Official kills baby
An official demanding that a couple pay a fine for violating the one-child policy crushed their 13-month-old boy to death with a car, a Mayu county spokesman said yesterday. Authorities in Wenzhou are investigating how the infant ended up beneath the vehicle, the spokesman said. “The family was agitated,” he said. “After starting the car to bring the family to the office to discuss the matter, the official discovered the child had been crushed underneath the car.” The baby was rushed to hospital, but could not be saved, the People’s Daily reported on its Web site, adding that at the time of the accident the mother was sitting in the car and the father was getting in.
Clinic under investigation
Xinhua news agency yesterday said 95 people have been hospitalized after a private clinic gave them injections suspected to be contaminated with hepatitis C. Xinhua says 120 patients who received treatment at a clinic in Liaoning Province were screened for the disease and 95 of those are suspected to have been infected with hepatitis C. Authorities were tipped off that patients who had received varicose vein treatment could be infected, it said, adding the case was being investigated.
Police chief queried
A police chief is alleged to have had at least 192 houses and a fake ID card, the Guangzhou Daily said yesterday. Zhao Haibin, a senior police official in Lufeng, Guangdong Province, was reported by a businessman to have accumulated the properties under his name and his company’s, the paper said. The businessman, Huang Kunyi — who was involved in a dispute with Zhao — also said Zhao used a fake ID card to record a different name on company documents, the paper reported. An official of the Chinese Communist Party’s discipline department for Lufeng said yesterday that Zhao had been investigated, but the inquiry was over and he retained his public offices. Zhao said the properties were owned by his younger brother and that he was only “managing” them for him, the paper said.
Fashionistas lept to the defense of Tokyo-based Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee yesterday after he was arrested for selling books containing pictures of male genitals. Kee was arrested on Monday on suspicion of obscenity after selling the books at his Tokyo gallery. The 41-year-old photographer could be jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to ￥2.5 million (US$27,000) if convicted. By law, genitals must be obscured in pictures. “I am stunned by the news of Leslie Kee’s arrest,” Yamamuro Kazz, a leading fashion journalist and magazine editor, wrote on his Web site. “The legal interpretation of whether genitals were exposed or not [and whether the work is obscene or not] is totally irrelevant to the intention of an artist,” he said. Model Ai Tominaga tweeted “I am shocked. I am shocked for Japan.”
Girl band disbands
An all-girl teenage rock band from Kashmir has decided to split after Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir Bashiruddin Ahmad declared their music to be “un-Islamic” and issued a fatwa calling for them to disband, their manager said yesterday. Pragaash, a three-piece group whose members are still in high school, had been the target of an online hate campaign ever since winning a “Battle of the Bands” contest in December last year.
Pennies reach end of road
The Royal Canadian Mint started phasing out its penny, the nuisance coins that clutter dressers and cost more than their C$0.01 (US$0.01) value to produce. The mint on Monday officially ended its distribution of pennies to financial institutions. While people may still use pennies, the government has issued guidelines urging store owners to start rounding prices to the nearest nickel (C$0.05) for cash transactions. The coins, which feature two maple leaves and Queen Elizabeth II in profile, will remain legal tender until they eventually disappear from circulation.
New archbishop in place
The new archbishop of Canterbury on Monday formally took up his post as the leader of the world’s 80-million-strong Anglican Communion. The Most Reverend Justin Welby swore allegiance to the queen as he accepted the position amid prayers. Welby succeeds Rowan Williams, who retired in December last year after a decade in office.
Gas leak caused blast
The government said on Monday that a gas leak caused a blast that killed at least 37 people at the offices of state oil monopoly Pemex in Mexico City. Attorney General Jesus Murillo said no trace of explosives was found at the site of the explosion and the gas was believed to be methane. Murillo said the gas may have leaked from containers in a storage facility, or it could have leaked from an aging pipeline that passed through the building. Another possibility is that it emanated from sewage under the building, he said. Murillo said contractors working under the building needed electricity and used an extension cord, which could have caused a spark that ignited the gas.
Balloon breaks flight record
After more than 55 days flying over Antarctica, NASA’s huge Super-TIGER scientific balloon has broken the record for the longest flight of its kind, bringing back a wealth of data, the space agency said on Monday. The Super-TIGER balloon spent 55 days, 1 hour and 34 minutes aloft at an altitude of 38,710m, beating the old record set in 2009 by just over a day. It was gathering data on the high-energy cosmic rays that hit the Earth from elsewhere in the galaxy.
‘Cookie Monster’ sends note
Police say someone dressed as the Cookie Monster has sent a second note regarding a stolen cookie sculpture — this time saying he wants to return it. Officials are not sure the person in the photo actually stole the 20kg, century-old sculpture. The gilded bronze item was part of a statue outside German cookie baker Bahlsen’s Hannover office and it was reported stolen last month. A local newspaper on Monday received a picture of someone dressed like the Sesame Street character holding what appears to be the stolen cookie.
Court gives shark ruling
A court has convicted a man for killing a great white shark in the country’s first-ever ruling on such a case, the agriculture and fisheries ministry said on Monday. A Western Cape court on Friday last week fined recreational fisherman Leon Bekker 120,000 rand (US$13,527) for catching and killing the predator in 2011. Bekker was also handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence. In 1991, the country became the first to pass laws to protect the animal.