Joggers warned: be polite
Joggers are being warned to mind their manners when they run around the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, after a spate of rudeness. Officials say tourists and older visitors to the grounds have complained of runners crashing into them from behind and then trotting off without saying sorry. “In some cases, the victims were jeered at or yelled at by joggers,” said an official from Chiyoda-ku, the ward in Tokyo that is home to the palace. Chiyoda-ku officials have erected signs urging joggers to observe the rules: Yield to pedestrians, run counter-clockwise and be polite.
Chinese sailor arrested
The coast guard yesterday said it had arrested a Chinese crewmember of a Sierra Leone-registered vessel over a collision with a Japanese ship that left five people dead and one missing. Xia Hong-bo, 35, was on duty when the 2,962-tonne Jia Hui collided with the 498-tonne Eifuku Maru No. 18 on Friday, the official said. The bodies of five of those aboard the smaller vessel have been recovered. A sixth man is still missing, a coast guard official said. Xia has been questioned on suspicion of professional negligence over the accident, which off Izuoshima Island. Local media said the suspect had admitted the allegations.
Coalition likely to go on
The country’s two main political parties yesterday looked to have little alternative but to continue their unloved “grand coalition” for another five years after just scraping together a majority in elections. This is unless the conservatives attempt a repeat of their 2000 coalition with the third-placed far-right. In their worst result since 1945, the Social Democrats of Chancellor Werner Faymann, 53, won 27.1 percent, down from 29.3 percent at the last election in 2008, provisional official results showed. The conservative People’s Party, Faymann’s partners since 2008, fell to 23.8 percent from 26 percent.
Egypt extends detention
The families of two Canadians staging a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison said on Sunday that Egyptian authorities have extended their detention for another 45 days. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have been held without charges since Aug. 16, despite diplomatic pressure. The two said in a statement on Saturday that they have been beaten and subjected to degrading treatment since being detained at the height of violent protests in Cairo last month. Loubani, a physician, and Greyson, a filmmaker, were trying to make their way to Gaza when they went to watch the protests by supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi a few blocks from their hotel. They said they had been beaten and dumped in a squalid, cockroach-infested jail cell crammed with others picked up that day. They said they witnessed more than 50 people die in the unrest.
Rebels, soldiers trade fire
Tuareg separatists exchanged fire with soldiers in the northern town of Kidal on Sunday, residents said, in a sign of escalating tensions three days after National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) rebels ended a ceasefire with the new government. Officials said separatists attacked an army unit stationed outside a bank in the center of the desert town. However, a spokesman for the rebels said it was the soldiers who opened fire on an MNLA vehicle, injuring three men inside. The incident came two days after a grenade attack outside the same bank wounded two soldiers.