Mosquito harborers arrested
Police have arrested 53 people for failing to eliminate stagnant water and other mosquito breeding grounds in a government effort to prevent dengue fever. The police statement issued yesterday said thousands of police, army and health officers searched 11,500 houses in Colombo on Sunday. The people who were arrested face fines and up to six months in jail. Health officials warn that dengue fever has increased because residents have grown more careless about cleaning their properties and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. The illness has killed 74 people and infected more than 15,000 this year.
Uighur ‘hijackers’ die
State media say two men who allegedly tried to hijack a plane in Xinjiang by battering the cockpit door with a crutch and trying to set off explosives have died. Earlier reports said six Uighur men were arrested on Friday following the foiled hijack attempt. Four crewmembers were injured in the tussle. An overseas rights group says the incident was not a hijack attempt, but an in-flight brawl over a seat dispute. The state-run Global Times newspaper reported yesterday that two of the suspects had died, but did not say when or how, and that two were hospitalized after injuring themselves.
Croc declared largest ever
A saltwater crocodile weighing more than a tonne and suspected of killing two people has been declared the largest such reptile in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records. The 6.17m male, nicknamed “Lolong,” was captured in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao in September last year after a two-year search following the killing of a girl and the disappearance of a fisherman. Welinda Asis Elorde, media affairs coordinator for the town of Bunawan, which has custody of the new record-holder, said yesterday the local government had received an official certification from Guinness. Lolong was fed the equivalent of 10 percent of his body weight in beef, pork and poultry every month, but an expert put him on a diet of eight to 10kg a week to get him to be more active.
Mall fire toll rises to 10
Xinhua news agency says the death toll from a weekend fire in a mall in the north has risen to 10. Xinhua says 16 others were slightly hurt in the fire that broke out in a commercial mall just north of the coastal business city of Tianjin. It said the fire burned for about seven hours before it was put out. Xinhua says the cause is still being investigated. Photographs posted online show black smoke pouring out of the mall.
New leader vows to listen
The territory’s new leader said yesterday he would “humbly” listen to the public, a day after the it saw its biggest protest in nearly a decade on the 15th anniversary after the handover to China. Organizers said 400,000 people took to the streets on Sunday to protest against Leung Chun-ying’s (梁振英) leadership and Beijing’s interference in local affairs, hours after Leung was sworn in as chief executive before Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). Police claimed a much lower turnout of 63,000, but both estimates were their respective highest crowd numbers in eight years. “My government and I will seriously and humbly listen to the people’s demands, no matter through what means or how many people were there,” Leung said of the massive protest.