A Tibetan monk set himself on fire in Guolou, Qinghai Province, on Monday, according to the US-based International Campaign for Tibet and Radio Free Asia. Police extinguished the flames and took Tsering Gyal, 20, to a hospital, they said, adding that his condition was unknown.
Shut nuclear plants: ex-PMs
Former prime ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa yesterday spoke out in favor of phasing out atomic power. Koizumi told the Japan Press Club that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should take advantage of his high public support and sway in parliament to “do the right thing … do what the majority of the people want.” Hosokawa, in an interview published in the Tokyo Shimbun, said he favors ending to the reliance on nuclear power. “I can’t understand why they want restarts of the nuclear plants when there is no place to discard the nuclear waste,” he said.
Militants’ financier killed
The chief financier of the Haqqani militant network has been shot dead in Islamabad. Gunmen attacked Nasiruddin Haqqani, a son of the group’s founder, on the edge of Islamabad on Sunday evening, the Pakistani Taliban said on Monday. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but a Pakistani Taliban spokesman accused the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of killing Haqqani and vowed revenge.
Transport strike enforced
Police say opposition activists have attacked cars in Kathmandu that defied a transport blockade that began yesterday and is aimed at disrupting next week’s elections. An alliance of 33 opposition parties ordered the nine-day nationwide strike. Police spokesman Ganesh Chetri says strike supporters vandalized at least three cars. The passengers were not hurt.
Stamp carries message
Australia Post has created a “video stamp” to deliver a 15-second personal message that recipients can view on their mobile phone. The stamp will be distributed for free in the pre-Christmas period. Senders scan the stamp, attach it to their parcel and record a personalized greeting using their smartphone and the free Australia Post Video Stamp app within 12 hours of posting. The recipient then scans the stamp with their phone and it will play the message.
Hacker suspects detained
Five men aged 17 to 45 are being held for allegedly hacking the Web sites of the president and prime minister, police said yesterday. They said the alleged hackers had “exploited a vulnerability” in both Web sites to display pages from other sources last week. In an unrelated case, 35-year-old James Raj, was charged in court yesterday with hacking a local council’s Web site and posting an image of a Guy Fawkes mask, the international symbol of Anonymous. Police said Raj was also linked to a series of hacking incidents.
Abuse of disabled growing
The abuse of disabled people has emerged as a major problem, with the violence most often inflicted by family members or domestic carers, a government survey said. The survey, published on Monday, found 1,699 confirmed cases of physically or mentally disabled people being abused over a six-month period physically, verbally or through neglect.
Man swims entire coast
An adventurer has become the first person to swim the length of the country after emerging from the chilly seas at the northeast tip of Scotland on Monday. Sean Conway took 135 days to swim 1,450km up the west coast from Land’s End, the southwest tip of England, to John O’Groats in Scotland. The Zimbabwe-born 32-year-old spent 90 days in the sea since June 30, with the rest out of the water due to bad weather. “I found out that no one had done it before and that just inspired a bit of imagination in me,” he told the BBC. “The toughest part was getting stung in the face by jellyfish. I’ve had to grow a ridiculous beard to help me.”
A Moscow district court on Monday sentenced opposition activists to time in police cells for petty hooliganism after they flung tomatoes at Dutch King Willem-Alexander. The court sentenced 23-year-old Denis Kudryavtsev to 15 days, while 18-year-old Viktoria Kuznetsova was sentenced to 10, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported. The activists were arrested after they hurled tomatoes at the Dutch king — missing their target — on Saturday as he and Dutch Queen Maxima arrived at a gala concert in Moscow. Both are members of The Other Russia opposition party. The party said the activists were expressing outrage at the January death of activist Alexander Dolmatov, who committed suicide after the Netherlands turned down his asylum request and sent him to a detention center.
Ousted musician kills three
A gunman who killed three Iranian indie rock musicians and injured a fourth person inside a Brooklyn apartment on Monday before killing himself was upset because he had been kicked out of another band last year, police said. Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie killed himself on the roof after struggling with a member of his former band, the Free Keys, police said. Rafie, 29, “was upset that he wasn’t in the band anymore,” New York Police Department spokesman John McCarthy said. Two of Rafie’s victims were brothers and members of the Yellow Dogs, a band that came to the country from Iran three years ago.
Shutterbug doctor jailed
A gynecologist who secretly took intimate photographs of more than 1,000 patients was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Monday. The judge said the gynecologist violated 1,467 women’s “most personal part of life” and also found the doctor guilty of sexual abuse in three cases, national news agency DPA reported. The doctor lost his medical license and will likely never get it back, DPA reported the judge as saying. After being tipped off by two long-time medical assistants, investigators found tens of thousands of photographs of more than 1,000 patients in the man’s possession, DPA said.
Former US soldier detained
Authorities have detained a former US soldier accused of leading a gang of kidnappers, officials said on Monday. The 32-year-old suspect spearheaded a band of 16 people who operated in the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas over the past four years, Nuevo Leon security spokesman Jorge Domene said. He moved to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, from the US in 2009, Domene said. The ex-soldier is accused of ordering the Sept. 25 kidnapping of Jorge Luis Martinez Martinez, the 70-year-old father of the mayor of Zuazua in Monterrey. The victim was found dead five days later, although a ransom was paid.