Mystery illness kills scores
Health officials are searching for the cause of a mystery disease that has killed more than 60 children over the past three months, the WHO said yesterday. The “undiagnosed syndrome” has killed 61 of the 62 children admitted to hospitals since April, but there’s no indication that is it spreading from person to person, WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi said. She said health workers are trying to determine whether the cases were all the same disease or a collection of various illnesses. The children were less than 10 years old and first fell ill with a high fever, followed by neurological symptoms and severe respiratory problems that quickly progressed.
Mine flood traps 16
Sixteen people were trapped in a flooded coal mine in Hunan Province yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported. The mine flooded on Wednesday evening and by late yesterday morning none of the 16 trapped miners had been rescued, Xinhua reported. Rescue work was ongoing, it added.
Man sentenced to 35 years
A man who killed his Fijian-Indian ex-girlfriend and her two siblings was jailed for life yesterday and will serve at least 35 years, the longest non-parole period in Queensland state’s history. Max Sica, 42, was sentenced to life in the Brisbane Supreme Court on three counts of murder, with no prospect of release before he is well into his 70s. After a marathon trial lasting five months, Sica was found guilty on Tuesday of murdering his former girlfriend Neelma Singh, 24, her brother Kunal, 18, and sister Sidhi, 12, in their suburban Brisbane family home in April 2003. Sica claimed he only found the bodies at the house, but a jury accepted evidence he strangled Singh in a fit of rage, then bludgeoned Sidhi to death and drowned Kunal in a spa to avoid leaving any witnesses.
Mob kills man over Koran
Thousands of people dragged a man accused of desecrating a Koran from a police station in the center of the country, beat him to death and then set his body on fire, a police official said on Wednesday. A senior police officer, Mohammed Azhar Gujar, said in the incident on Tuesday in Bahawalpur, a city in a deeply conservative part the country, attackers stormed a police station where the man was being interrogated. Gujar said the victim seemed to be mentally unstable. He was arrested after residents said he threw pages of the Koran into the street. While the man was being questioned, some people started making announcements over mosque loudspeakers, urging residents to go to the police station and punish him. Within hours, thousands gathered outside and demanded the man be handed over to them. Gujar said police tried to protect him, but the mob turned violent. They burned several police vehicles and wounded seven officers before grabbing the man and dragging him into the street, where he was beaten to death and his body set on fire.
Pakistan rejects allegations
Pakistan yesterday rejected renewed Indian charges that Pakistani “state actors” were involved in planning and coordinating the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead. “I would very strongly reject any insinuation of any involvement of any state agency in acts of terrorism in India,” Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani told reporters after two days of talks in New Dehli with his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai.