Customs seizes ivory
Customs officials yesterday said they had seized more than a tonne of ivory, believed to be from elephant tusks, being smuggled into the country. A total of 221 tusk portions were discovered hidden on an iron boat that was intercepted by authorities as it tried to cross a river on the northern frontier with China late on Saturday, an official from the Quang Ninh Provincial Customs Department said. Three people, including two Chinese, were arrested and are currently in police custody, said the official, who declined to be named.
Man wrongly held: lawyer
An Indian man who came to the country to study for a masters in engineering ended up in immigration detention and was wrongly kept there for almost 18 months, his lawyer said yesterday. Prashant Cherkupalli was reportedly picked up by immigration officials after he was found to be working in a bakery without having the right visa to do so in November 2004. He spent the next 509 days in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre before his release in April 2006. Cherkupalli remains in the country, where he has since finished his masters degree, but he took his complaint to the national Human Rights Commission, which is yet to make its findings on the case public. His lawyer said that the commission had found that Cherkupalli should not have been detained.
Feng shui master loses bid
The territory’s highest court has refused to reconsider a ruling that a will bequeathing a feng shui master the fortune of Asia’s once richest woman was forged. The decision by the Court of Final Appeal closes the door on Tony Chan’s (陳振聰) efforts to win control of Nina Wang’s (龔如心) private Chinachem Group fortune, estimated at HK$100 billion (US$12.8 billion). Chan was Wang’s lover. He contends that a will dating from 2006 bequeathing him Wang’s fortune is authentic. However, a three-judge panel yesterday found there was no grounds to reconsider a lower court’s April ruling that the will was a phony. Wang died in 2007.
No polio found in months
Health officials say there has not been a case of polio in the country for nine months, the longest the nation has ever been polio-free. The health ministry says the country has never been closer to wiping out the debilitating disease since eradication efforts were launched here nearly two decades ago. India remains one of only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said yesterday the last new case was reported in January in West Bengal state and no cases were reported in the traditional polio reservoirs of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states. He said any fresh case of the virus would be declared a public health emergency.
Officials jailed over leaks
Two officials have been jailed for leaking economic data to securities brokerages and four people who work in the financial industry are being investigated. The National Administration for Protection of State Secrets said the officials shared classified data numerous times, but it gave no details about the information or the impact of the leaks. The officials worked in the National Bureau of Statistics and the People’s Bank of China and were sentenced to five and six years in jail respectively.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete