Megi death toll rises to 16
The death toll from two landslides last week following Typhoon Megi has risen to 16, with searchers finding the bodies of more people reported missing. Rescuers were still working in Sucun village, Zhejiang Province, where 10 people were confirmed dead on Tuesday night. Another 17 are still missing, even though it has been more than a week since strong rapids carrying rocks and debris swept through the village and destroyed 20 homes. Elsewhere in the province, authorities in Wencheng County confirmed the death of a sixth person.
Diver killed by stingray
A diver has died after being struck on the chest by stingray in a closed underwater attraction, the aquarium’s owners said yesterday. Veteran diver Philip Chan, 62, was stung on Tuesday at Underwater World Singapore in a “tragic accident,” while readying stingrays for transfer to another aquarium, Haw Par Corp said in a statement. He later died of his injuries in hospital. Haw Par said it has suspended the animal transfer program while police investigations were underway. The 25-year-old facility on Sentosa shut down in June when it could not keep up with newer attractions on the island, including a bigger aquarium and water adventure park.
Hacker faces six years in jail
A man arrested for hacking into an electronic billboard and streaming a porn film during Jakarta’s rush hour could face up to six years in jail, police said yesterday. The Japanese film Watch Tokyo Hot was broadcast for 10 minutes on the advertising screen on Friday last week at a major intersection in the capital, leaving motorists variously amused or horrified. The power was quickly shut off to the videotron, but not before scenes of a couple engaged in a steamy tryst were captured on motorists’ smartphones and went viral on social media. Police and cybercrime specialists launched a hunt for the perpetrator and on Tuesday arrested a 24-year-old IT analyst in his office.
Probe into comic dropped
Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped an investigation of a TV comic who wrote a crude poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, citing insufficient evidence that he committed any crime. Chancellor Angela Merkel in April granted a Turkish request to allow the possible prosecution of Jan Boehmermann for insulting a foreign head of state. Boehmermann had read the poem on ZDF television, to illustrate something he said would not be allowed in Turkey. The ditty started by describing the Turkish leader as “stupid, cowardly and uptight,” before descending into crude sexual references.
Teenager wows Google
An Oregon teenager has invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, impressing Google judges and securing a US$15,000 scholarship. Anushka Naiknaware, 13, placed in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google. She won the Lego Education Builder Award. Large wounds must be kept moist to promote healing, but changing bandages too often to check moisture levels can make things worse. To solve that, Naiknaware, a seventh-grader at Stoller Middle School in Portland, designed and tested a bandage that is embedded with tiny monitors that sense moisture levels and allow medical workers to determine whether the dressing needs to be changed.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big