Runaway ’roo closes airport
An injured kangaroo shut down part of Melbourne Airport yesterday after it hopped through the busy terminal and into a drug store. City police secured the store before wildlife workers tranquilized and captured the animal. Named “Cyrus” after one of his rescuers, the male eastern gray kangaroo was injured by a vehicle on a nearby road before making his way to the airport’s second level. Cyrus was placed in veterinary care, Wildlife Victoria chief executive Karen Masson said. The terminal is near bushland frequented by groups of kangaroos, with some ending up stranded in the airport’s parking lot several times a month. “We get calls,” Masson said. “There are a lot of ‘roos out there.”
Ship hits seawall, sinks
A cargo ship hit a seawall off the southeastern coast and partly sank in an accident that killed nine crew members and left two missing, coast guard officers said yesterday. Eight crew members were rescued. The ship is owned by a Chinese firm and flagged in Panama, and its crew are nearly all Chinese, with one Vietnamese. The 8,461-tonne ship had anchored off the port city of Pohang, but high waves forced it against the seawall on Tuesday afternoon, a coast guard statement said. All 19 people on board were listed as missing about 14 hours after the accident as winds and waves hampered rescue efforts. Early yesterday, coast guard rescuers found eight sailors and also collected the dead bodies of nine crew members, the officers said. China’s Xinhua news agency said the ship, the Chenglu 15, belonged to Lishen International Shipping Group Corp.
Banks quits over scandal
Minister for Small Business John Banks resigned yesterday after being ordered to stand trial over electoral fraud allegations involving campaign donations from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Prime Minister John Key said Banks had agreed to step down from his portfolio until the case is resolved. Banks will retain his seat in parliament, preserving Key’s slim majority in the chamber. The case centers on donations Banks received from Dotcom and the Sky City Casino in 2010 to help bankroll a failed bid to become Auckland mayor. Dotcom told a court this week that he donated NZ$50,000 (US$42,000) to Banks, but the politician asked him to make two NZ$25,000 instalments so the source of the funds could remain anonymous under campaign funding laws.
Sage dream spurs state dig
The government is digging for treasure after a civic-minded Hindu village sage dreamt that 1,000 tonnes of gold were buried under a ruined palace and wrote to tell the central bank about it. The state Archaeological Survey of India has sent a team of archeologists to the village of Daundia Khera in Uttar Pradesh state. They are due to start digging tomorrow, said Praveen Kumar Mishra, the head archeologist in the state.
Villager-riding official fired
A local official photographed being given a piggyback ride by a villager while visiting flood victims in Zhejiang Province has been sacked after the image caused public outrage online, state media reported on Monday. The picture was posted on microblogging site Sina Weibo in the wake of Typhoon Fitow. A post accompanying it said the official had received the piggyback because he was wearing expensive shoes.
Clinton lauded by Elton John
Elton John has honored former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton for her work to help those affected by HIV/AIDS at an annual event for his foundation. Clinton was excited as she accepted the first founders award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Tuesday night in New York City. She told the crowd at Cipriani’s restaurant that “we still have so far to go” when it comes to helping those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Rock and Roll greats listed
Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, and The Replacements are among first-time nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The hall of fame announced its annual list of nominees yesterday morning and half the field of 16 were first-time nominees. Yes, Link Wray and The Zombies also received their first nominations. More than 600 voters will determine the class of 2014. Inductees will be announced in December and a ceremony will be held in April next year in New York. Nirvana is nominated in its first year of eligibility. If selected for induction, the band would enter the hall of fame almost exactly 20 years after frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide at age 27.
Dalai Lama speaks on weed
The Dalai Lama weighed in on the nation’s marijuana legalization debate on Tuesday, telling an audience that he backs the drug’s use for medicinal purposes. The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking at an event hosted by former president Vicente Fox, said that “the exception” for smoking marijuana would be if it has pharmaceutical virtues. “But otherwise if it’s just an issue of somebody [using the drug to have] a crazy mind, that’s not good,” he said after being asked his position on legalization at the outdoor event at the ex-president’s Fox Center in the central state of Guanajuato.
Nazi funeral canceled
The funeral of a Nazi war criminal was canceled in Italy late on Tuesday after clashes broke out between protesters and far-right activists on the eve of a major Holocaust ceremony. Catholic breakaway traditionalists from the ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X had agreed to hold the funeral of former SS officer Erich Priebke at their seminary in Albano, a town near Rome. However, mayor Nicola Marini and hundreds of local residents turned out to complain about the last-minute decision, following Priebke’s death on Friday in Rome, where he had been under house arrest. “Assassin,” protesters shouted as the hearse drove into the religious compound for the start of the ceremony, which was quickly suspended by a police order when neo-Nazis broke into the area.
Protesters clash with police
Protesters clad in black fought police on Tuesday night in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo at the close of a march by striking teachers, damaging buildings until they were dispersed with tear gas. The demonstrators belong to an anti-capitalist group calling itself the Black Bloc. The newspaper Folha said 120 people were arrested in Rio and 56 in Sao Paulo, although police gave no official number. The clashes in Rio came after a march by 7,000 people as part of a two-month-old strike by teachers seeking salary hikes. Protesters hurled homemade explosive devices and tore metal shutters from buildings to use as shields against police firing tear gas.