More violence in Xinjiang
Fresh violence erupted in the restive Xinjiang Province yesterday, state media said, two days after 35 died in what the government called a “terrorist attack” and a week before the anniversary of major clashes in 2009. The incident in Hotan followed riots on Wednesday that were the deadliest to hit the western desert region, home to 10 million mostly Uighur Muslims, since violence on July 5, 2009, left hundreds dead. “At local time this afternoon, a violent attack occurred in Hotan city,” the CCTV state broadcaster said on an official microblog account. “Currently the incident has been resolved and the number of casualties is being verified.” It did not provide further details.
Man attacks boys with knife
Media say a man attacked three boys with a knife in Tokyo, but their injuries were minor. They say the man, who tried to escape in a car and was caught about half an hour later, is in custody and being questioned by police. Tokyo police confirmed the attack had happened, but declined to give details. Kyodo News said the suspect attacked the three boys, ages 6 to 7, near the Ooizumi elementary school. They say he used a knife to cut the boys in the neck and arm areas before fleeing in a car. The children were taken to a hospital.
No sign of lost schooner
Rescue crews searching for a US schooner carrying seven people believe the boat sank, although they have not given up hope of finding survivors. A third day of aerial searches yesterday turned up no sign of the 85-year-old wooden sailboat or its crew. Named Nina, the boat left New Zealand on May 29 bound for Australia. The last known contact was on June 4. There were six US citizens aboard, including captain David Dyche, 58, his wife Rosemary, 60, and their son David, 17. A 35-year-old British man was also aboard.
Mail-order brides rescued
Authorities have rescued 29 women after busting a mail-order bride business and arresting two South Koreans and their four local partners, a police official said on Thursday. Police raided a house on Wednesday in Bacoor near Manila used by the syndicate and found the women, including a 16-year-old girl, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission executive director Chief Superintendent Reginald Villasanta said. The syndicate collects thousands of dollars in fees from Korean men seeking Filipino wives, telling them falsely that the money will go to the women’s families, Villasanta said. He said the women are promised a prosperous life in South Korea, but often end up abused or in unhappy marriages.
Mayor slams wasteful trial
A protester is standing trial on criminal vandalism charges in San Diego, and faces a sentence of up to 13 years in prison if convicted, for a scribbling a series of anti-bank slogans in chalk on a city sidewalk. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has denounced the prosecution of Jeff Olson, 40, a man with no previous criminal record, as a waste of taxpayers’ money and an abuse of power that infringes on First Amendment free speech protections in the US Constitution.
Eagles disrupt party plans
Just because they are both emblems of US pride does not mean fireworks and bald eagles should share the same skyline. The floating launch pad for next week’s July 4 fireworks display in suburban Seattle is being moved from its usual site to avoid frightening a pair of baby bald eagles nesting in a tree on the shore of Lake Washington, sponsors of the event said on Thursday. Mary Brisson, a spokeswoman for the local National Audubon Society chapter, said the two eaglets, still too young to fly, might be so startled by the pyrotechnics that they would jump out of their nest and plunge to the ground, leaving them injured or vulnerable to predators. The fledgling national symbols, apparently unaware they are complicating the Independence Day festivities, currently spend their days perched in a tall lakeside Douglas fir in the town’s Heritage Park. They are believed to be six to eight weeks old.
Suspicious soap deal probed
Authorities said on Thursday they are investigating two men suspected of laundering money for Venezuelan government firms after detecting a shady scheme to buy millions of bars of soap. Investigators in the Central American nation said they had frozen at least US$15.5 million in bank accounts belonging to a Costa Rican lawyer and a Venezuelan who had made suspicious transactions for a company owned by Venezuela’s government.
Rousseff allies back poll
Brazilian police clashed with protesters on Thursday ahead of a Confederations Cup semi-final, as President Dilma Rousseff’s allies backed her plans for a plebiscite on political reform aimed at defusing public anger. A wave of nationwide mass demonstrations, which began more than two weeks ago against a backdrop of anemic economic growth and rising inflation, have coincided with the Confederations Cup, a dry run for next year’s World Cup. Protesters are clamoring for better public services and tougher penalties against corrupt politicians, and are angry over the billions of US dollars being spent to host the two high-profile soccer tournaments and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The death toll from the more than two weeks of protests rose to five on Thursday, when a 21-year-old man died in hospital a day after he fell from an overpass during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte.
Connery watch’s big return
A watch adapted for the fictional British spy 007 in the James Bond movies sold for nearly ￡104,000 (US$160,000) at a pop culture auction on Wednesday after being bought, strapless, at a garage sale for ￡25. The Breitling Top Time, worn by actor Sean Connery during 007’s mission to find stolen atomic bombs in the 1965 movie Thunderball, was estimated to sell for between ￡40,000 and ￡60,000.