Boat capsizes in Ganges
A boat crowded with passengers capsized on Friday in the Ganges River, a state official said. At least four people drowned and 25 others were feared missing. State official Anil Kumar said the boat was carrying about 50 people when it capsized because of heavy winds and rain in West Bengal state’s Malda District. He said 20 people were rescued and four bodies were recovered. The state government ordered an investigation into the accident. The motorized boat was carrying villagers and contract workers who travel frequently in the area looking for work.
Leader’s numbers posted
A hacker has posted online what he claimed to be the president’s personal mobile telephone numbers, with President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman yesterday denouncing the act as “cybervandalism.” Aquino spokesman Ricky Carandang would not confirm if the numbers were really the president’s, or if their release on the Internet had compromised the leader’s personal security or state secrets. “It’s cybervandalism plain and simple,” Carandang said. “We’re dealing with it. That’s all I can say for now.” The three “Personal Mobile Number(s)” were posted late on Friday on the Facebook site of a user named “#pR.is0n3r.” The site owner urged his followers, who numbered more than 9,000 as of yesterday, to communicate directly with their president. All three phone numbers were apparently no longer working yesterday morning when dialled by Agence France-Presse.
Men escorted from Malaysia
Police have escorted two men accused of involvement in economic crimes back from Malaysia, including one who fled China eight years ago, the Ministry of Public Security said. The Malaysian law enforcement authorities helped the police to apprehend the suspects who were hiding in Malaysia, the ministry said in a statement on Friday on its Web site. Li Yansong (李岩松) fled China last year and is accused of amassing 350 million yuan (US$57 million) in loans by defrauding financial institutions in 2011 and last year, the statement said. In a separate case, Wang Jianguo (王建國) allegedly used bogus invoices to claim more than 7 million yuan in export tax refunds between August 2004 and January 2005, and fled China in 2005. Authorities have dispatched police liaison officers to 23 countries to cooperate with international law enforcement, the Ministry of Public Security said earlier this year.
Rally against extradition held
Hundreds of protesters staged a rally yesterday to urge the government not to extradite former CIA technician Edward Snowden and slam the US for its surveillance programs. Snowden, 29, has gone to ground in the territory after blowing the lid on the US’ vast electronic surveillance operation and has vowed to fight any extradition request. The first major demonstration on the issue saw protesters, including pro-democracy lawmakers, activists and a large number of expatriates march to the US consulate holding banners and shouting “Defend Free Speech,” “Protect Snowden,” “No Extradition” and “Respect Hong Kong Law.” Many blew whistles and wore masks with Snowden’s face on it. One protester held a sign of US President Barack Obama’s famous “Hope” poster, edited to show the leader as a spy wearing large headphones. Another sign read: “Betray Snowden, Betray freedom.”