Landslides, flooding kill 29
Officials say landslides and flooding caused by heavy rains have killed 29 people and left four missing. Disaster official Ngo Van Hung of northern Yen Bai Province said yesterday that 16 villagers from the mostly poor Hmong ethnic minority group died in a landslide. Authorities are searching for two others. The government disaster agency said flooding killed another 13 people and left two missing in the central region of the country over the past week. The agency said on its Web site that flooding caused by heavy rains has caused an estimated US$22 million in damage.
Fake doctor examines 2,300
A Tokyo hospital is checking the qualifications of all of its doctors after a man believed to have no medical license examined more than 2,300 of its patients. The man conducted medical interviews, examined electrocardiograms and explained check-up results to people from 2010 to last year at Takashimadaira Chuo General Hospital, weekend media reports said. The man was dispatched to the hospital through an employment agency and is suspected of being involved in the treatment of 2,363 people, the Yomiuri Shimbun and other media reported. Broadcaster TBS said allegations he was not qualified came to light after a medical exam study school where he taught contacted the hospital.
Hospital hires bouncers
Pradeep Kumar works as a bouncer. Not at a nightclub, but at another workplace where violence is common in the country: a hospital. He and his burly colleagues keep the emergency and labor rooms from filling up with patients’ often agitated relatives and friends. They were hired at a New Delhi hospital in the spring, soon after friends of an emergency-room patient punched a doctor in the face and went on a rampage with hockey sticks. The staff at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital said there had been no violence since the bouncers were hired.
Labor groups evicted
Workers’ rights groups in Shenzhen are being forcibly evicted from their offices, academics have said in an open letter, urging an end to the crackdown. Ten groups that offer help to the millions of migrant workers have suffered random inspections and evictions, some of which turned violent, the letter seen by Agence France-Presse yesterday said. The Dagongzhe Migrant Worker Center was one of the first to be caught in the crackdown, with workers evicted from their offices in July after the water and electricity supply to their office was shut off by local authorities. The Hand in Hand Workers’ Home, was evicted from its offices on Sunday, while local government staff confiscated property belonging to a group called The Little Grass Workers’ Home last month, staff said.
Alleged bombmaker arrested
Anti-terrorism forces have been busy over the past few months closing in on militants plotting against police and the government. Alleged bombmaker Mohammed Toriq made their job easy on Sunday, when the armed militant turned himself into authorities while wearing a suicide bomber belt that did not contain any explosives. He had been on the run since last week, when police flushed him out of his Jakarta house after neighbors reported seeing smoke billowing from it. He escaped again over the weekend, after a blast rocked a house in the capital’s outskirts. Police believe it was a bomb that accidentally went off.
Bombing death toll rises
A series of bombs ripped through mainly Shiite Baghdad districts on Sunday after fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death, ending one of the bloodiest days of the year with more than 100 killed across the country. The violence and the sentence for Hashemi, a senior Sunni politician, threatened to stoke sectarian tensions in the country where a Shiite-led government is battling political instability and a Sunni Islamist insurgency nine months after US troops left. Hashemi, a fierce critic of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, fled Iraq after the authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December, a move that risked collapsing a fragile power-sharing agreement among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs. After Sunday’s court ruling, car bombs tore through six districts around Baghdad, hitting a restaurant and a cafe. Another bomb went off in a busy commercial area, killing more than 50 people following bombs in other cities nationwide.
Probe told of organ theft
An official says a witness has come forward and testified about how ethnic Albanian rebels harvested organs from Serbs who were taken captive during a war in Kosovo. War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said on Sunday that “we have a witness who testified about a medical procedure, done in northern Albania, that consisted of harvesting organs from Serbs kidnapped during the 1998-1999 conflict in Kosovo.” Vukcevic said the witness, a former Kosovo Albanian rebel he did not identify by name, “described in detail” a surgery of harvesting a heart from a Serb captive and transporting it to the airport in Tirana, Albania’s capital.
Suspected radical arrested
An alleged member of the radical Islamic movement Hezbollah has been arrested in the country and handed over to US authorities, Mexican media reported on Sunday. Reforma newspaper identified the detained man as Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, a US national, who was wanted by the US government. Allaboun was arrested in the city of Merida late on Saturday as part of an operation conducted by Mexican immigration agents and local police, the report said. Two other suspected Hezbollah members were arrested along with Allaboun, according to the paper. Since US law enforcement authorities had put out an international alert on Allaboun, he was sent to Houston, Texas, on Sunday, the report said. The fate of the other two suspected Islamic radicals remains unclear. The US considers Iranian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Obama motorcade cop dies
A Florida police officer escorting US President Barack Obama’s motorcade died on Sunday after he was struck by a vehicle, officials said. Obama has been notified of the officer’s death, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. Jupiter Police Department spokesman Sergeant Scott Pascarella said Bruce St Laurent was working to shut down the Interstate 95 highway when a vehicle struck him. He was rushed to St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he later died. “The accident happened ahead of the motorcade itself and no other vehicle in the motorcade was involved in the accident,” Carney said. As the presidential motorcade passed by the scene of the accident, St Laurent could be seen under the body of the vehicle, nearby his destroyed motorcycle.
Three years after a deadly virus struck India’s endangered Asiatic lions in their last remaining natural habitat, conservationists are hunting for new homes to help booming prides roam free. The majestic big cats, slightly smaller than their African cousins and with a fold of skin along their bellies, were once found widely across southwest Asia. Hunting and human encroachment saw the population plunge to just 20 by 1913, and the lions are now found only in a wildlife sanctuary in India’s western Gujarat State. Following years of concerted government efforts, the lion population in Gir National Park has swelled to nearly 700, according
A rogue overgrown sheep found roaming through regional Australia has been shorn of his 35kg fleece — a weight even greater than that of the famous New Zealand sheep Shrek, who was captured in 2005 after six years on the loose. The merino ram, dubbed Baarack by rescuers, was discovered wandering alone with an extraordinarily overgrown wool coat, and was promptly shorn to save his life. Kyle Behrend, from the Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary, said that it appeared Baarack was “once an owned sheep” who had escaped. Merino sheep do not shed their fleece and need to be shorn at least annually, as
‘GRAVE CONCERN’: A critic of the government died immediately following his complaints of torture at the hands of security forces, a human rights group said Students on Friday clashed with police in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, as anger mounted at the death of a writer and government critic in a high-security jail. At least 18 police and an unknown number of protesters were injured in the clashes, authorities and witnesses said, amid international demands for an independent investigation into the death of Mushtaq Ahmed. An Agence France-Presse correspondent witnessed police using batons and firing tear gas at students who staged a torchlight march calling for “justice” near the University of Dhaka. At least six students who allegedly attacked security forces with torches were detained, police said. More protests were planned
DMZ SWIM: Over more than three hours, South Korean surveillance cameras caught him eight times and audible alarms sounded twice, but border guards did not notice A North Korean defector wore a diving suit and fins during a daring six-hour swim around one of the world’s most fortified borders and was only caught after apparently falling asleep, a Seoul official said. South Korean forces did not spot the man’s audacious exploit, despite his appearance several times on surveillance cameras after he landed and triggered alarms, drawing heavy criticism from media and opposition lawmakers. Even after his presence was noticed, the man — who used diving gear to make his way by sea around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the Korean Peninsula — was not caught for another