Poachers kill rhinoceros
Poachers shot dead a rhinoceros at a wildlife park in the northeast hours after Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, visited the sanctuary, a wildlife official said yesterday. Rangers found the dead rhino with its horn missing on Thursday — the day the royal couple left the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, home to two-thirds of the planet’s remaining one-horned rhinos. “Poachers used AK-47 assault rifles to kill the adult male rhino and after killing the pachyderm they took away its horn,” senior forest officer Subasish Das said. It was the second rhino killing in the past four days.
Runaway chimp survives fall
A runaway chimpanzee was shot with a tranquilizer gun only to hang precariously from a power line before falling to the ground and surviving in a drama shown live on national television. The chimp, 24-year-old Chacha, was more fortunate than a zebra that escaped from a Tokyo zoo last month, its bid for freedom ending in death when it collapsed in a water trap after also being shot with a tranquilizer. The chimp had escaped from Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park.
Stolen Dutch paintings found
Authorities on Thursday said they had recovered four 17th-century paintings that were stolen a decade ago from a Dutch museum and whose alleged presence in the hands of an ultranationalist Ukrainian militia had sparked a row. They said the four paintings are part of a group of 24 Dutch Golden Age masterpieces that went missing from the Westfries Museum in 2005. At the time of their disappearance, the paintings were valued at a total of 10 million euros (US$11 million). “We have found several paintings that were stolen from the Dutch museum,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin said at a press conference. Klimkin did not explain how authorities had retrieved the missing paintings, but said the works had been “in the possession of criminal groups.”
Priceless jewels recovered
Art detectives on Thursday said they had recovered precious jewels stolen in a 2013 heist organized by a wealthy Russian woman with a penchant for gold. The jewel-encrusted gold pieces, made by Italy’s Castellani — which rose to fame in the 19th century for recreating jewelry found in archeological digs and embellishing them with gems or mosaics — were snatched from Rome’s Villa Giulia museum. “It’s a great day, now the gold returns to the museum,” Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini said. The Russian woman, who was not named, had been planning to smuggle the stolen earrings, bracelets and necklaces to Saint Petersburg, police said, but was spooked by the publicity surrounding the robbery.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made