Oil rig capsizes, killing 2
At least two people died in freezing waters after an oil platform in the nation’s Far Eastern Okhotsk sea turned over yesterday, the regional emergency ministry said. The Kolskoye oil platform was 200m from the shore when the accident occurred at 1:45am amid high winds and temperatures of minus-17?C. Fourteen people were rescued and two bodies were found by 5:30am, Interfax news agency quoted a local official as saying.
Deportee enters 40 times
A woman barred from entering the territory for life over serial shoplifting offenses evaded security checks and slipped into the territory more than 40 times in two years, a report said on Saturday. The 49-year-old woman, Chao Sam-i, a cleaner from Macau, was deported from Hong Kong and received a lifetime expulsion order in 2004 after she committed a series of thefts, according to the South China Morning Post. She visited the territory in 2009 again to attend her daughter’s wedding without a hitch, and has since returned to the territory dozens of times, the report said.
Police stop chatty driver
A driver was stopped by astonished police in the southern city of Bari on Saturday when they saw him speaking on two cellphones with a handset in each hand and no control of the wheel. Asked to explain his actions, the 43-year-old driver of an Alfa Romeo 166 saloon car said he was speaking to his wife when his mother called and he could not hang up on either of them, the Corriere Della Sera daily reported. The man — a professional truck driver — made matters worse when he admitted that he frequently spoke on two handsets while on work trips. Police fined him 152 euros (US$198) and took five points off his license.
‘Blue sky’ quota met
Beijing authorities said yesterday they had met their target of “blue sky” days for this year, amid growing public criticism that officials are underplaying the pollution problem in the capital. The city had 274 days of “grade one or two” air quality compared with 252 days last year, according to a statement on the Beijing government’s official news portal. “Beijing has seen an overall decline in the concentration of various pollutants in 2011,” said Zhuang Zhidong, the deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. However, Zhuang admitted that Beijing also experienced “several days of poor air quality as a result of bad weather conditions.” Public anger over heavy pollution has been compounded by official data showing air quality is good or only slightly polluted when smog is visible and figures published by the US embassy rank it as “very unhealthy.”
Saleh forces withdraw
Forces loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents withdrew from their positions in Sana’a on Saturday, witnesses and officials said, in a further sign a peace deal signed last month was being implemented. Witnesses said a military committee set up under the Gulf peace deal signed in Saudi Arabia last month oversaw the dismantling of military positions that have divided the capital since protests against Saleh’s 33-year rule began in January. They said armored bulldozers removed barricades from Sixty Street which split the capital. Military trucks were seen carrying armored vehicles from the base of a brigade led by dissident General Ali Mohsen outside Sana’a.