Rampaging leopard kills man
A leopard that wandered into a city in the east went on a rampage, killing one man, swiping off part of another man’s scalp and injuring three other people before authorities tranquilized the animal. Neighbors in Gauhati said the big cat attacked a 50-year-old lawyer as he talked on his cellphone on Sunday evening outside his house. He was rushed to hospital where he died. Four people were injured, including a man who had part of his scalp torn off by the animal in a dramatic episode captured by a local newspaper photographer. Gauhati wildlife official Utpal Bora says authorities plan to release the animal at a wildlife park about 200km west of the city. Conservationists say deforestation has increasingly pushed leopards into populated areas.
Burned monk’s body paraded
The body of a Tibetan monk who died after setting himself on fire was paraded through the streets in the northwestern of the country, a report said yesterday, in the latest in a series of self--immolation protests against Chinese rule. US broadcaster Radio Free Asia said hundreds of angry Tibetans forced police to hand over the remains of the 42-year-old monk, named Sopa, then carried them through the streets in Dari County in Qinghai Province. It said the monk died on Sunday morning after drinking and throwing kerosene over his body. Radio Free Asia quote a source as saying Sopa’s “body exploded in pieces” before police took it away. Two other men set themselves on fire on Friday in Sichuan Province. At least 15 monks, nuns and former monks are believed to have set themselves on fire in the past year.
Huge manhunt for killer
Thousands of police in Nanjing have begun a major manhunt for a killer believed to be a former armed police officer who has evaded arrest for at least eight years, state media reported yesterday. Two helicopters and 13,000 officers have been deployed in the search for Zeng Kaigui (曾開貴), a 42-year-old man who once served in the army’s armed police force and is adept at evading surveillance, the Global Times daily said.
The suspect shot dead a man who had just withdrawn 200,000 yuan (US$31,700) from a bank in Nanjing on Friday, the city’s police force said in a statement over the weekend. Zeng is believed to have carried out six other armed robberies in two other cities between April 2004 and June last year, killing six people, injuring two and stealing a total of 280,000 yuan.
Pilgrims mass despite threat
A human sea of Catholic pilgrims flooded the capital yesterday to join a religious march, police said, defying government warnings of a potential terror attack on the annual festival. Barefoot men and women wearing maroon shirts waved white towels and handkerchiefs as the “Black Nazarene,” a life-size icon of Jesus Christ carrying a cross, was paraded through the capital’s streets. National TV aired live footage of a huge crowd at Manila’s Rizal Park at the start of a procession that was expected to last until early evening. Police estimated between 2 million and 3 million people turned up. Many people in the country attribute miraculous powers to the icon, which a Spanish priest brought over in 1607. The huge turnout came amid a warning by President Benigno Aquino III on the eve of the festival that authorities had uncovered a plot to attack the event, potentially with a bomb triggered by a mobile phone.
ANC celebrates 100 years
Tens of thousands of chanting and dancing revelers waved the green and gold colors of the African National Congress (ANC) as Africa’s oldest liberation movement celebrated its 100th anniversary yesterday, though many in the country say the party hasn’t delivered on its promises since taking power in 1994. A dozen African leaders and more former heads of state, along with African kings and chieftains, attended a midnight ceremony where President Jacob Zuma lit a flame, expected to stay alight the entire year, at the red brick, tin-roofed Wesleyan church where black intellectuals and activists founded the party in 1912. Absent because of his frailty was Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president who is just six years younger than his movement. Joy at the ANC’s leading role in ending white minority rule in 1994 was tinged with sadness over its failure to bring a better life to most South Africans and corruption scandals that have embroiled its members in recent years.
Nome waiting for fuel
A Russian tanker is inching through thick ice in the Bering Sea en route to delivering fuel to the iced-in western Alaska city of Nome. The US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy is cutting a path for the 113m Renda, which is carrying more than 4.9 million liters of fuel. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class David Mosley said the vessels were 275km south of Nome late on Sunday morning. Mosley says the ships are able to travel only 8kph through ice up to 60cm thick. The Coast Guard initially estimated it would arrive early yesterday, but Mosley says it was difficult to predict an exact time because of the challenges of navigating through ice. Nome did not get its last pre-winter barge fuel delivery because of a massive storm.
Dead animals found dumped
Magistrates have launched an investigation after police found the bodies of more than 60 dogs, including puppies and pure breeds, dumped by a lake in countryside outside Naples. Officers also found the bodies of cats and rabbits. Some of the animals were found in plastic bags. Some had died recently, while others were in an advanced state of decomposition. The animal rights organization AIDAA suggested the dogs might have been knifed by would-be entrants to the local Camorra Mafia during initiation rites to prove their readiness to kill. The organization also said unscrupulous locals offering burial and cremation services for pets could have dumped the animals at the lake, near Marigliano, to save on costs. Investigators reportedly discovered that implanted microchips used to identify dogs had been cut from the animals, making them impossible to trace and also pointing to a possible trade in chips linked to illegal animal trafficking.
Bomb attack foiled
Authorities last week foiled a bomb attack targeting a bus chartered to take Israeli tourists to a ski resort, Israeli public television reported on Sunday. The device was found on a bus on Tuesday that was due to transport a group of Israeli tourists from the Turkish border to a Bulgarian ski resort, according to the report. Troops were deployed in several ski resorts frequented by Israeli tourists after the bomb was found, the report added. The television station’s military commentator said the foiled attack could have been linked to the fourth anniversary of slain Lebanese Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a 2008 car bombing in Syria.