Drums target public peeing
Volunteers armed with drums and whistles are to lead a crackdown on going to the toilet in public under a new scheme in the western state of Rajasthan, a report said yesterday. “We are constructing public toilets ... and people will be encouraged to use them,” Ramniwas Jat, head of the state’s Jhunjhunu district council, told the Times of India. “We want to raise awareness against the practice of urinating in public, which gave birth to the idea of beating drums and blowing whistles.” The Times said that volunteers, who will be paid a small wage, would embarrass people caught urinating or defecating by standing behind them and letting loose a barrage of noise. Guilty parties would also have their names read out on public address systems.
Acid attack was ‘fate’: mom
A mother who killed her teenage daughter by dousing her with acid for looking at a boy has told the BBC it was the girl’s destiny to die in this way. Police in Pakistan-administered Kashmir arrested Mohammad Zafar and his wife, Zaheen, for the Oct. 29 attack on their daughter Anusha, 15, who died in hospital two days later after suffering horrific acid burns. Speaking from their police cells, the father told the BBC they had warned Anusha before about looking at boys, while the mother described how her daughter had begged for forgiveness. “She said, ‘I didn’t do it on purpose, I won’t do it again,’” the mother, whose own arm bore an injury from the acid, told the BBC. “By then I had thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way.” The parents waited two days to take Anusha to hospital. A doctor said the teenager arrived in a “very critical condition” with almost 70 percent burns.
‘Looted’ auction lots pulled
Two Chinese antiques have been withdrawn from an auction in Britain, the auctioneer said, after the proposed sale sparked fury in China amid claims they were looted from Beijing in the 19th century. Bonhams issued an apology as it confirmed the two jade carvings would not be sold after the owner withdrew them from a planned auction on Thursday to “avoid any possible offence.” The planned sale had sparked a furious reaction from Tan Ping (譚平), an official at China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, who labeled it “against the spirit of international conventions.” “Bonhams is very sorry to read reports in the Chinese press that offence has been caused in China by the proposed sale of two jade carvings,” Bonhams said in a statement yesterday. “There was never in any way an intention to cause offence, and Bonhams regrets that this interpretation has been published.” In its online description of the Qing dynasty jade disc and jade hanging vase, Bonhams said they were “retrieved from the abandoned Summer Palace in Beijing” in 1860.
Tourists die in snowstorms
Two elderly Japanese tourists died and another was missing after being trapped in sudden heavy snowstorms during a visit to the Great Wall yesterday. Two women, aged 62 and 68, were confirmed dead, and a 76-year-old man remained missing on a snow-covered mountain near the wall in Hebei Province. Another Japanese tourist and a Chinese man who works for a Japanese tour agency were receiving medical treatment at a local clinic. The tourists started to climb the mountain from the Beijing side as part of a tour of the Great Wall on Saturday morning, Xinhua news agency said.