Floods leave 400 missing
Pyongyang said 400 people were missing and about 212,000 were left homeless following heavy rains and floods that lasted through last month. The floods killed 169 people and injured 144, while destroying more than 8,600 houses and submerging 43,770 residential buildings, the official Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) said on Saturday. At least 65,280 hectares of farmland was damaged, KCNA said. Premier Choe Yong-rim toured Anju, where almost all public buildings and industrial facilities were flooded or destroyed, with water and power supplies cut off, KNCA said. Choe was briefed on the damages in the city and held a meeting, the agency said.
Fake medicines seized
Police have detained almost 2,000 people in a nationwide sweep on fake drugs, seizing more than US$180 million worth of counterfeit products and destroying about 1,100 production facilities, the public security ministry said yesterday. The operation, involving about 18,000 police officers, discovered fake or adulterated drugs purporting to deal with illnesses ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure and rabies, the ministry said. The suspects even advertised their drugs online, in newspapers and on TV and the drugs caused problems ranging from liver and kidney damage to heart failure, the ministry said.
Gay pride parade held
Dozens of cyclists decorated with balloons and rainbow flags streamed through Hanoi yesterday for the first-ever gay pride parade in the country. The event, organized by the city’s small, but growing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community, went ahead peacefully with no attempt by police to stop the colorful convoy of about 100 activists. Activists said they had modified the parade route after coming under pressure from police to avoid sensitive areas where anti-China demonstrations were taking place.
Truman grandson visits
A grandson of former US president Harry Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings of Japan during World War II, is in Hiroshima to attend a memorial service for the victims. Clifton Truman Daniel visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Saturday and laid a wreath for the 140,000 people killed by the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing authorized by his grandfather. Daniel, 55, will attend ceremonies next week in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marking the 67th anniversary of the bombings. His visit, the first by a member of the Truman family, is sponsored by the peace group Sadako Legacy, named after Sadako Sasaki, an A-bomb victim who died of leukemia at age 12.
NATO supply route reopened
The government on Saturday allowed 14 NATO containers to cross into Afghanistan from the northwestern border checkpoint at Torkham, officials said. Islamabad had temporarily stopped NATO supplies on July 24 because of security concerns after gunmen attacked a convoy of NATO trucks, killing a driver, in the town of Jamrud. A local intelligence official also confirmed resumption of supplies and the departure of 14 NATO containers to Afghanistan. However, a senior local customs official, Ubaidullah Khan, put the figure of containers at seven, adding that they carried foodstuff and clothes.