Tibetan monk immolates
A Tibetan monk yesterday set himself on fire near the Boudhanath temple in Kathmandu in what is believed to be the latest protest against Chinese rule over Tibet. He was taken to the Tribhuwan University hospital in critical condition with much of his body burned, officials said.
Heat foils death scam
A soft drinks vendor’s plan to fake his own death failed when he could not play dead long enough in scorching heat, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. More than 10 men claimed the vendor had been beaten to death in Wuhan by chengguan, who are tasked with enforcing non-criminal regulations. A crowd of more than 300 people soon gathered, demanding tens of thousands of yuan in compensation while the vendor, surnamed Han, lay on a stretcher covered by a sheet, the report said. However, Han suddenly jumped up, took a drink from a bottle of water, and said: “It’s too hot. I can’t bear it anymore,” Xinhua reported. Han and two others have been detained for disturbing public order, it said.
Media baron arrested
Police have arrested the chairman of one of the nation’s major newspapers on charges of embezzling millions of dollars. Chang Jae-ku, owner of the Hankook Ilbo group, which includes several dailies, magazines and a cable channel, was arrested on Monday night. Chang, 65, is accused of embezzling company funds worth 13 billion won (US$11.6 million) for his personal use and causing the group a further financial loss of 30 billion won by offering business benefits to his creditors.
A Queensland state lawmaker accused of sending raunchy pictures of himself to a woman stepped down as the head of an ethics committee yesterday, apologizing to his family and dubbing the scandal indefensible. The allegations against Peter Dowling emerged after the Courier-Mail reported yesterday that a woman claiming to be Dowling’s mistress sent a letter detailing their two-and-a-half-year affair to the speaker of the state parliament. The newspaper said it had seen several explicit text messages between Dowling and the woman, including a picture of a penis resting in a glass of wine.
Dutch activist ‘deported’
The government yesterday said it was deporting a Dutch activist who was photographed confronting a police officer during a rally last month denouncing the policies of President Benigno Aquino III. A deportation order was issued against Thomas van Beersum for violating conditions of his tourist visa, said Wilson Soluren, head of Manila airport’s immigration intelligence unit. Van Beersum was prevented from boarding a flight home yesterday morning because officials needed to verify if any court cases were pending against him, Soluren said. He was later booked on the next available flight. Rey Cortez, the activist’s lawyer, said officials just wanted to harass his client by requiring him to obtain a “clearance” to leave.
Kashmir post attacked
Minister of Defence A.K. Antony yesterday said a militant attack on an army post in Kashmir killed five soldiers. “The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily armed terrorists along with others dressed in Pakistani Army uniforms,” Antony said. Pakistan has denied involvement.
Escaped python kills two
A python escaped from its enclosure at a pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, slithered through a ventilation system into an upstairs apartment and killed two young boys as they slept, police said on Monday. The brothers, aged five and seven, were visiting the apartment of a friend above Reptile Ocean, an exotic pet store, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Julie Rogers-Marsh said. The snake was captured and is in the possession of police, Rogers-Marsh said.
Puntland cuts central ties
The semi-autonomous Puntland region said on Monday it had cut all ties with the central government. Puntland accused the Mogadishu government of refusing to share power and foreign aid with the regions in line with the country’s federal structure, as well as taking its eye off the fight against al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants. It said it would only resume normal relations with Mogadishu when the central government respected the country’s federal structure. There was no immediate response from the federal government.
Hundreds dig for gold
They appeared out of nowhere, making a mess, operating without a permit and disrupting the soccer season by luring gawkers, but who can resist 10 tonnes of buried gold? That is what a team of 20 men say they have been digging for since Friday in the middle of an Asuncion suburb. Alberto Diaz, the leader of the bunch, says he has historical references suggesting the alleged gold trove belonged to Francisco Solano Lopez — a military hero who died in a 19th century war against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. However, the digging has started causing landslides and water is gushing at the dig site. The Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday the team was digging without a permit.
Gunman kills three at meet
A gunman opened fire at a small town meeting on Monday in Pennsylvania, killing at least three people, police said. Three others were wounded in the attack, and the gunman was also injured and receiving medical care, the local NBC affiliate reporter. The meeting of town supervisors in Ross Township, Monroe County, was scheduled to begin at 7pm. Just 23 minutes later, emergency calls started coming in, the broadcaster said. The Pocono Record local paper reported that an official had tackled the shooter and shot him with his own weapon.
Lloyd’s offers reward
Insurers Lloyd’s of London yesterday offered up to 1 million euros (US$1.3m) for information leading to the recovery of jewels stolen from a Cannes hotel last month worth an estimated 103 million euros. On July 28, an armed man pulled off a brazen heist in broad daylight at the luxury Carlton Hotel. Brandishing a semi-automatic pistol, the robber stole jewels that were part of an exhibition by a group owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.
Rio police head fired
Colonel Erir da Costa Filho, head of the military police in Rio de Janeiro, has been forced from his job after he decreed an amnesty for police officers who committed undefined “administrative” infractions since 2011. Jose Beltrame, Rio’s top security official, fired Costa after publicly questioning his amnesty decree and demanding explanations for what infractions were forgiven.
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: One of the researchers said the discovery would not lead to a ‘complete solution’ and that plastic should not be released into the environment A bacterium that feeds on toxic plastic has been discovered by scientists. The bug not only breaks the plastic down, but uses it as food to power the process. The bacterium, which was found at a waste site where plastic had been dumped, is the first that is known to attack polyurethane. Millions of tonnes of the plastic are produced every year to use in items such as sports shoes, diapers, kitchen sponges and as foam insulation, but it is mostly sent to landfills, because it is too tough to recycle. When broken down it can release toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, which
Tokyo and the Osaka area in western Japan hunkered down yesterday as officials urged people to stay indoors to prevent a potential emergency, but some were carrying on as normal. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s plea for the tens of millions of people in the capital and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, and particularly this weekend, followed a surge in coronavirus infections this week that she said put Tokyo on the brink of an emergency. Koike urged people to avoid the national pastime of congregating to drink and watch cherry blossoms as they hit their peak in the
IN CUSTODY: The alleged ringleader allegedly forced victims to carve ‘slave’ into their bodies and send him degrading images that were shared with scores of others A sexual blackmail ring that operated on the app Telegram and targeted dozens of women, including underage girls, has rocked South Korea and triggered demands for authorities to crack down on the rising number of sexual offences online. Police yesterday took the unusual step of naming the man who allegedly ran an online network that lured at least 58 women and 16 girls into what authorities called “virtual enslavement” by blackmailing them into sending degrading and, in some cases, violent sexual images of themselves. Cho Ju-bin faces charges of violating the Child Protection Act, the Privacy Act and the Sexual Abuse Act,
LEGISLATION PRAISED: The southern jet stream wind system appears to have stopped moving southward and might be moving back to normal, scientists said International cooperation on ozone-depleting chemicals is helping to return the southern jet stream to a normal state after decades of disruption, a study shows. Scientists say the findings prove that there is the capacity to heal damaged climate systems if governments act promptly and in coordination to deal with the causes. The southern jet stream is a powerful wind that shapes weather patterns and ocean currents in the southern hemisphere, particularly in the summer. Up until about 2000, it had been shifting from its usual course and moving southward at a rate of 1° of latitude each decade, affecting storm tracks and rainfall