Two die in bomb blast
A bomb hidden in a scrap metal shop blew up in a market in Helmand Province yesterday killing two civilians, officials said. The early morning blast in the town of Gereshk killed the shopkeeper and a child sitting in a car parked outside the store, deputy provincial police chief Kamaluddin Sherzad said. Four people were wounded in the explosion. The attack is the second in as many days in Gereshk. On Sunday, gunmen killed community council member Jan Mohammad Khan in the town’s market, the Helmand governor’s office said in a statement.
Families demand apology
Victims’ families and survivors of last year’s hostage drama that left eight Hong Kong tourists and their attacker dead in a botched police rescue say they are still awaiting an apology and compensation. A weeping mother of a slain tourist guide told reporters in Manila yesterday that “the Philippine government has not done anything.” Lee Ying-chuen, who was wounded when the dismissed policeman opened fire as police stormed the bus he had hijacked, said the families are angry because the government has failed to apologize directly. Spokesman Edwin Lacierda says the government has apologized on numerous occasions.
Eleven dead in Xinjiang
Vinegar tainted with antifreeze is suspected of killing 11 people and sickening 120 after a communal Ramadan meal in Xinjiang. Investigators suspect the victims consumed vinegar put in two plastic barrels that had previously been used to store antifreeze, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. It said the mass food poisoning occurred on Saturday night in a village close to Hotan City. Xinhua said children as young as six were among the dead. Authorities were still testing to confirm the source of the poisoning, it said.
Biden eatery draws crowds
Diners are flocking to a restaurant in Beijing whose house specialty is pig intestines in soup after US Vice President Joe Biden lunched there last week, the Global Times reported yesterday. Biden took time out from official talks in Beijng to eat at the small, family-run eatery, earning plaudits from netizens and headlines in state-run newspapers praising his “noodle diplomacy.” Since then, lines have formed outside the restaurant and people have traveled from around China to sample the “vice president’s meal” — pork buns, noodles and cucumbers — the English-language newspaper reported. The restaurant, called the Yaoji Chaogan, said it had no plans to make the meal a regular menu item, although customers have been demanding it.
Public asked to use coins
The central bank is appealing to the public to stop hoarding coins, saying the habit is forcing it to mint more money at a high cost. Deputy bank Governor Diwa Guinigundo lamented on Sunday a shortage of coins in the country and noted that some people illegally drill holes in coins and use them instead of more costly tokens for video games. He said other people keep change and later give it to charities. The hoarding is hurting monetary authorities, who have to spend at least 2 pesos (US$0.4) for every coin that is not used. He said the central bank would save hundreds of millions of pesos if there were more coins in circulation.
Tornado ruins Ontario town
A powerful tornado on Sunday swept through Goderich, Ontario, killing one person and causing severe devastation in the picturesque community on the shores of Lake Huron. It was the most powerful tornado to hit Ontario in years, officials said. Downtown businesses, century--old buildings and several churches lost their roofs and upper floors as the twister ripped through the town. Images showed downed power lines, trees and debris strewn across streets, while witnesses described cars being picked up and thrown like toys. Police identified the victim as Norman Laberge, 61, of Lucknow, Ontario, who was working in a salt mine in the town when the storm hit. Randy Mawson of Environment Canada said the town was battered by winds of up to 300kph.