Journalist stabbed to death
A journalist who had been following a scandal involving the sale of cooking oil made from leftovers taken from gutters has been stabbed to death, police and state media said yesterday. Li Xiang (李翔), 30, a reporter with Luoyang Television Station in Henan Province, was knifed more than 10 times early on Monday as he returned home from a karaoke session with friends, the Zhengzhou Evening News reported. The laptop computer Li had been carrying was missing and police were treating the case as a murder-robbery, but have not ruled other motives, the report said. Li, who was due to be married next month, had apparently been following the latest food scandal to hit China, a “gutter” cooking oil scam which has led to the arrests of 32 people caught selling the carcinogenic product.
Heavy rains, floods kill 57
Heavy rains and floods have left 57 people dead, dozens of others missing and hundreds injured, while more than 1 million residents have been evacuated from their homes, the government said. Unprecedented rains over the past week have swamped parts of northern, central and southwest China, and although the affected region is breathing a tentative sigh of relief as the downpours pause, rivers continue to swell. The Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement that the rain had forced authorities to evacuate more than 1.2 million people from their homes. More than 120,000 houses have collapsed and economic losses from damaged houses, crops and land is estimated to have reached 17.27 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion), it added.
Gillard to lose asylum vote
The government may have to resume dealing with asylum seekers on its mainland because proposals to move their processing overseas are being blocked by the opposition and by legal obstacles, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday. In a fresh blow to the minority government, opposition leader Tony Abbott has refused to support a deal to process asylum seekers in Malaysia because Kuala Lumpur has not signed the UN refugee convention. Abbott’s opposition means the Malaysia plan will be defeated in a parliamentary vote after it is introduced today, with the government then being forced to deal with asylum seekers on the mainland, Gillard said.
Space lab ready to launch
A prototype module for a planned space lab will be launched next week, state media said yesterday. The Tiangong 1, or “Heavenly Palace,” will blast off from the Gobi Jiuquan launch site in a remote part of Gansu Province between Sept. 27 and Sept. 30, Xinhua news agency said. The eight-tonne unmanned module, and the rocket that will carry it skyward, have been moved onto the launch pad, the report said, citing a spokesman for the country’s space program. It gave no other details.
Militants attack checkpoint
Taliban gunmen stormed a checkpoint in the tribal belt yesterday, killing one soldier and sparking clashes in which up to 20 militants died, officials said. Five soldiers and five civilians were also wounded after the militants attacked the Dabori post manned by paramilitary troops in the tribal district of Orakzai, the officials said. “At least 20 militants have been killed in the pre-dawn clash,” a military official said by telephone. Their bodies were spotted during a search carried out by helicopter gunships, he said.