Wed, May 27, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Rest home fire kills 38

A fire swept through a rest home in Henan Province, killing 38 people and injuring six, authorities said yesterday. The fire broke out on Monday night in an apartment building being used as a privately run rest home in the city of Pingdingshan, the province’s work safety administration said in a statement. Xinhua news agency said the building housed 51 elderly people and quoted one survivor, 82-year-old Zhao Yulan, as saying only two of the 11 people living in her room made it out alive. Some of the remains were burned beyond recognition, Xinhua said.

CHINA

License plates led to trial

A former head of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau has gone on trial for handing out coveted license plates to businesspeople in return for nearly US$4 million in bribes, a court said. Song Jianguo (宋建國) allegedly accepted more than 23.9 million yuan (US$3.9 million) in bribes over the decade from 2004 to last year, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement. He was accused of illegally handing out highly prized “Jing-A” plates, which start with the Chinese character for “capital,” which are mostly used for government vehicles and are regarded as a status symbol.

CHINA

Graftbuster to lead spies

President Xi Jinping (習近平) named one of his top graftbusters to lead the nation’s spy agency after a corruption scandal toppled the heir-apparent for the post, according to people with knowledge of the appointment. Chen Wenqing (陳文清), 55, who until last month helped direct Xi’s nationwide anti-graft campaign, was appointed Chinese Communist Party secretary for the Ministry of State Security, said the people, who asked not to identified because the change has not been publicly announced. The appointment comes after corruption allegations in January led to the removal of Ma Jian (馬建), the agency’s deputy minister and a likely candidate for the post. Chen succeeds Geng Huichang (耿惠昌), who reached retirement age.

JAPAN

Ex-teachers win in court

The Tokyo District Court has awarded millions of dollars in compensation to a group of high-school teachers who were punished for refusing to sing the national anthem, the group said yesterday. The Tokyo District Court on Monday ruled that the Tokyo government must pay a total of ¥537 million (US$4.5 million) to 22 former teachers. The group said the city refused to re-hire them under a scheme that extends employment past the retirement age because they disobeyed orders to stand and sing the anthem at graduation ceremonies. District judge Toru Yoshida said Tokyo’s refusal to re-hire the group was disproportionate to the offence.

SOUTH AFRICA

Rhino survives attack

The rhino’s rescuers gave her a name: Hope. Poachers had darted the rhino with a tranquilizer and hacked off her horns while she was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of her face. A couple of days later, staff on the Lombardini reserve found the grievously injured rhino — alive. Last week, veterinarians operated on the four-year-old female. They removed maggots and dead tissue, applied dressing and fastened a fiberglass cast with steel screws. The wound measures 50cm by 28cm, the biggest of 10 similar cases that the team has treated in the last three years. It could take at least a year for Hope’s wound to heal after multiple treatments, officials said.

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