Explosives factory explodes
A blast at an explosives factory in Shandong Province’s Caofan Township killed at least 12 people and left another 20 missing yesterday. Xinhua news agency said 34 people were inside the factory at the time of the blast and only 14 of them have been found so far, as rescue workers continued to search among the rubble. The cause of the blast and condition of the other nine people found were not known.
Mine death toll rises
Rescuers recovered three more bodies from a collapsed underground room at a giant US-owned gold and copper mine in Papua Province, bringing the confirmed death toll to 17, police said yesterday. Eleven other workers were still missing and feared dead. The mine collapsed on Tuesday last week when 38 workers were undergoing safety training. Ten injured miners were rescued.
Journalists’ trial expedited
Two journalists at a newspaper critical of President Mohamed Mursi were ordered on Sunday to face an expedited criminal trial for defamation. Public Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim — appointed by Mursi in November last year — ordered the trial for Magdy El Gilad, editor-in-chief of , El-Watan newspaper, and Alaa El-Ghatrify, its managing editor, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported. El-Watan is fiercely critical of Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Earlier this month, El Galad was charged with “publishing false news that aims to disturb public peace and stir panic” after El-Watan printed the names of people it said Islamist militants planned to assassinate. The latest charges were for defaming the director of a public opinion research center.
Series of blasts kill dozens
A wave of car bombings across Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhoods and in the southern city of Basra killed at least 57 people yesterday, striking at market places and crowded bus stops during the busy morning hours, officials said. In Baghdad, nine car bombs went off at bus stops, open-air markets and in the streets of Shiite areas, killing 33 people and wounding 130, police officials said. In Basra, two bombs — one near a restaurant and one at the city’s main bus station — killed at least 13 and wounded 40, officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts, but such large-scale bombings bear the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Gay rights activist arrested
A 19-year-old gay rights activist was arrested for taking part in a protest that police described as “illegal,” fellow demonstrators said yesterday. The detention came the morning after about 100 protestors took to the streets of Changsha in Hunan Province, waving rainbow-colored flags and banners calling for an end to discrimination against gay people. Police in Changsha announced online that the man would be placed in “administrative detention” for 12 days for participating in an “illegal protest.”
Suicide blast kills politician
A suicide bomber struck outside the Baghlan Provincial Council headquarters yesterday, killing council chief Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni and at least 13 others, authorities said. Mohseni was entering the compound in the morning when the bomber ran up on foot and detonated his explosives, Baghlan Province police spokesman Jawed Bashrat said.
Fujimori ill in hospital
Former president Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses, has severe gastrointestinal troubles and is unable to eat, his doctor said on Sunday. “The tests that were done show that the former president has gastroduodenitis” which is eating away at his stomach and duodenum, his lead doctor, lawmaker Alejandro Aguinaga, said a day after Fujimori was hospitalized for stomach bleeding. Fujimori, 74, was convicted in 2009 for masterminding the killings of 25 people by a government-backed death squad in the war against the Maoist Shining Path rebel group.
Mice return from space
A capsule carrying mice, lizards and other small animals returned to Earth on Sunday after spending a month in space for what scientists said was the longest experiment of its kind. Fewer than half of the 53 mice and other rodents who blasted off on April 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome survived, news agencies reported, quoting Vladimir Sychov, deputy director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems and the lead researcher. Sychov said this was to be expected and the surviving mice were sufficient to complete the study.
US ‘spy’ leaves Moscow
A US diplomat accused of being a CIA spy after he was caught allegedly trying to recruit agents last week left the country on Sunday, NTV state television channel said. Ryan Fogle flew out of Moscow. The government announced last week that it had caught Fogle as he prepared to recruit a member of the security forces.
Tornadoes batter Oklahoma
Tornadoes ravaged portions of Oklahoma on Sunday, reducing parts of a mobile home park to rubble, killing a 79-year-old man and injuring 21 people. The tornado in Shawnee was one of several that touched down on Sunday. Twisters, hail and high winds also struck Iowa and Kansas as part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. “It looks like there’s been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour,” Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said.
Balloon crash kills tourist
A Brazilian and a Spanish tourist died yesterday and 23 people were hurt when a hot-air balloon crashed in a famed beauty spot, officials said. The accident occurred over Cappadocia’s sculpted rock formations when the balloon collided with the basket of another balloon above and crashed to the ground, the area’s governor Abdurrahman Savas told Anatolia news agency. Savas said most of those hurt suffered bone fractures, including one person who was in serious condition.
Journalists demand probe
Dozens of journalists rallied outside the Ministry of the Interior in Kiev after police initially refused to investigate the beating of two journalists at an opposition rally. Olha Snitsarchuk, a journalist with Channel 5, and her husband, Vladislav Sodel, a photographer with the Kommersant daily, were punched and kicked by a group of beefy young men as they attempted to record a clash between the men and opposition activists during a protest on Saturday. Sodel told the rally that several policemen ignored his pleas to intervene and watched indifferently as the reporters were thrown on the ground and hit. The ministry opened a probe only after a public backlash.
This story has been amended since it was first published.