PAPUA NEW GUINEA
More ferry bodies found
Rescuers, searching for survivors after a ferry sank off the nation’s northeast coast, said yesterday they had found four bodies and that the search would continue for about 100 still missing. Planes, ships and helicopters have been mobilized to search for survivors from the MV Rabaul Queen, which sank in rough weather on Thursday with about 350 people on board. Captain Nurur Rahman, of the maritime safety authority, said the number of confirmed survivors stood at 246. Rahman said he remained optimistic, given the relatively warm water, that more survivors would be found. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has promised a full investigation into the tragedy. Sea transport is a major communication lifeline in the archipelago nation, most of whose 6 million people live subsistence lives in traditional villages.
Officials fired after spill
An environmental protection director and six other officials have been fired after a spill of toxic cadmium in a river in the south of the country threatened drinking water supplies for millions of people, news reports said yesterday. The spill last month prompted residents of Liuzhou, a city of 3.2 million in Guangxi Province, to stock up on bottled water. Officials said efforts to neutralize the cadmium were keeping its levels in river water within safe limits. Hechi Environmental Protection Bureau Director Wu Haique (吳海愨), was fired for negligence and dereliction of duty, the People’s Daily reported. Two other officials were punished but kept their jobs, the reports said. Official reports have provided little information about the exact cause of the spill. It was initially blamed on a mining company. Eight managers of mining and metals companies have been detained and four others fled, the China Daily newspaper said.
Jackie Chan given jet
Planemaker Embraer on Friday presented a Legacy 650 executive jet to Hong Kong martial arts star Jackie Chan (成龍) to help build its brand in China. The company said in a statement that Chan would help the company promote “its entire line of executive aircraft, not only in the rapidly growing greater China market, but globally.” “This delivery is a moment of historical importance to Embraer because it solidifies an already long and successful relationship between China and Embraer,” Embraer Executive Jets unit president Ernest Edwards said. By turning to Chan, Embraer hopes to translate his charisma and celebrity into increased recognition and sales for its products. “I believe that Embraer is poised to become a major player in the Chinese executive jet market,” said Chan, who described himself as a “brand ambassador” for the manufacturer. The ebullient actor, singer and cultural icon toasted the company’s executives as they stood together in front of the plane customized with the Chinese colors of red and yellow, and the name “Jackie” painted on the tail.
Kobayashi destroys record
Japanese competitive-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi ate a record 337 chicken wings in 30 minutes before a crowd of nearly 20,000 at Wing Bowl XX in Philadelphia. He demolished the record of 255 set last year by Jonathan “Super” Squibb. The Friday-morning contest drew thousands to watch competitors stuff themselves with chicken wings. Kobayashi claimed the US$20,000 cash prize.