Runaway ’roo closes airport
An injured kangaroo shut down part of Melbourne Airport yesterday after it hopped through the busy terminal and into a drug store. City police secured the store before wildlife workers tranquilized and captured the animal. Named “Cyrus” after one of his rescuers, the male eastern gray kangaroo was injured by a vehicle on a nearby road before making his way to the airport’s second level. Cyrus was placed in veterinary care, Wildlife Victoria chief executive Karen Masson said. The terminal is near bushland frequented by groups of kangaroos, with some ending up stranded in the airport’s parking lot several times a month. “We get calls,” Masson said. “There are a lot of ‘roos out there.”
Ship hits seawall, sinks
A cargo ship hit a seawall off the southeastern coast and partly sank in an accident that killed nine crew members and left two missing, coast guard officers said yesterday. Eight crew members were rescued. The ship is owned by a Chinese firm and flagged in Panama, and its crew are nearly all Chinese, with one Vietnamese. The 8,461-tonne ship had anchored off the port city of Pohang, but high waves forced it against the seawall on Tuesday afternoon, a coast guard statement said. All 19 people on board were listed as missing about 14 hours after the accident as winds and waves hampered rescue efforts. Early yesterday, coast guard rescuers found eight sailors and also collected the dead bodies of nine crew members, the officers said. China’s Xinhua news agency said the ship, the Chenglu 15, belonged to Lishen International Shipping Group Corp.
Banks quits over scandal
Minister for Small Business John Banks resigned yesterday after being ordered to stand trial over electoral fraud allegations involving campaign donations from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Prime Minister John Key said Banks had agreed to step down from his portfolio until the case is resolved. Banks will retain his seat in parliament, preserving Key’s slim majority in the chamber. The case centers on donations Banks received from Dotcom and the Sky City Casino in 2010 to help bankroll a failed bid to become Auckland mayor. Dotcom told a court this week that he donated NZ$50,000 (US$42,000) to Banks, but the politician asked him to make two NZ$25,000 instalments so the source of the funds could remain anonymous under campaign funding laws.
Sage dream spurs state dig
The government is digging for treasure after a civic-minded Hindu village sage dreamt that 1,000 tonnes of gold were buried under a ruined palace and wrote to tell the central bank about it. The state Archaeological Survey of India has sent a team of archeologists to the village of Daundia Khera in Uttar Pradesh state. They are due to start digging tomorrow, said Praveen Kumar Mishra, the head archeologist in the state.
Villager-riding official fired
A local official photographed being given a piggyback ride by a villager while visiting flood victims in Zhejiang Province has been sacked after the image caused public outrage online, state media reported on Monday. The picture was posted on microblogging site Sina Weibo in the wake of Typhoon Fitow. A post accompanying it said the official had received the piggyback because he was wearing expensive shoes.