Paper iPads popular
Paper replicas of Apple’s iPad and iPhone are selling like hotcakes this year as millions prepare to honor their ancestors in an age-old annual festival that has taken on a modern twist. The Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day), which falls on Wednesday, sees families remember their ancestors by laying out food at their grave sites and burning paper replicas of daily necessities such as clothes, money, cars and houses. Replicas of iPhones and iPads — which are hugely popular nationwide — have become all the rage. Retailers say a paper iPad sells for 538 yuan (US$85) including delivery while an iPhone version costs about 22 yuan.
Guard killed in mall robbery
Police say two robbers opened fire and threw a grenade inside a mall in downtown Manila yesterday, killing a security guard and injuring at least six people. Chief superintendent Mario dela Vega said two bank tellers with two security escorts were delivering money to a foreign exchange shop at Robinsons Galleria mall when the robbers attacked. One of the guards died of wounds and three bank personnel and three other people were hurt. The robbers fled on a motorcycle. It wasn’t immediately clear if they took the money.
Girl punished over picture
A teenager is suing her exclusive Catholic girls’ school after it punished her for posting a Facebook picture of herself reportedly in a bikini, a court said on Wednesday. Saint Theresa’s College in the city of Cebu said the 16-year-old had broken a rule which bans posting Internet pictures that show “ample body exposure,” and barred the student from her graduation ceremony. The family’s suit said the photo of the girl, in which newspaper reports said she was wearing a bikini at a party, was not lewd and her Facebook account was private with access limited only to friends.
Gunmen kill six
Gunmen killed six people in a pair of attacks in the southwest of the country yesterday, one of which targeted local employees of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, officials said. The gunmen opened fire on the UN staff as they were riding in a car through Baluchistan Province’s Mastung District, killing two, police officer Rustam Khan said. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier yesterday, gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a passenger van in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province, killing four Shiite Muslims in an apparent sectarian attack, police officer Shaukat Khan said.
Soldier depressed: lawyer
An attorney for the US soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians said his client suffered a traumatic incident in Iraq that triggered tremendous depression and anxiety. Lawyer John Henry Browne said on Wednesday that he could not discuss details of the matter because it remained classified, but he expected the issue to become a focal point in the case against staff sergeant Robert Bales. Browne previously said Bales experienced other major dangers in his deployments, including a serious foot injury and head trauma. He also said a fellow soldier’s leg had been blown off days before the massacre. Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes, and is being held at a US military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Groups worry over gas leak