Five men die cleaning well
Five low-caste villagers have died trying to revive an unused well in a parched region, police said yesterday, as the nation reels under one of the worst droughts on record. The five men, from the lowest Dalit caste, were killed by toxic gas in the pit of the well in Haryana State’s Jind district on Monday when they went in to clean it. “The well had not been in use for about five to six years and a poisonous gas had formed in its depths. The five men inhaled that and died,” deputy police chief Virender Singh said. India is in the grips of its worst water crisis in years, with the government saying that about 330 million people, a quarter of the population, are suffering from drought after two weak monsoons.
Assault blamed for shooting
A state-owned newspaper is reporting that an alleged sexual assault caused a Dubai police officer to fatally shoot his colleague. The National of Abu Dhabi reported yesterday that the accused, a 26-year-old Yemeni patrol sergeant, killed the 51-year-old Emirati armory officer after being handed his weapon at the start of his shift on Nov. 8 last year. The newspaper said that the Dubai Criminal Court heard testimony on Monday that the Yemeni officer accused the Emirati and another man of knocking him out with chemicals, then sexually assaulting him days earlier.
Han Kang wins Booker prize
South Korean author Han Kang has won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction with The Vegetarian, an unsettling novel in which a woman’s decision to stop eating meat has devastating consequences. Han beat literary stars including elusive Italian author Elena Ferrante and Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk to the ￡50,000 (US$72,000) prize, awarded at a ceremony in London on Monday. The prize money is to be split evenly between Han and her 28-year-old translator, Deborah Smith, who only began learning Korean seven years ago. Han, 45, is the first South Korean writer to be nominated for the prize, which was founded in 2005.
‘Domesticated’ bison moves
A “domesticated” bison that was allowed to roam in her owner’s Dallas-area home has moved on to pastures new. Bullet the bison was transported on Saturday from Karen Schoeve’s home in Argyle to her new home, which she will share with two cows, in Flower Mound, Texas. Schoeve said she was struggling to balance work and looking after Bullet and her two paint ponies, so she sold off the horses and two months ago advertised Bullet for sale on Craigslist for US$5,960. Schoeve described Bullet as house-trained, although she sometimes tracks mud inside. She said the bison is “good hardy stock, but not scary” and that she has “a great personality.”
Car wash robbery fails
Authorities said a man tried to rob a car wash in northern California with an empty potato chip bag and an alleged handgun. The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said in a statement that the man entered KaCees World of Water car wash on Friday last week and dropped an empty potato chip bag on the counter. He told the cashier to fill it with money, warning that he had a gun. The man gestured that the weapon was in the empty bag, but the cashier saw it held only a piece of cardboard and called a coworker for help. When the other employee approached, the suspect fled on foot, police said.
‘DEEPLY DISTURBING’ In one extreme case at an Ontario nursing home, an elderly patient was believed to have choked to death while being fed lying down Conditions at Ontario nursing homes hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as described by troops helping out there, are “deeply disturbing,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. The Canadian military last month deployed troops at the height of the pandemic to five elderly care homes in the nation’s most populous province to fill severe staff shortages. The military said that it found blatant disregard for infection control measures and “horrible” care of seniors that verged on abuse, a report said. The troops said that among other forms of mistreatment, residents had been “left in beds soiled in diapers,” crying for help and
Less than two months after detecting its first COVID-19 infection, Montenegro is the first nation in Europe to declare itself free of the coronavirus, a success story the tiny nation hopes would lure tourists to its Adriatic coast this summer. For weeks hotel staff have been raking empty beaches as the pandemic kept away visitors who would normally be arriving by plane, cruise ship and road this time of year, but finally there is a sliver of hope after Montenegro announced it no longer has any active cases of COVID-19. Tourism operators have already seized the opportunity to brand Montenegro as “Europe’s
With cat photographs and sometimes scathing irony, Switzerland-based Mathieu Rebeaud biochemistry researcher has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the novel coronavirus. He is among a growing number of doctors, academics and institutions who in the past several weeks have adapted and amplified their scientific messaging in hopes of countering what has been termed an “infodemic” — a deluge of information, including widespread false claims, which experts have said can pose a
NEW ZEALAND PM unfazed by quake Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern barely skipped a beat when an earthquake struck during a live TV interview yesterday morning. She interrupted Newshub host Ryan Bridge to tell him what was happening at the parliament complex in the capital, Wellington. “We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here Ryan, quite a decent shake here,” she said, looking up and around the room. “But, um, if you see things moving behind me.” The magnitude 5.6 quake struck in the ocean about 100km northeast of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. The quake hit just before 8am and