Woman survives in well
A woman was found alive after being trapped in an abandoned well for 15 days, eating corn cobs and drinking rainwater, local media reported yesterday. Su Qixiu, 38, was found at the bottom of the well in a rural part of Henan Province, the Dahe Daily said. The well, hidden from view by corn plants, is only about 1m in diameter and 4m deep, but its smooth walls made climbing out difficult, the paper said. Su was “scarily skinny” when found, the report cited one of the firefighters who rescued her as saying. She survived by eating raw corn she was carrying when she fell into the well, while two rain showers during the period provided her with water to drink, the paper said. Her family spent days searching for her after she did not return from picking medicinal herbs, but did not find her. Villagers eventually heard her calls for help while they were out harvesting corn.
Violent jobseeker arrested
Police have arrested a man who approached China’s second-richest man to ask for a job, and then attacked and injured the company chairman when he denied the request. Xinhua news agency yesterday said that Zong Qinghou (宗慶后), chairman of food and beverage giant Hangzhou Wahaha Group, is recovering from injuries to his left hand after Friday’s attack in Hangzhou. Xinhua identified the suspect as a 49-year-old migrant worker surnamed Yang. It said Yang wanted a job at Wahaha and sought out Zong after watching a TV program about the businessman’s assistance to migrant workers. It said Yang attacked Zong after his job request was turned down. With US$19 billion in wealth, Zong is China’s second-richest man.
Sex victim aid planned
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to pledge US$1 million to help victims of sexual violence when he speaks at the UN General Assembly next week, a report said yesterday, as anger continues in Asia over wartime “comfort women.” Abe is to visit Canada and the US from Monday to Sept. 27, with his speech at the UN taking place on Thursday next week, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced. The Nikkei business daily reported that Abe will use his UN speech to pledge a financial contribution to help female victims of sexual violence. The money is part of efforts to improve a national image tarnished by a continuing controversy over the country’s wartime use of “comfort women,” a euphemism for women from Korea and other parts of Asia drafted into prostitution. The contribution to the Trust Fund for Victims, which is managed by the International Criminal Court, will be the centerpiece of his address, the economic daily said. Tokyo will earmark nearly ￥100 million (US$1 million) in the next fiscal year’s budget for the fund.
Coach abuse goes viral
A video showing a volleyball coach repeatedly slapping a schoolboy — just days after Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics — is the latest example of brutality to tarnish sport in the country. A short clip posted on YouTube showed the teacher at Hamamatsu Nittai Senior High School smacking the student’s face at least 13 times in 16 seconds. The episode was captured on a mobile phone by another student during a practice game in Gifu, northwest of the city, on Sunday. By lunchtime yesterday, it had garnered nearly 1.5 million viewings.
Man arrested after 25 years
Police have arrested a man on suspicion of killing a young girl more than 25 years ago on the basis of DNA evidence, prosecutors said on Tuesday. In November 1987, nine-year-old Christina was found sexually assaulted and strangled in the western city of Osnabrueck. “The girl did not hear her alarm clock, which is why she left late for school without the friends she usually walked with,” public prosecutor Alexander Retemeyer said. “She took a shortcut crossing through a garden where it was a bit dark. That is where she encountered a 19-year-old man.” The young man tried to rape her and when the girl threatened to tell her mother, he strangled her, the prosecutor said. The victim’s clothes were sealed and stored, and particles of the killer’s skin were removed. “With scientific progress in the meantime, it was possible to isolate DNA and the case was featured on the television show Aktenzeichen XY [about unsolved crimes], which led us to tips about a suspect,” Retemeyer said. “The suspect was ordered to provide a DNA sample, which matched what we had. He was arrested on Sunday morning and confessed on Sunday afternoon.”
Leary files made available
A trove of Timothy Leary’s files could shed new light on the LSD guru, his controversial research into psychedelic drugs and the emergence of the 1960s counterculture. The New York Public Library acquired the vast archive for an undisclosed sum from the Leary estate in 2011. It was making the material available to academics and the public yesterday for the first time. Leary was fired as a psychology lecturer at Harvard and coined the phrase “turn on, tune in, drop out.” He advocated the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, including LSD. Much of the material is previously unpublished. Leary died in 1996.
Starbucks says no to guns
Starbucks Corp chief executive Howard Schultz requested on Tuesday that the coffee chain’s customers leave their firearms at home, shifting company policy amid an increasingly fractious debate over US gun rights in the wake of multiple mass shootings. The request is being made in part because more people have been bringing guns into Starbucks over the past six months, prompting confusion and dismay among some patrons and employees, Schultz said in an interview. In an open letter to customers issued late on Tuesday, the chief executive said: “Our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.” Starbucks’ long-standing policy had been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations that allow people to take guns into stores.
Rescue crews wind down
Colorado rescue crews said on Tuesday that emergency calls were dropping after they rescued hundreds more people stranded by floodwater. State officials reported six flood-related deaths, plus two women missing and presumed dead. The number was expected to increase. It could take weeks or even months to search through flooded areas looking for people who died. Hundreds were still missing, but that number has been decreasing, with the state’s latest count below 650 people. Officials hope the number of missing will continue declining as the stranded get in touch with families. More than 2,300 people and 850 pets had been airlifted to safety by Tuesday, the Colorado National Guard said.