Rail chaos blamed on slug
A slug has been blamed for a power outage that halted dozens of trains and delayed 12,000 passengers, the railway operator said yesterday. The power failed on a couple of lines serving the country’s south, operated by Kyushu Railway Co, known as JR Kyushu, on May 30. The company was forced to cancel 26 trips and delay other services, causing chaos. Weeks after the power outage, JR Kyushu said it had found the culprit — a slug, which had made its way into an electrical power device installed near rail tracks. “We tracked down the device responsible for the power failure... We initially thought what’s in there was a bug, but it turned out to be a dead slug,” a company spokesman told reporters.
Bikers mourn seven killed
Motorcyclists and military veterans were mourning seven members of a motorcycle club that includes marines and their spouses who were killed in a collision with a pickup truck on a rural highway. Authorities said they might begin publicly identifying victims of Friday’s crash in remote northern New Hampshire as early as yesterday. Investigators identified the driver of the pickup truck as Volodoymyr Zhukovskyy, a 23-year-old employee of a Massachusetts transportation company. Authorities said he has not been charged, but have not addressed details on his whereabouts.
US freedom report rejected
New Delhi yesterday rejected an annual US Department of State report on religious freedom that raised questions about the government’s inability to curb violent attacks on the country’s minority Muslims. Preparing for a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a stiff rejoinder to the criticism. “India is proud of its secular credentials, it’s status as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a long-standing commitment to tolerance and inclusion,” ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
Building collapse kills 17
The death toll in the collapse of a Chinese-owned building under construction at a resort rose to 17 overnight, officials said yesterday, as rescue workers scrambled to find survivors buried under rubble. The building went down before sunrise on Saturday in the casino-resort town of Sihanoukville on the southwest coast, a rapidly developing tourist hotspot awash with Chinese investment. Four people have been detained in connection with the accident, including the Chinese building owner, the head of the construction firm and the contractor. A landowner has also been held at provincial headquarters for questioning.
Nazi eagle to be sold
A court has ruled that a bronze Nazi eagle from a German battleship that fought in one of the first naval skirmishes of World War II must be sold. Half the proceeds are to go to the government and half to the salvage team that found the insignia in the River Plate off Montevideo in 2006 after a decade of searching, the ruling said. The 50-50 split is stipulated in an agreement the salvagers signed with the navy in 2004. The treasure hunters had filed suit arguing the government reneged on that deal. Since it was found, the sculpture from the ship called the Admiral Graf Spee has been kept in a navy warehouse.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against