Three die as boat sinks
Three people died, but another 157 suspected asylum seekers were rescued after their boat sank off the southern coast, officials said yesterday after earlier reports that as many as 60 may have perished. Earlier yesterday, News Ltd and other Australian media reported that the boat was carrying as many as 170 people and that up to 60 were feared dead or missing. Emergency authorities later said that 160 people were on board and that three had died — two women and a 12-year-old boy from Sri Lanka. “[The survivors] have been taken to a temporary immigration holding facility... They seem fine,” said Rochmali, the head of the search and rescue office for West Java.
Awards honor women
Afghanistan’s first and only female governor and a humanitarian worker from the Kachin minority in Myanmar are among this year’s recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Habiba Sarabi was honored for helping build a functioning local government and pushing for education and women’s rights in Afghanistan’s Bamyan Province, despite discrimination and poverty. Lahpai Seng Raw helps rehabilitate damaged communities amid armed conflict. The Ramon Magsaysay Awards, announced yesterday, honor three individuals and two organizations for changing their societies for the better. They are named after a popular president who died in a plane crash in 1957.
Activists protest ‘bullying’
Hundreds of activists yesterday accused China of “gunboat diplomacy,” demonstrating at a noisy Manila protest against the Asian giant’s moves to stake its claims in the South China Sea. Riot police cordoned off the entrance to an office building housing the Chinese consulate as an estimated 1,000 demonstrators took Beijing to task for “bullying” the country. The protest, which ended peacefully two hours later, came amid festering tensions between the two neighbors over the Scarborough Shoal — known as Huangyan Island (黃岩島) in Taiwan, which also claims it — a Philippine-claimed outcrop seized by China after a two-month naval stand-off last year. “Our simple message for China today is to stop your intrusions, and stop your bullying of other claimant countries,” said Risa Hontiveros, a former member of parliament and one of the protest leaders. The demonstrators, who included politicians, former military officers and church officials, accused China in a statement handed out at the protest of implementing “gunboat diplomacy in the region.”
Angry father kills workers
State media and an official say a man who could not register his fourth child because he did not pay a penalty for violating the strict family planning laws stabbed to death two government workers and injured four others. The incident illustrates how disliked the family planning policy is, more than 30 years after it started limiting most urban couples to one child and rural families to two. An official from a family planning office in the southern Guangxi region says the man was certified mentally disabled. The official says one of the four injured workers had a hand cut off. The Xinhua news agency says the man was told by the office on Monday he could not register his child because he did not pay the penalty, and returned on Tuesday and attacked six workers.
Storm leads to baby boom