Mosquito harborers arrested
Police have arrested 53 people for failing to eliminate stagnant water and other mosquito breeding grounds in a government effort to prevent dengue fever. The police statement issued yesterday said thousands of police, army and health officers searched 11,500 houses in Colombo on Sunday. The people who were arrested face fines and up to six months in jail. Health officials warn that dengue fever has increased because residents have grown more careless about cleaning their properties and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. The illness has killed 74 people and infected more than 15,000 this year.
Uighur ‘hijackers’ die
State media say two men who allegedly tried to hijack a plane in Xinjiang by battering the cockpit door with a crutch and trying to set off explosives have died. Earlier reports said six Uighur men were arrested on Friday following the foiled hijack attempt. Four crewmembers were injured in the tussle. An overseas rights group says the incident was not a hijack attempt, but an in-flight brawl over a seat dispute. The state-run Global Times newspaper reported yesterday that two of the suspects had died, but did not say when or how, and that two were hospitalized after injuring themselves.
Croc declared largest ever
A saltwater crocodile weighing more than a tonne and suspected of killing two people has been declared the largest such reptile in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records. The 6.17m male, nicknamed “Lolong,” was captured in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao in September last year after a two-year search following the killing of a girl and the disappearance of a fisherman. Welinda Asis Elorde, media affairs coordinator for the town of Bunawan, which has custody of the new record-holder, said yesterday the local government had received an official certification from Guinness. Lolong was fed the equivalent of 10 percent of his body weight in beef, pork and poultry every month, but an expert put him on a diet of eight to 10kg a week to get him to be more active.
Mall fire toll rises to 10
Xinhua news agency says the death toll from a weekend fire in a mall in the north has risen to 10. Xinhua says 16 others were slightly hurt in the fire that broke out in a commercial mall just north of the coastal business city of Tianjin. It said the fire burned for about seven hours before it was put out. Xinhua says the cause is still being investigated. Photographs posted online show black smoke pouring out of the mall.
New leader vows to listen
The territory’s new leader said yesterday he would “humbly” listen to the public, a day after the it saw its biggest protest in nearly a decade on the 15th anniversary after the handover to China. Organizers said 400,000 people took to the streets on Sunday to protest against Leung Chun-ying’s (梁振英) leadership and Beijing’s interference in local affairs, hours after Leung was sworn in as chief executive before Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). Police claimed a much lower turnout of 63,000, but both estimates were their respective highest crowd numbers in eight years. “My government and I will seriously and humbly listen to the people’s demands, no matter through what means or how many people were there,” Leung said of the massive protest.
Police probe tooth thief
Thomas Vecsey of the Vienna state prosecutor’s office said authorities were considering filing charges against a man suspected of breaking into the graves of waltz king Johann Strauss Jr and German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms and taking their teeth. Both are buried in Vienna. Vecsey said on Friday that suspicions first arose in 2008, but investigators determined that any crime fell under the statute of limitations. New evidence other graves might have been disturbed has led to the probe’s reopening. The Austria Press Agency said prosecutors consider a Slovak man a person of interest. Prosecutors did not name the suspect nor suggest any potential motivation for the alleged thefts.
Head found in park
Police found what appears to be a human head in a park in Montreal and are investigating whether it is the missing head of a Chinese student who they say was dismembered by a Canadian porn actor, an official said on Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the details. Luka Magnotta is accused of dismembering his lover, Lin Jun (林俊), and mailing the body parts to political parties and schools. He pleaded not guilty last month. Lin’s head is the only remaining body part unaccounted for. Montreal police spokesperson Anie Lemieux said investigators went to Park Angrignon on Sunday afternoon after the major crimes unit received a tip.
Aid workers rescued
Government troops have rescued four foreign aid workers held hostage, three days after they were seized from a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya, Colonel Abduallahi Moalim said yesterday. Government soldiers in the Lower Juber region that borders Kenya stopped a vehicle carrying supplies for the attackers on Sunday. The army seized three of the occupants who directed the force to the hostages, he said. They were being held near the border between the towns of Diff and Dhobley. Friday’s attack at the Dadaab refugee camp was the first abduction of foreigners from Kenya since its government sent troops into Somalia in October last year to crush an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency.
Foreign troops killed
A man in a police uniform on Sunday shot and killed three foreign troops in the south of the country, the US-led coalition said in a statement. It did not give any other details, including the nationalities of the three. The statement said the man was wearing the uniform of the Afghan National Civil Order Police and that the incident was under investigation. Their deaths bring to 218 the number of foreign troops killed so far this year.
Aung San Suu Kyi to rest
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has decided not to attend a new session of parliament this week to give herself time to recover from a grueling European tour, National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win said on Sunday. The 67-year-old, who returned on Saturday from a five-nation European tour after two weeks, had been scheduled to take her place in the legislature for the first time as an elected MP tomorrow, but had received permission not to attend the first week’s sessions. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will take time off from the parliament on June 4, [June] 5 and [June] 6 because she is too tired from the trip to Europe, but her health is OK,” he said.