Cops smash fake bag ring
Police have arrested 73 people suspected of manufacturing and selling almost 1 million fake luxury bags. The Ministry of Public Security says police seized more than 20,000 fake Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Coach bags and closed 37 sites where the forgery ring made or sold the bags. Police say the ring sold more than 960,000 bags and exported many to the US and Middle East. The ministry said on Sunday that police in Guangdong Province uncovered the forgery ring in January. It said authorities seized assets worth 5 billion yuan (US$800 million).
Animals fly to new lives
Sixty dogs and cats that were displaced by Superstorm Sandy have arrived in San Diego following a cross-country flight. The plane carrying the animals landed at Lindberg Field on Saturday, and they were taken to a shelter in Rancho Santa Fe. A spokeswoman for the Helen Woodward Animal Center said the dogs and cats were facing euthanization at New York and New Jersey animal shelters that lost power after the storm struck last month. Jessica Gercke said her organization approached Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld to help rescue the animals. She said a pilot and crew donated their time, BP footed the gas bill, and animal handlers from Seaworld accompanied the animals on the flight.
Three die in bus crash
Three people died and 48 were injured in a crash involving two double-decker buses and a taxi in Hong Kong yesterday, police said. Rescue crews rushed to treat dazed and injured passengers at the scene of the pile-up. Several victims were trapped in the wreckage. “The taxi driver and the two passengers in his car were confirmed dead,” traffic police official Tam Wing-leung told reporters, adding the cause of the accident was under investigation. A passenger on one of the buses told reporters that the driver collapsed at the wheel before the crash.
Pilloried statue revamped
The city of Rome has inaugurated a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican. Artist Oliviero Rainaldi says he is pleased with the final product, saying it matches his original vision. He blamed foundry workers for a botched assemblage the first time around. When the statue was first unveiled in front of Rome’s main train station last year, it was widely criticized by passers-by as looking more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the Polish pope. Even the Vatican’s own art critic wrote that it looked like a “bomb” had landed. The revisions unveiled yesterday focus on the pope’s face: He smiles now and has a neck and more defined chin.
Ex-drugs czar in court
A former head of Singapore’s narcotics police admitted at his corruption trial yesterday that he had sexual relations with one of his agency’s contractors, but denied any wrongdoing. “We were having an affair, an extramarital affair,” Ng Boon Gay, 46, the former director of the Central Narcotics Bureau, testified on the witness stand at his sex-for-contracts trial. State prosecutors allege that Ng violated anti-corruption laws by demanding oral sex on four occasions from information technology executive Cecilia Sue, 36, in exchange for helping her win supply contracts from his agency. However, Ng testified that Sue “was a willing party.”