Novelist passes away
Canadian novelist W.P. Kinsella, who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film Field of Dreams, has died. He was 81. His literary agent Carolyn Swayze said in a statement that Kinsella’s death on Friday in Hope, British Columbia, was doctor-assisted. Details about his health were not disclosed.
Man admits killing nuns
A man charged with killing two nuns confessed to investigators that he went into their home, struggled with them, stabbed them to death and stole their car, a state law enforcement agent testified on Friday. Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, is charged with capital murder in the slayings of sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, both 68. “He did acknowledge killing Paula Merrill and Margaret Held,” Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent LeCarus Oliver said. Sanders told investigators that he went through the back door of the sisters’ home, uninvited. Oliver testified that Sanders had not revealed a motive for the attacks.
Train driver goes over rails
Japanese train operator JR East has apologized after a driver urinated over the railway track while on duty because he did not want to delay services by using the toilet, media reported yesterday. The driver, in his 50s, felt the urge to go on Monday as his train stopped at Sakura station in Chiba, southeast of Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK and the Asahi Shimbun said. He then opened the cabin door away from the platform and urinated over the rails before departure, as he did not want to cause a delay by going to the restroom, Asahi said. The company, which received a report of the case from an eyewitness, instructed him to go to the restroom if necessary, NHK said.
Protests target trade deal
Hundreds of thousands of people were yesterday expected to take to the streets across Germany in protest against a massive transatlantic trade agreement, dealing a new blow to the disputed accord. “We hope that more than 250,000 participants will join in the march nationwide,” said Roland Suess from the anti-globalization group Attac, one of the organizers of the demonstrations in seven German cities, including the capital Berlin and economic powerhouse Frankfurt.
Soap opera star drowns
Brazilians on Friday mourned the death of soap opera star Domingos Montagner, who drowned in a river where his series had been filming and where his character narrowly escaped death in a recent episode. Montagner, 54 and at the height of his career, was on a break from filming the hit series Velho Chico (“Old Chico”) in northeast Brazil when he went for a swim on Thursday in the Sao Francisco River with co-star Camila Pitanga, according to the Globo media group, which broadcasts the show. The pair was swept up in a strong current. Pitanga managed to grab on to a rock, but she was unable to keep hold of Montagner. She cried out for help, but some locals apparently did not pay attention because they supposed filming was under way. Montagner’s body was found several hours later 30m underwater trapped among the riverbed rocks, the Globo group’s flagship newspaper reported.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered