Fire kills 13 students
A fire caused by faulty electrical equipment killed 13 boys at an Islamic school in Yangon yesterday, the fire service said. The boys suffocated after the fire broke out in a dormitory of the school in the Botataung district about 2:40am, neighbors and officials said. Yangon Region Fire Service said it was setting up a team to investigate the fire with the police, the electricity company and representatives from Muslim groups. A funeral for the boys was held yesterday afternoon.
Defendant makes demands
A defendant in the New Delhi gang rape and murder trial has demanded “proper food and newspapers” from jail officials as he prepares for a job recruitment test, the Press Trust of India reported on Monday. Vinay Sharma, who along with five others allegedly gang raped a 23-year-old student in a bus in December last year, filed the plea in a fast-track court where he is being tried, the news agency said. Sharma wants to take the Indian Air Force clerical recruitment test, the news agency said. Sharma, a 20-year-old gym assistant, said he should be given milk and fruits in jail. Late last month he asked the court to provide him with a tutor and reading materials to help him prepare for the test.
Police rounding up cows
The Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police have launched a campaign to round up cows roaming the streets, blaming the sacred animals for car accidents and traffic jams. “The stray cows and oxen have been a big nuisance in Kathmandu streets. They not only cause accidents, but also make the streets untidy,” spokesman Pawan Giri said. “We see traffic jams because the drivers who try to avoid the cows often crash into other vehicles.” He said the captured animals would be detained until their owners paid a fine of approximately US$60 for their release.
Author to make appearance
Bestselling author Haruki Murakami is to appear at a question-and-answer session next month, in a rare public appearance for the publicity-shy, but wildly popular writer. Murakami will be part of a seminar titled “Observe soul, write soul” on May 6 in Kyoto. The event will reportedly be his first public speech in the country for 18 years. Murakami’s last public appearances in the nation were at book-readings in the wake of the 1995 earthquake that leveled much of Kobe.
The curtain went up once more at one of the nation’s most important theaters yesterday after the Kabuki-za was rebuilt for the fourth time. An elaborate ceremony involving incantations and large taiko drums was held as a big digital countdown clock, installed six months ago, ticked away the last few minutes ahead of the official opening. A theater for kabuki was first established on the site in 1889, but has now been rebuilt four times, this time as part of a 29-story office block.
Greenpeace issues warning
Mountains of hazardous waste left from the nation’s huge phosphate fertilizer industry are polluting nearby communities and waters, Greenpeace said in a report yesterday. “It’s critical the government addresses this issue and assists the victims of corporate selfishness,” activist Lang Xiyu said in a statement. “We can no longer continue ignoring 300 million tons of phosphogypsum polluting our soil, water and air.”
Kennedy may be ambassador