Stabbing spree kills four
Police say a man went on public stabbing spree in Chengdu, killing four people and wounding 11. It is the latest in a string of apparently random stabbings in the country. The public security bureau in Chengdu yesterday said on its microblog that the 41-year-old suspect began attacking fellow passengers on a bus on Sunday night. He then exited and began attacking pedestrians. The attack continued until the man was shot and wounded by police. Police said the man told them he had just had a financial dispute with his family members and arrived in Chengdu on Sunday from his hometown of Jintang.
River reaches record high
The Amur River, which marks the border with Russia, has experienced its worst flooding in a century, cutting off roads to some areas, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The Amur, which China knows as the Heilong River, has risen since the middle of this month with some middle and lower sections reaching their highest levels since records began in 1896, Xinhua said. On Saturday, one station on the river measured a record high water level of 50.62m, 1.31m more than the previous high in 1984, it said. Another station registered a high of 43.37m, also surpassing a 1984 record, Xinhua said. Floods had cut off roads leading to Fuyuan County, in Heilong Province, which has a population of 170,000 people and sits across the border from the Russian city of Khabarovsk, the report said.
Swimmer killed by crocodile
Police yesterday recovered the body of a man taken by a large crocodile, with rangers confident they have killed the animal responsible. Sean Cole, 26, was snatched on Saturday in front of at least 15 traumatized onlookers as he swam with a friend across a muddy river that has one of the highest densities of saltwater crocodiles in the world. Northern Territory police senior constable Wade Rodgers said the body was found early yesterday in the area where Cole was last seen. Witnesses had recounted seeing the animal, believed to be nearly 5m long, swimming upriver with the body in its jaws. Cole had been celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday on Saturday at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, about 110km from Darwin, when he decided to plunge into the water with a friend. His friend survived.
Floods affect 1.5m people
Floods and heavy monsoon rains have now killed 178 people and affected 1.5 million across the country in the last three weeks, disaster management officials said on Sunday in updated figures. “At least 178 people have died and 1,503,492 others affected by recent monsoon rains and floods across Pakistan,” a senior National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official said. He said that the rains had injured 855 people, affected 5,615 villages and destroyed 20,312 houses all over the country. On Wednesday last week, the figures stood at nearly 1 million people affected and 139 dead. Nearly 350 relief camps have been set up to help people, mostly in the central province of Punjab, the southern province of Sindh and the southwestern province of Baluchistan, the official said. Further heavy monsoon rains are expected next month, but the NDMA is fully prepared, he said.
Prison battle toll climbs
The death toll from a prison battle has risen to 31 after an inmate died in a hospital. Police and medical officials say the latest death occurred on Saturday. Most victims of Friday’s battle among rival gangs were inmates, but a one-year-old toddler died along with his father. The law allows children aged six and younger to stay with their parents in prison. Another 60 people were injured in the clash at Palmasola maximum-security prison outside the regional capital of Santa Cruz. Authorities say inmates in one cell block attacked a neighboring cell block with knives, machetes and canisters of gas. Jorge Perez, a government vice minister, said the bodies were taken on Saturday to a hospital morgue to undergo autopsies and be identified.
Russian policies protested
More than 1,000 gay rights supporters protested on Sunday in Amsterdam, waving rainbow flags and chanting slogans criticizing the Russian government’s homosexuality policies. The protest was organized in response to a concert featuring a Russian state orchestra and choir to be held in the same place, Museum Square, later in the evening. Speakers at the protest, titled: “To Russia With Love,” included Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who spoke of the city’s longstanding tolerance for gay rights. Van der Laan declined to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visited the Netherlands in March. Protesters said their main focus is opposition to the law adopted by Russia’s parliament in June making “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” illegal.
Teen survives free ride
A local airline said a teenager hid in the wheel well of a plane and survived a 35-minute domestic flight. Arik Airline managing director Chris Ndulue said on Sunday that the incident magnifies “incessant security lapses at our airports.” Arik spokesman Ola Adebanji said passengers and crew had alerted the pilots and the Federal Aviation Agency that a boy was seen running to the plane as it was taxiing to take off on Saturday from southern Benin City. Agency spokesman Yakubu Dati said security agents swept the area and found nothing. Adebanji said a boy aged 13 or 14 jumped out of the wheel well when the plane landed in Lagos, where he was arrested by Arik personnel. Adebanji said the teenager probably survived because the flight was short and the airplane probably did not rise above 7,620m. Most stowaways do not survive. The body of a suspected stowaway fell from an Air France plane over Niger last month and was discovered lifeless in a western suburb of the capital, Niamey, officials said.
Pioneering trader passes
The first woman to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange, Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, has died at age 80. Siebert died on Saturday of complications from cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her death was confirmed by Jane Macon, a director of Siebert Financial and a partner at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Siebert was founder and president of the brokerage firm that bears her name, Muriel Siebert & Co, and became the first woman member of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. She also was the first woman superintendent of banking for the state of New York, serving from 1977 to 1982. Her company went public in 1996 as Siebert Financial Corp.