidden to give out free plastic bags, joining the ranks of supermarkets that have had to charge for shopping bags since June 1, 2008, Xinhua news agency reported. On that day, the production, sale and use of ultra-thin plastic bags were also banned.
Bad police behavior banned
Officials in Hanoi have banned police from wearing black sunglasses, chatting, smoking and putting their hands in their pockets while they are on duty in public places, a media report said. Under a new order from the Ministry of Public Security, officers must also “keep appropriate manners and be in the right position when on duty,” the English-language Web site of Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Saturday. “This means traffic cops must not hide behind trees to ambush” and issue fines. The report also said on-duty police were now banned from reading books, making or answering non-work related telephone calls, drinking alcohol or eating at restaurants that illegally encroach onto pavements.
NATO strike kills children
A NATO airstrike targeting insurgents inadvertently hit two civilian homes in Helmand Province, killing 14 women and children, a government official said yesterday. Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the alliance launched the airstrike late on Saturday in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day on a US Marine base in Helmand’s Nawzad District . He said NATO hit two civilian houses, killing five girls, seven boys and two women. NATO spokesman Major Tim James said a joint coalition and Afghan delegation was traveling yesterday to the site to investigate.
Plant blast kills three
Authorities say a blast at a chemical plant in Shandong Province has killed three people and injured eight others. The city government of Zibo said in a statement yesterday that police were investigating the cause of the explosion at a chemical plant owned by Shandong Baoyuan Chemical Co. The statement said the Saturday night blast killed two people at the site, while a third person died later at a hospital. Eight other people who suffered slight injuries were being treated at a hospital.
Police bust drug syndicate
Police in Queensland, Colombia and Panama combined to smash a major drugs syndicate, arresting 14 people and seizing a large quantity of cocaine, they said yesterday. In a joint operation, authorities found more than 50kg of the drug worth tens of millions of dollars concealed in hydraulic oil in the Queensland town of Mackay on Friday. A 38-year-old local man and two Colombians, aged 30 and 42, were arrested and face a total of 26 charges, including importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. A third Colombian, 24, was also arrested in Mackay. In simultaneous action, Colombian police arrested seven nationals in Medellin on charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit a crime. Panama authorities arrested three of their nationals at the same time on trafficking charges in Panama City in an operation that began in September 2009.