Author Margaret Mahy dies
Beloved children’s author Margaret Mahy, who wrote more than 120 books and earned acclaim at home and abroad, has died at the age of 76. She died on Monday after being diagnosed with cancer, her cousin Ron Mahy said. Mahy’s best-known books include A Lion in the Meadow, The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate and Bubble Trouble. She won the Carnegie Medal for outstanding children’s writing twice and in 2006 won the Hans Christian Andersen Award for her lifetime contribution to children’s literature. She was one of 20 living people to hold the nation’s highest honor, the Order of New Zealand, and her books were translated into 15 languages.
Case against Hicks dropped
The government has dropped a case against David Hicks over a memoir about his time in Guantanamo Bay, which it had launched under laws that ban people profiting from crime. Federal prosecutors launched proceedings against Hicks, 36, in the Supreme Court last year seeking to have the earnings from his autobiography, Guantanamo: My Journey declared criminal proceeds seizable by the state. However, government counsel Lionel Robberds said the director of public prosecutions had decided to withdraw the case, which reportedly centered on A$10,000 (US$10,200) from the sale of 30,000 books. Hicks was returned home in April 2007 following a plea deal which saw him serve a nine-month sentence on home soil for providing material support for terrorism, after five-and-a-half years in Guantanamo.
Pop singer booked
A popular member of boy band 2PM has been booked for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol after colliding with a motorcyclist early yesterday, police said. Nichkhun Horvejkul, 24, was found to have a blood-alcohol content marginally over the legal limit and could have his license suspended, a detective at Seoul’s Gangnam police station said. The motorcyclist suffered bruises, but no broken bones. Nichkhun, a Thai-American, is a rapper, dancer and occasional support vocalist for the six-member group. His agency JYP Entertainment issued a public apology over the incident and said the artist would cooperate with police.
Bull closes Hue’s airport
Hue’s Phu Bai Airport has been closed because of a roaming bull. The animal was first spotted on Monday morning in a wooded area that borders the airport’s runway. Almost 100 police officers, soldiers and rangers were mobilized to stop the bull from crossing onto the runway. Yesterday, they were aiming to tranquilize the bull and closed the airport until 6pm. Airport director Do Chi Thanh says it’s unclear where the bull came from.
Power cuts implemented
Electricity across the country will be turned off for three hours daily until Saturday, the Ceylon Electricity Board said yesterday, after technical problems knocked out almost a quarter of its generating capacity. The power cut was implemented after the 300 megawatt (MW) Chinese-built coal power plant at Norocholai failed last week for a fifth time since it was commissioned in March last year. Another 100MW was lost from a combined diesel power plant, and an extended drought has decimated hydropower’s contribution to the national grid. In all, the nation has lost 22 percent of its capacity to meet peak demand.
President shuffles Cabinet