Station wagon parks itself
Police say a car reported stolen from a shopping center parking lot has been found more than two weeks later in the closed garage of a nearby home, where it had apparently rolled unaided. Police said in a statement yesterday that the owner of the station wagon had reported it stolen from outside a shop in a suburb of Adelaide on Dec. 18. The car was found parked in the home’s garage on Wednesday when the residents returned from vacation. Police concluded that the car’s owner had failed to leave its gear in park. The car then rolled across the parking lot, across a street and down a driveway. It then bumped under the garage door by knocking it off its tracks. The door then closed behind it.
Tourist arrivals hit record
Tourist arrivals hit a record high last year of nearly 42 million visitors, boosted by a huge increase of people from mainland China, tourism officials said. The number of visitors to the territory increased 16.4 percent from 2010 to 41.92 million, with about two-thirds coming from the mainland, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Mainland tourist figures jumped 23.9 percent year-on-year, helping to offset a decline of 2.4 percent from Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Tourism accounts for about 3.4 percent of the territory’s economy.
Customs seize tiger parts
Customs officials said yesterday they had seized four boxes of smuggled tiger skins and bones worth tens of thousands of dollars in the post, believed to be destined for interior decoration. The tigers, whose parts were found earlier this week, were thought to have come from Indonesia and were eventually destined for China, Royal Thai Customs Director-General Somchai Poolsawasdi said. “There were four boxes, and each box contained one tiger skin, bones and a skull. Each one weighed about 5kg,” he said. He said the parcels, thought to be sent by a trafficking gang, were en route to Mae Sai in the north and they came through Bangkok’s main post office, where officials received the tipoff.
Poison mushrooms kill two
A chef and his assistant from China died after eating poisonous mushrooms in a meal they prepared for a private dinner at a restaurant in Canberra. Chef Liu Jun, 38, and his female kitchen hand, Tsou Hsiang, 52, died from liver failure at a hospital on Tuesday night after eating death cap mushrooms on New Year’s Eve at Canberra’s Harmonie German Club. The two prepared the deadly stir fry in the kitchen of the club’s Chinese bistro, but the club’s manager said yesterday that the meal had not been available to the public. Liu’s friend Tom O’Dea said the chef picked the mushrooms himself, mistaking them for edible straw mushrooms.
Beijing tackles pollution
The Beijing city government will soon release the results of stricter air pollution standards, media reported yesterday, following a public outcry that authorities are understating the extent of smog.Many residents complain on the Internet that official figures greatly underestimate the problem and say they only trust readings from the US embassy. Those readings appear much grimmer than those of the city government. The city government will now monitor tiny floating particles — 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less — that doctors warn can more easily settle in the lungs, causing respiratory problems and other illnesses.