Nuclear plant chief sacked
The government yesterday fired the head of the state-run company that oversees the nation’s 23 nuclear reactors over a forged documentation scandal that has shut a host of those reactors down. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power president Kim Kyun-seop was dismissed from his post for the scandal involving parts provided with fake safety certificates, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement. It added that An Seung-kyoo, CEO of KEPCO Engineering and Construction, which is responsible for nuclear power plant design and technology, would also be sacked at a board meeting today.
Two arrested in deadly fire
Authorities have arrested two executives after a fire at a poultry plant on Monday that killed 120 people and injured at least 70. The chairman and general manager of the Baoyuanfeng plant in Jilin Province have both been arrested, provincial officials said on a verified social media account. The firm’s legal representative had been held following the fire and the firm’s assets frozen, a local official said on Tuesday. It was not clear whether that person was one of those referred to in yesterday’s announcement. Workers in the factory, where the fire spread rapidly after an apparent chemical leak, were unable to escape as only one of the building doors was open, with other exits locked, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
Three arrested over rape
Police yesterday arrested three men accused of raping a 30-year-old American woman in a hill resort in Himachal Pradesh. The woman, who has not been identified, was picked up by three men in a truck on Monday night while hitchhiking back to her guest house in the town of Manali after spending an evening with friends, police said. She had been unable to find a taxi to take her home. The suspects, who are all in their early 20s, are being questioned by police and their truck has been seized, a police statement said. The woman told police her attackers took her to an isolated area instead of driving to her hotel, and then raped her.
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Officers charged in attacks
Two police officers have been charged in the beating and slashing of about 70 men in the capital, Port Moresby. National police spokesman Dominic Kakas yesterday said that the officers were charged this week with unlawful wounding, adding that more officers were expected to face charges. Kakas said about 70 men were returning to their homes last month after police broke up a large fight when a group of officers stopped them, ordered them to lie on the ground and then disarmed them of their knives. He said several officers were accused of beating the men and using the knives to slash their ankles.
Hundreds of workers fall ill
About 450 garment workers fell ill during their shifts at a sweater factory near Dhaka, and authorities yesterday said the water supply was suspected. Investigators from the health ministry were testing the water at the Starlight Sweater Factory for possible contamination, area civil surgeon Syed Habibullah said. The workers suffered vomiting, nausea and upset stomachs starting about two hours into their shifts on Wednesday. Habibullah said they were given mainly saline at hospitals and those who were improving left yesterday. The factory gets its drinking water from an underground reservoir, the company’s CEO said.
Hollande wins peace prize
He has been praised as a war chief in Mali. Now, President Francois Hollande has been awarded a UN-sponsored peace prize — barely a year into his presidency and just months after launching his first war against Islamic extremists. The prize givers and African leaders attending Wednesday’s awards ceremony, including Malian President Dioncounda Traore, say Hollande deserves UNESCO’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny prize precisely because they say the Mali intervention is about long-term peace for a volatile region.
US writer wins fiction prize
US novelist A.M. Homes has won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel, May We Be Forgiven. Homes beat bookmakers’ favorite Hilary Mantel and three other finalists to win the ￡30,000 (US$45,000) prize, awarded on Wednesday at a ceremony in London’s Royal Festival Hall. Previously known as the Orange Prize, the prize is one of Britain’s most prestigious literary awards. Actress Miranda Richardson, who chaired a panel of judges, praised Home’s novel, a story about two brothers, as a “dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy” and a “subversion of the American dream.”
US filmmaker expelled
Authorities have expelled a US filmmaker who claimed to be working on a documentary, but whom Caracas said was a spy, the government announced on Wednesday. Timothy Hallet Tracy was arrested in April at an airport near Caracas as he tried to leave the country, where he was said to be working on a political documentary tied to presidential elections to choose a successor to late president Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March. Caracas insisted that the American was a spy working to destabilize the nation — a charge which the US has denied. Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres in the past said that Tracy was linked to a protest movement known as “Operation Sovereignty,” in which demonstrators pressed for more information about Chavez’s health prior to his death.
Jackson’s child hospitalized
Late pop icon Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris, was rushed to a California hospital on Wednesday after trying to commit suicide, a family source said, as her relatives appealed for privacy. The 15-year-old tried to cut her right wrist with a meat cleaver and wrote a suicide note, according to celebrity Web site TMZ. The teenager, whose father died in 2009, was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold in hospital, the family source said, adding that Paris suffered from depression and had previously reported suicidal thoughts.
Leftist beaten by skinheads
The government says a far-left activist is hospitalized in grave condition after a fight with a group of skinheads near one of Paris’ main train stations. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the fight between two groups of young people took place on Wednesday evening near the Saint-Lazare train station. At one point, the 19-year-old leftist was beaten by multiple skinheads, according to the statement from Valls. The attackers have not been arrested, the statement said. The victim, Clement Meric, is a student at Sciences Po, according to the school. The Party of the Left said Meric, one of its activists, was declared brain dead.