Bodyguards in demand
A growing number of Indians and tourists are hiring bodyguards for protection after a series of violent attacks. Security agencies say business is booming as western visitors and local business people join celebrities and the super-rich in acquiring greater security. “We get a lot of calls for personal security officers from western business executives or people from west Asia,” said Anubhav Khiwani, co-owner of Denetim Services, a newly established company in Delhi. “Once or twice a month a single woman or a holidaying family will also ask for a bodyguard. The gang rape of a physiotherapist in Delhi last December impacted the psyche of people across the world,” she said.
Inferno kills four people
A massive fire broke out on Friday at a petroleum refinery in southern India, killing four workers and leaving dozens injured, police said. Another 11 people were feared trapped at the Hindustan Petroleum Corp refinery in Visakhapatnam, a port city 503km from Andhra Pradesh state capital Hyderabad, officials added. “The mishap occurred at a block in the refinery where a new tower is being constructed,” city police commissioner B. Sivadhar Reddy said. “As of now, four workers have been burned to death and about 30 are injured. Some of the injured persons are in critical condition,” Reddy said, adding that a short-circuit may have triggered the blaze. Fire and other accidents are common in India’s factories because of a lack of safety measures and inspections. The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that nearly 50,000 Indians die from work-related accidents or illness each year.
Outspoken professor sacked
An outspoken college law professor calling for constitutional rule has been banned from teaching, as the Chinese authorities tighten ideological controls, including launching an unusual assault on advocacy of constitutionalism. Zhang Xuezhong (張雪忠), a teacher at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, said he was notified last week that he is no longer qualified to teach any course at the school. Zhang said university officials said his June article critical of anti-constitutionalism was, in fact, unconstitutional and in violation of laws regulating teacher behavior. Since May, state media and party publications have published a series of strongly worded editorials denouncing talk of constitutional rule, saying it was a western political tool that is incompatible with China’s social system. In his June article, Zhang warned that the editorials would stifle the propagation of constitutional values such as freedom of speech, democracy and rule of law, and urged China’s leaders to build a constitutional nation.
Fushun flood kills 76
A river flood triggered by torrential rains has killed 76 people and left another 88 missing in a northeastern city, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. A siren wailed, and mourners stood in silence in a memorial service held yesterday in the city of Fushun, Xinhua said. A statement by the Fushun City Government declared yesterday as a citywide day of condolence and that all public entertainment activities should be halted for the day. Mountainous Fushun has been hit hard by floods ravaging the country’s northeastern provinces this month. Fushun Mayor Luan Qingwei (欒慶偉) told the memorial service that the flood was the worst for decades for the city, where a river cuts through the downtown, Xinhua reported.