Weapon depot blast kills 25
Twenty-five soldiers were killed and four were lightly wounded in an explosion at a military arms depot in the west. The blast occurred at 6:15pm GMT on Wednesday at a section of the military ammunition site in Afyon Province, where hand grenades were stored, the military announced in a statement posted on its Web site. The cause of the blast was not immediately known, it said, but Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said it was “most probably an accident.” He added that it was “certainly not an act of terrorism.”
Man steals 900 library books
Police have arrested a man who allegedly stole nearly 900 books from different libraries, a spokesman said yesterday. Unemployed Mitsuka Suizu, 61, reportedly told officers: “I wanted to keep the books I read” after they discovered 896 volumes at his home in Ube. A police spokesman said Suizu was initially arrested for the theft of 12 books over a six-month period, but a search of his home revealed his huge stash, which the Yomiuri Shimbun said were worth a combined ￥2 million (US$25,000). Under the penal code, theft is punishable by up to 10 years in jail or a fine of up to ￥500,000.
Suspect swallows diamond
A Chinese man was arrested for attempted theft and taken to hospital for a dose of laxatives on Wednesday after swallowing a diamond worth nearly US$14,000 at a gem exhibition, police said. The 32-year-old had asked the stall owner for a close inspection of the 1.5-carat diamond on the opening day of Facets Sri Lanka, an annual jewelry show in Colombo. “He came with another Chinese man,” said Suresh de Silva, director of the Belgrade International gem store. Silva said the captured man had offered to pay for the 7.2mm diameter diamond, which was valued at 1.8 million rupees (US$13,600), but that exhibition organizers wanted police to charge him.
Reporter accused of bribery
A reporter who exposed police corruption has gone on trial for offering a bribe that he says was part of his investigation. The state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper says its reporter, Hoang Khuong, is accused of offering a police officer a bribe of US$710. Khuong’s undercover investigation series last year triggered public anger about police corruption and led to the arrest of the officer who allegedly accepted the bribe. Tuoi Tre yesterday quoted Khuong as telling police he was doing his job as a journalist and had no personal gain as a result of bribing the officer, who is standing trial alongside Khuong and three other people. Khuong’s arrest in January was condemned by the international journalist watchdog Reporters Without Borders. Khuong faces 13 years in jail if convicted.
Red Bull heir charged
Police are pressing drunk driving charges against the Red Bull energy drink heir accused of killing a police officer while speeding in his Ferrari and fleeing the scene. Police say tests taken in the hours after Monday’s crash showed 27-year-old Vorayuth Yoovidhaya’s blood alcohol content was 0.063, exceeding the legal limit of 0.05 They said yesterday that the findings could result in a stiffer penalty for Vorayuth, who was originally charged with causing death by reckless driving. They said Vorayuth had admitted to driving the Ferrari that struck and killed the officer, but said the officer swerved in front of his vehicle.