Temples closed after fraud
Authorities have shut two temples on a sacred Buddhist mountain and arrested six people after fake monks reportedly deceived tourists into donating money, state media and an official said yesterday. The Mount Wutai Administration Bureau closed two of the mountain’s dozens of temples and revoked their business licenses on Friday, Xinhua news agency said. It said the six people were arrested over illegal funding and that the temples had reportedly hired fake monks to con tourists into buying expensive incense and paying unreasonable amounts of money for ceremonies.
Briton survived on lens fluid
A British backpacker who endured three days missing in the Outback survived by drinking his contact lens fluid and urine, his mother said yesterday. Samuel Woodhead, 18, was found on Friday on the sprawling remote property Upshot Station, about 130km from Longreach, from where he had set off on Tuesday. He became lost in extremely harsh terrain and mother Claire Derry credited his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for his survival in the remote and unforgiving Outback with little more than sunburn and dehydration. “He tried drinking his own urine and he wasn’t able to cope much with that, so he drank tiny sips of the contact lens fluid,” Derry told the Sun-Herald newspaper. He lost 15kg over three days and nights and Derry said she and her son were both incredulous that he’d been found alive.
Shells disrupt bullet trains
Troops removed two unexploded wartime bombs yesterday, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and disrupting bullet train services. Removal work began yesterday morning at a factory in Hamamatsu, where a dud shell, believed to have been fired by a US naval ship during World War II, was found in October last year, a city official said. A bomb disposal unit of the Ground Self-Defense Force loaded the 860kg shell on to a military vehicle and transported it to a nearby beach, where it was detonated later in the day, the official said. “We have already lifted the evacuation advisory issued to some 10,000 residents and are now confirming if it was defused with the detonation,” the official said. Central Japan Railway suspended its operation of the high-speed Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Hamamatsu and Toyohashi for about an hour, affecting about 14,000 passengers, local media said. Separately, another unexploded wartime bomb was also removed by troops in Kobe yesterday, forcing some 7,000 people to temporarily evacuate to schools and other public buildings, city officials said.
Motorcycle bomb kills two
Police say suspected insurgents have detonated a motorcycle bomb that killed two security volunteers, following overnight explosions that left one person wounded. Police Colonel Tuanday Juthanan said yesterday that an explosive device hidden in a motorcycle went off in the commercial district in Pattani before noon yesterday. He said the explosion killed two security civilian volunteers who were on duty at a tower clock in the area and wounded 10 people. Tuanday said suspected militants on Saturday night planted seven bombs across Pattani, two of which exploded. One person was injured. Security forces managed to defuse the rest.
Ties with Canada may grow
Ottawa and Havana have plenty of room for growth in the areas of bilateral trade and cooperation, their top diplomats agreed on Saturday, according to state media. Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird “reviewed the state of bilateral ties and reaffirmed the desire to maintain and expand ties in trade, investment and tourism,” the official state news broadcaster said. It said Rodriguez thanked Baird “for Canada’s support in Cuba’s fight against the blockade [embargo] imposed by the United States,” which has been in effect since 1962. Baird arrived in Havana on Friday from Mexico on a regional tour that also will also take him to Venezuela, Peru, Panama and the Dominican Republic.