Cargo ships collide
Two cargo ships collided on Friday off the eastern city of Qingdao, state media reported, with one of the freighters later sinking. Nine of the crew of the Oriental Sunrise were rescued, three of whom were injured, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday, while 10 were missing. All 19 were believed to be North Korean. Their ship had earlier collided with the Hamburg Bridge, Xinhua said, citing Qingdao municipal authorities, adding that both vessels were Panama-flagged. It did not state their ownership.
Fishermen net US$145,000
A fishing boat has netted a bag packed with ￥11 million (US$145,000). The cash-laden catch was found off the country’s northeastern coast that was devastated by an earthquake-triggered tsunami seven months ago. Ofunato city official Kou Ueno said yesterday that a trawling fishing boat pulled the bag with more than a thousand ￥10,000 bills from the bottom of the sea on Oct. 8 off the coast of the city in Iwate Prefecture. Ueno said the money was likely swept away from its still-unknown owner by the March 11 tsunami.
Soldiers held over deaths
Police have detained nine soldiers suspected of killing 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River early last month, authorities said yesterday. The Thai troops are thought to have links to a Myanmar drug kingpin. The soldiers surrendered on Friday in northern Chiang Rai Province, Lieutenant General Wut Liptapanlop said. National police chief General Priewpan Damapong promised a full investigation into the deadly raid on two Chinese vessels on Oct. 5, saying the military was fully cooperating. “Police will prosecute all nine soldiers,” he said. “Their actions have nothing to do with the Thai army.”
No Metallica, so fans riot
Thousands of disappointed fans have broken chairs and torn posters after organizers canceled a Metallica concert on the outskirts of the capital. The Press Trust of India news agency said police arrested four people from the company that had organized the concert on charges of cheating people who had waited for hours for the scheduled Friday performance by the US heavy metal band. Organizers said the concert was called off because of technical difficulties. Metallica promised full refunds to those who had bought tickets.
Office worker wins US$1m
An office worker too poor to own a TV set has won an unprecedented US$1 million in the Indian version of the TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Sushil Kumar’s win this week drew comparisons with the plot of 2008 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and, like its fictional protagonist Jamal, the 27-year-old also watched the TV show as an escape from penury. This is the first time a contestant has won US$1 million on the popular TV show hosted by Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. The episode will be broadcast next week and Kumar takes home 3.5 crore rupees (about US$720,000) after tax. Kumar, who watched the show at a neighbor’s house because his family was too poor to afford a TV, said he had not made any grand plans for the money. “I’m going to repair my house, fulfil a few basic needs and then move to Delhi to study for the civil service exams,” he said in a telephone interview.
Ex-Moscow mayor pressured
The Interior Ministry on Friday threatened former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov with reprisals if he fails to show up for questioning as part of a probe into an alleged US$430 million bank fraud. The warning to Luzhkov, who lost his job a year ago after 18 years in office, follows his stinging attacks on the Kremlin. Luzhkov described the probe as a political punishment for his criticism of President Dmitry Medvedev, and said he would return from abroad to prove his innocence. The ministry made a similar warning to Luzhkov’s billionaire wife, Yelena Baturina, saying she has ignored previous summons. Baturina insisted that she had received no summons, Interfax reported.