Bad drugs linked to deaths
Bad drugs are suspected of killing at least 25 heart patients over the last month in Lahore, a government health official said yesterday. Javed Akram said that 100 other heart patients who had taken the same medicine have been admitted to hospitals in the city and 50 of them are in critical condition. Akram is leading a probe into the deaths set up by the Punjab provincial government. He said the suspected drugs were given free to patients by the state-run Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Akram said patients developed red spots on their skin within days of taking the medicine that is suspected of killing them.
Two killed in plane crash
Authorities said a two-seater Yak aircraft fell into a playing field yesterday in the town of Feilding on North Island. Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said the plane left from an airfield a few kilometers from the crash site and was flying for about 25 minutes before it went down. Perks said witnesses saw the private plane performing acrobatics before the crash, adding that the two men believed to have been aboard were widely known in the region. Authorities have not released their names pending notification of their next of kin.
Occupy Auckland shut down
Authorities have effectively shut down the Occupy movement in Auckland after more than 100 days of protest. City council officers and police yesterday confiscated cars, tents and camping gear from more than 50 protesters at four sites in the city. The raid came after a local court ruled authorities could remove property from people who were illegally camping. Police arrested three people in Aotea Square during the raids. Auckland Council spokesman Glyn Walters said protesters can return to the sites, but are no longer allowed to camp there. Occupy encampments remain in other New Zealand cities.
Ninety whales beached
A pod of 90 pilot whales beached themselves at the top of South Island yesterday in the same area where seven whales died in a mass stranding earlier this month, officials said. Regional conservation department manager John Mason said staff and volunteers would attempt to keep the whales cool until the late night high tide when it was hoped they would refloat themselves. The whales came ashore at Golden Bay, near the tourist city of Nelson, where strandings on the tidal flats are common.
Pygmy elephant calf saved
Wildlife authorities yesterday said they had rescued a pygmy elephant calf on the island of Borneo and expressed hope a planned sanctuary would provide protection for the endangered animal. The male calf, which is less than a month old, was pulled out of a deep moat surrounding a palm oil plantation in Sabah on Friday, said Sen Nathan, a senior official with the Sabah Wildlife Department. It is the fifth calf rescued by wildlife officials since 2009. Three of those previously saved have died, but a female has recovered and is now at a wildlife park. There are fewer than 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in the wild, authorities said. The latest rescued calf, which weighed about 50kg, was in a serious condition, Nathan said. “He suffered severe dehydration and cuts and abrasions, probably while trying to get out of the moat,”