Grenade explodes in stove
Police investigating a grenade blast were less puzzled by the explosion and more by where it took place — inside a wood stove that appeared to contain nothing but firewood. The woman who owned the wood burner also had no clue at first. After all, she only put firewood inside. Or so she thought. Police spokeswoman Petra Datscher on Monday said a World War II grenade apparently landed in a tree during fighting. It was then enveloped by wood growing around it to the point that it was invisible when the tree was chopped down for firewood and sold to the supermarket where the unidentified 22-year-old woman bought it. The blast on Sunday in the lakeside town of Gmunden shattered the stove’s glass panel, but the sturdy wrought-iron stove prevented injuries.
Bomb scare a ‘joke’
A Venezuelan doctor thought it might be funny to crack a joke about a bomb in his luggage. Instead, he partly forced the evacuation of Miami International airport, and earned a fine of almost US$90,000. Manuel Alvarado, 60, will pay US$89,172 for his “momentary lapse of reason in making these statements,” which prompted costly evacuations and delays for airlines, and brought out a police bomb squad, his lawyer Brian Bieber said. Just before boarding an Avianca flight to Bogota on Oct. 22, a security officer asked Alvarado routine questions; the doctor joked that he was carrying C-4 explosives.
Sugar sparks bioterror scare
Vanilla sugar for Christmas cookies trickling from an envelope sparked a bioterrorism scare at a mail distribution center on Monday, police said. Police, paramedics and a fire brigade team in full protective suits swarmed the facility after staff spotted the white powder and an employee complained of itching, apparently fearing it was a dangerous chemical or biological agent. Testing quickly determined that the material was not dangerous, police said after the incident in Pinneberg. It was found to be home-made vanilla sugar.
Prisoners poisoned: group
A rights group says at least 41 inmates died in suspicious conditions last week, more than three times the official death toll authorities have blamed on overdoses. The government said last week 13 inmates died after breaking into the infirmary ward of the David Viloria penitentiary center in Lara State and gorging on medical products, including alcohol and antibiotics. However, the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons questions that official version. A handful of relatives claim the prisoners, who had reportedly launched a hunger strike to protest their living conditions, were poisoned, according to preliminary testimonies the group collected. “The [inmates] were sent bottles of water and food... They haven’t said who sent it, but it was let into the prison and that’s what family members say caused [the intoxications],” said the group’s Humberto Prado, who called for independent toxicological exams. At least 200 inmates were intoxicated at the prison, Prado said.
Mass theft of whiskey, gin
Police are hunting a criminal gang that escaped with more than 15,000 bottles of whiskey and gin in an audacious daylight heist last month. Armed with iron bars, the gang loaded the alcohol into 12m trucks after tying up the employees at a warehouse on the outskirts of Dublin, police said on Monday. A total of 15,480 bottles of Jameson Whiskey were taken on the afternoon of Nov. 14.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference