Top policewoman killed
The top policewoman in Helmand Province died early yesterday after being shot by unknown attackers, months after her predecessor was also slain. Sub-Inspector Negar, who like many Afghans goes by one name, was buying grass for her lambs outside her home on Sunday when two gunmen drove up on a motorbike and fired at her, said Omar Zawak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand Province. She suffered a bullet wound to the neck, and the attackers got away. Doctors tried to save her, but police spokesman Fareed Ahmad Obaidi said she died at 1am yesterday. Negar had taken over the duties of Islam Bibi, a well-known police officer who was shot dead in July by unknown gunmen.
Appeal for virgins’ blood
A hospital’s request for blood from healthy female virgins for use in medical research has been condemned as insulting to women, state-run media reported yesterday. The Peking University Cancer Hospital said it needed the blood of 100 female virgins aged 18 to 24 for studies on the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is usually transmitted through sexual contact, the China Daily reported. Some Internet users condemned the request as promoting virginity worship and demeaning to women. The hospital defended the call for donors, saying virgins’ blood was less likely to be infected with HPV.
Former Malaysian rebel dies
Malaysia’s renowned former communist fighter Chin Peng, who led a guerrilla campaign against British colonial rule, died in exile in Bangkok yesterday, his military liaison said. The 89-year-old, who left Malaysia about five decades ago, had been hospitalized in Bangkok for several years. Born Ong Boon Hua in Malaysia’s north, Chin Peng was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire and won two medals for helping the British fight the Japanese in Malaya during World War II. He later led the communist party, backed by China, in a guerrilla campaign against the British colonial and Malaysian governments before and after independence in 1957. In 2009, Malaysia’s highest court rejected a bid for him to return.
Climbers fall to death
One Australian and one English climber have fallen to their deaths in the country, police confirmed yesterday. Police Inspector Dave Gaskin said the two incidents on consecutive days in the Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park were not related and were not due to bad weather. He said they come as a reminder that climbers need to use extreme caution. Duncan Rait, 36, died after slipping and falling about 60m from a ridge high on the Tasman Glacier on Friday. Englishman Robert Buckley, 31, fell about 700m on Saturday, while climbing to a small hut on Mount Sefton with three companions.
Safe found in mountains
Workers clearing rubble in a flood-devastated town in the Himalayas have discovered 19 million rupees (US$303,000) in a safe that had been swept away by floodwaters, police said yesterday. The safe was found on Saturday near the ruins of a bank in the town of Kedarnath, which was flattened by flash floods in June, police Inspector General Ram Singh Meena said in Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand State. He said the money belonged to the State Bank of India (SBI) and has been deposited in an SBI branch.
Parliamentary polls held
People were voting yesterday in parliamentary polls seen as a shoo-in for President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front, the party that has held sway over the central African state since ending the genocide 20 years ago. About 6 million people are eligible to cast their ballots. Voting appeared calm yesterday.