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.
Lifeguard fired for rescue
A young lifeguard in Florida lost his job after rescuing a drowning man in a section of beach he was not assigned to patrol, local news media reported on Wednesday. Tomas Lopez, 21, was manning his post on Hallandale Beach, north of Miami, on Monday afternoon when a beach-goer alerted him to a swimmer struggling in an “unprotected” part of the beach. The unidentified man was rescued, then rushed to hospital, where he remains in intensive care. However, when Lopez went to file an incident report, he was fired for going 500m out of his assigned area.
Gunman kills four, self
A 53-year-old gunman facing eviction shot dead four people before committing suicide in an apartment in Karlsruhe on Wednesday, police said. The unemployed man killed a bailiff and locksmith who tried to evict him from his apartment, as well as the new owner. Police found the man’s 55-year-old partner dead in bed and said he had shot her as well. Investigators described an “execution-like” scene in the three-roomed apartment, which had been put up for compulsory sale in April because of payment arrears, suggesting he had planned the killings.
Human head identified
Police confirmed on Wednesday that a head found in a Montreal park does belong to Lin Jun (林俊), the Chinese student victim in the “Canadian Psycho” murder and dismemberment case. “We have found the head,” Montreal police spokesman Raphael Bergeron said following forensic tests on the remains. It is the last remaining body part of the victim to be recovered in the gruesome case that started in May with a hand being mailed to the ruling Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa and culminated in a global manhunt for the suspect. Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, last month pleaded not guilty to killing Lin.
Priceless guide recovered
Police have recovered a priceless 12th-century guide to the Way of Saint James pilgrimage and arrested four people over its theft, officials said on Wednesday. Officers found the unique medieval document, known as the Codex Calixtinus, in a garage near Santiago de Compostela, the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement. The Codex, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, was stolen on July 5 last year from the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it was kept in a secure archive. Officials said at the time there was no sign of a break-in. Considered one of the Western world’s first “guidebooks,” the Codex was only shown to the public on special occasions such as Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in 2010 to the northwestern Spanish city.
Foreign strippers banned
Foreign strippers will no longer be permitted to bare their breasts and shake their booties, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said on Wednesday. Foreigners intending to work for strip clubs, escort services and massage parlors will, as of July 14, no longer be able to get temporary work permits, Kenney said in a statement. The policy change was included in an omnibus budget bill passed last month. Also on Wednesday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development unveiled new rules that will effectively prevent employers linked to the sex trade from hiring temporary foreign workers.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around