Dengue infections hit 22
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular park in downtown Tokyo. The cases announced yesterday raise to 22 the number of dengue infections thought to have been contracted locally. The ministry earlier reported three local cases, the first in nearly 70 years. Tokyo began spraying Yoyogi Park, a vast green area next to Meiji Shrine that is popular with local and foreign tourists, after discovering the outbreak.
Man kills three in school
A knife-wielding man yesterday stabbed eight children and a teacher in a rampage at an elementary school in Hubei Province, leaving at least three dead, reports said. The man, surnamed Chen, killed himself by jumping from a building following the carnage at a school in Shiyan, Xinhua news agency reported, which said three of the victims had died. He carried out the attack “because he couldn’t enrol his child” at the school, local broadcaster Shiyan Television said on Sina microblog. It said six children had been killed, as did a local newspaper.
N Korea test-fires missile
North Korea yesterday test-fired what appeared to be a short-range missile into the sea off its east coast in the latest of a series of missile and rocket tests, military officials said. It was launched at 10:30am from a site northeast of Pyongyang toward the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and flew about 220km, the joint chiefs of staff said. Details were not given, but a military official said on condition of anonymity: “North Korea appeared to have test-fired a new tactical or short-range Scud missile.” The launch was made near Ryongnim, about 60km south of the border with China, he said, declining to confirm a Yonhap news agency report that Pyongyang has built an underground Scud missile base in the region.
Car bomb found airport
Four people were arrested yesterday after a bomb was found in a van parked at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, authorities said. The utility vehicle containing an “improvised explosive device” was found at the airport’s terminal three car park at about 1:45am yesterday, a short report released by the National Bureau of Investigation said. “Four suspects were arrested,” said the report, which was released by the airport’s media affairs office. The report gave no other details and did not identify the suspects or say if the bomb had been safely dealt with.
Police accused of coup plot
Authorities have issued arrest warrants for 33 police officers accused of plotting against the government. Dogan news agency said the warrants were filed yesterday for the officers, including the former head of a financial unit, on charges that include espionage. Yesterday’s move is part of a wave of arrests since July stemming from allegations by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that police conspired against him. It comes days after former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu succeeded Erdogan as prime minister. Erdogan has accused a US-based spiritual leader, Fetullah Gulen, of infiltrating the police and judiciary and using powers to undermine the government, a charge that Gulen denies.
Party’s success downplayed
A top aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel is downplaying a new anti-euro party’s strong showing in a state election, saying that it is too early to say its long-term success is assured. The Alternative for Germany party won 9.7 percent support in Sunday’s election in the eastern state of Saxony, taking its first seats in a state legislature. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats won, but need a new coalition partner to run the region. Merkel’s party so far has tried to ignore Alternative for Germany, which is shaping up as a threat to its right. Parliamentary caucus leader Volker Kauder said yesterday that there was a very low turnout in Saxony.
Celebrities’ photos stolen
Photographs purportedly showing many top stars, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and singer Rihanna, bounced around social media on Sunday, in an apparent massive hacking leak, media reported. “It’s so weird and hard how people take your privacy away from you,” Lawrence said in a tweet. Meanwhile, the actress’ agent vowed to take legal action. “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence,” her representative told TMZ entertainment Web site. Word of the images began spreading early on Sunday, amid reports that the photos had been obtained by hacking iCloud accounts, Mashable and other media reported. Among the celebrities whose pictures were allegedly stolen and posted online were Avril Lavigne, Amber Heard, Gabrielle Union, Hayden Panettiere and Hope Solo, Mashable said.
Rock art age revised
Utah State University scientists have determined that world-renowned rock art of life-sized figures sketched into red rock cliffs in Canyonlands National Park were drawn 1,000 years more recently than what had long been believed. The team used modern luminescence dating techniques to analyze what is known as the “Great Gallery” in southeastern Utah’s Horseshoe Canyon. Researchers believe the figures were created 1,000 to 2,000 years ago instead of the previously thought 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. The findings were published last month in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nigerien politician flees
Nigerian National Assembly speaker and former prime minister Hama Amadou, who faces questioning in connection with a baby trafficking scandal, is in France, a source close to the office of the president said on Sunday. Amadou fled to Ouagadougou last week after Nigerien officials ruled his parliamentary immunity would not save him from being questioned over the scandal. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose Amadou’s itinerary, said Amadou was staying in Paris.
School retires Arab mascot
A California high school has retired a controversial Arab mascot. The bearded, snarling mascot with a large hooked nose who wears a head scarf did not appear at Coachella Valley High School’s season opening football game on Friday last week. A belly-dancing genie that often appears with the mascot during halftime was also retired. The Desert Sun reported that the change was among steps the Coachella Valley Unified School District is taking to give the mascot a makeover.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists