Novice unearths gold nugget
An amateur prospector has made the find of a lifetime, unearthing a gold nugget weighing about 5kg, reports said yesterday. The Y-shaped deposit was found with a hand-held metal detector at a depth of a little more than 60cm, a video posted on YouTube showed. The find, made on Wednesday at a popular prospecting site outside Ballarat, 110km from Melbourne, was confirmed by the owner of the town’s gold shop, Cordell Kent. “A lot of people think Victoria’s goldfields are dead and that there’s none left, but he [the prospector] has worked in an area where a lot of people have worked in the past, but he persisted and he’s been rewarded,” said Kent, of the Mining Exchange Gold Shop. Kent said the 177-ounce nugget, which he was working to find a buyer for, was among the biggest he had seen in 20 years in the gold business.
Waves of Rohingya arrive
More than 130 Rohingya migrants have landed on Thai soil in less than 24 hours, a local official said yesterday, as the kingdom grapples with a flurry of arrivals from the Myanmar minority group. About 88 Rohingya came ashore at Phra Thong Island in the south of the country on Wednesday in full view of TV cameras, Kuraburi District chief for Manit Pienthong said. Another 48 landed on the Andaman sea island yesterday morning claiming they were Royingya, Manit said, adding they were sent to immigration officials in the provincial capital of Phangnga to start the process of returning them to Myanmar.
US ship stuck on reef
The US Navy said one of its ships has run aground on a coral reef, but that the crew is safe. It is not clear if the ship caused damage to the coral reef. The navy says the crew of the minesweeper USS Guardian is working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship. It got stuck yesterday at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, 640km southeast of Manila. The ship had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, a former US naval base west of the capital. The Guardian is deployed in Japan.
Nuclear reactor shuts down
A nuclear reactor shut down yesterday due to a technical malfunction, the latest in a series of glitches that have raised public safety concerns. The Uljin-1 reactor, 330km southeast of Seoul, was tripped off by what a spokesman for the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co said appeared to be a faulty gauge. It was the second time in less than six months that the same reactor has automatically shut down, and two other reactors at separate plants did the same in October because of unspecified systems malfunctions.
Red Shirt leader jailed
A court has sentenced a leader of the Red Shirt political movement to two years in prison for a speech judged to have insulted the monarchy. The court ruled yesterday that Yoswarit Chuklom, 54, made a speech insulting the monarchy at a political rally in 2010. The Red Shirts took to the streets in 2010 in political protests that ended with deadly clashes with the military. Yoswarit, one of the group’s leaders, is now an adviser to a Cabinet minister. Yoswarit has requested bail and intends to appeal. The country’s lese majeste law has been criticized as a violation of free speech. It mandates a jail term up to 15 years for anyone who “defames, insults, or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent, or the regent.”