Eleven killed by police
Police killed 11 suspected drug dealers during operations at the weekend, police said yesterday, adding to a surge of drugs-related killings since president-elect Rodrigo Duterte swept an election last month on promises to wipe out crime. Speculation has been rife in Manila that some police involved in the drugs business were clearing the decks before Duterte takes office by eliminating criminals who could implicate them.
Ship’s captain stabbed
Two Vietnamese crewmen on a South Korean fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean have allegedly stabbed and killed the ship’s captain and the engineer over a dispute, the coast guard said yesterday. The two, both aged 32, have since been overpowered by other crew members and are locked up aboard the vessel as it sails to the Seychelles capital, Victoria, a coast guard official in Busan said. The attack against the captain and the engineer took place early yesterday morning and was reported to the coast guard by the vessel’s owner located in Busan, coast guard official Kim In-ho said by telephone.
‘Decisive’ actions defended
The government said it would continue to take “decisive” action against foreign ships operating illegally in waters under its jurisdiction after Beijing criticized its navy for shooting at Chinese fishing vessels. Indonesian Navy spokesman First Admiral Edi Sucipto yesterday confirmed a warship fired warning shots at Chinese fishing vessels in waters off Natuna islands and detained one of the vessels and its seven crew members. He said the incident occurred on Friday. “We will not hesitate to take decisive action against foreign ships, whatever their flag and nationality, when they commit violations in Indonesian territory,” Sucipto said.
Fake doctors arrested
Authorities yesterday said that they have arrested 36 people who were working as doctors with fake credentials and education certificates in a sweeping operation across the nation. Those arrested were working in reputed hospitals, health clinics and medical schools, Central Investigation Bureau official Dibesh Lohani said. They were arrested over the past three days and were charged with forgery. They face up to five years in jail if found guilty. Lohani said that many others are suspected of working as doctors with fake credentials and that the operation would continue. The bureau was working with the Nepal Medical Council and Education Board for months to investigate people suspected of working with fake medical degrees and phony practicing licenses.
Race to save flood survivors
Authorities yesterday raced to rescue victims of landslides and flash floods caused by torrential rain at the weekend that killed nearly 50 people and left many missing in the main island of Java. Search and rescue teams used earth movers and bulldozers to clear debris in several locations in Central Java province after heavy rainfall damaged thousands of homes and forced residents to evacuate. “Around 200 people ... in joint teams from the military, police, NGOs [non-governmental organizations], and volunteers are continuing to search for victims,” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said. He added 47 people had died and 15 remained missing.
Children die in storm
At least 14 children at a summer camp drowned when their boats capsized during a storm on a lake, investigators said on Sunday. The accident happened overnight on Lake Syamozero, close to the border with Finland, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. “The investigators have finished examining the bodies of the 14 victims. They said that they were all born between 2002 and 2004. There are no adults among the victims,” Markin said in a statement. Four members of the camp staff have been detained for questioning, he added. The children were “apparently not wearing life jackets,” children’s rights watchdog Pavel Astakhov told RIA Novosti.
‘Star Trek’ actor dies
Actor Anton Yelchin, best known for playing the young Russian starship navigator Chekov in the rebooted series of Star Trek movies, was killed on Sunday when accidentally crushed by his own car against a driveway wall, police said. The Russian-born Yelchin, 27, died shortly after 1am after he apparently stepped out of his car in the steep driveway of his Los Angeles home and it rolled backwards, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Houser said. Yelchin was due at a rehearsal, and when he did not show up friends went to his house and found him dead, Houser said. No foul play was suspected, but the accident is under investigation, she said.
Police gas LGBT rally
Police on Sunday fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a rally by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Istanbul, in the second crackdown in as many days on protests by secular Turks. Several hundred riot police surrounded Taksim Square to prevent the “Trans Pride” event taking place during Ramadan. As the police swooped in on the rally of about 150 people, the crowd fled into nearby streets. Media reports said that at least two people were detained.
West Bank gets funding
The government on Sunday approved US$18 million in extra funding for Jewish West Bank settlements, in a move that angered both opposition lawmakers and Palestinians. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the funding aims to assist small businesses, encourage tourism and improve security. About 600,000 Jews live in settlements built on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem on lands Israel captured from Jordan in a 1967 war. Opposition lawmakers said that instead of boosting the nation’s struggling periphery, the government was pouring money into an enterprise that undermined the nation’s security and international standing.
Gunmen storm hospital
A group of heavily armed men on Sunday stormed the Hospital Souza Aguiar in Rio de Janeiro to free a suspected drug trafficker, starting a shootout with officers that left a patient dead and a nurse and an off-duty policeman wounded. At least five attackers stormed the hospital before dawn and freed the 28-year-old suspect, who was being treated for a gunshot wound, Rio police said in a statement. As many as 15 other gunmen were outside during the attack, witnesses told police. Investigators were studying security camera footage, and Rivaldo Barbosa, head of the state’s homicide unit, said two of the assailants had been identified.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500