Ten to die for bomb attack
The Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court yesterday sentenced 10 members of banned Islamist militant group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami to death for a bomb attack on a Communist Party rally in 2001. Judge Mohammed Rabiul Alam made the order in a crowded courtroom while four of the defendants were in the dock. Six of the defendants sentenced to death have absconded. The court acquitted two others who fled. On Jan. 20, 2001, bomb attacks on a party rally in Dhaka killed five people and wounded 50 others. Alam said investigators found Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami’s former chief Mufti Abdul Hannan responsible for the party attack, but his name was dropped from the case because he was executed in 2017. He was hanged for a separate case involving a grenade attack on a British high commissioner in Bangladesh.
Plastic ban by year-end
The nation is to ban non-degradable plastic bags in major cities and single-use straws from restaurants by the end of this year in a bid to cut down on waste. The plan targets a 30 percent reduction in non-degradable, disposable tableware for takeout in major cities within five years. In a document released on Sunday, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the production and sale of disposable foam and plastic tableware are to be banned by the end of the year. The plan also outlaws non-degradable, single-use straws in the catering industry this year, while disposable plastic products should not be “actively provided” by hotels by 2022. By 2025, the authorities said they planned to effectively control plastic pollution and cut the amount of waste in landfills of key cities, on top of setting up a management system.
Footbridge falls, killing nine
A footbridge across a river swollen by heavy rains collapsed on the island of Sumatra, drowning at least nine people who were swept away by a strong current, with one person missing, disaster mitigation officials said. Seventeen people were rescued at the site of Sunday’s collapse in the province of Bengkulu, where the national disaster mitigation agency has launched a rescue effort, spokesman Agus Wibowo said. A crowd of about 30 people, mostly students, gathered on the bridge could have caused a strain leading to the collapse, Wibowo said. “They were watching the floods in the river below and then the bridge snapped, so they fell into the overflowing river,” he added.
Quake causes damage
A strong earthquake damaged buildings and injured at least one person seriously in the Xinjiang region, the government said yesterday. Rescue teams were sent to Peyzawat County, an area east of the city of Kashgar, after the Sunday night quake. State broadcaster CCTV showed a cluster of small collapsed brick buildings and partially fallen walls that fronted properties along the street. The Ministry of Emergency Management said a number of people were injured, one seriously. CCTV reported at least two had minor injuries. The magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck at 9:21pm at a depth of 16km, the China Earthquake Networks Center said. The epicenter was 56km from Peyzawat and shaking was felt in the cities of Kashgar and Artux, the center said. The US Geological Survey reported the earthquake’s magnitude as 6.0 and its depth as 11km.
‘Times’ backs two democrats
The New York Times has endorsed two candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. The paper said on Sunday it had chosen the two most effective candidates from the moderate and progressive sides of the party — without stating a preference for either approach. It praised Warren as “a gifted story teller” and Klobuchar as “the very definition” of Midwestern charisma and grit. The Times said former vice president Joe Biden has years of experience, but also noted his age, 77, desire and occasional gaffes. “It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders,” the paper said.
Alaska volcano emits ash
An Alaska volcano that has been rumbling since the middle of summer on Sunday shot ash about 8km into the sky, triggering a warning to aviators and dusting a small fishing village, officials reported. Shishaldin Volcano, one of the most active in Alaska, kicked out a plume of ash that satellite imagery detected as high as 8,535m above sea level, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the joint federal-state-university office that tracks the state’s many volcanoes. A sprinkling of ash was reported in the tiny Aleutian village of False Pass, about 37km northeast of the Shishaldin, said David Fee, the observatory’s University of Alaska Fairbanks coordinating scientist. “Someone reported some ash on their windshield,” he said.
Cartel suspect extradited
Prosecutors on Sunday said that they have extradited to the US an associate of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Local media identified the suspect as Jose Sanchez Villalobos, a financial operator and tunnel builder for the jailed Guzman. “US prosecutors determined that Jose S. was the head of a criminal organization,” a statement from the prosecutors’ office said.
Boiling water kills five
Five people died in the city of Perm yesterday after a hot-water pipe exploded in the night and flooded a basement hotel room with boiling water, a regional investigative committee said. At least three other people were taken to hospital with burns after the incident in the Mini Hotel Caramel, which is in the basement of a residential building, the committee said. Investigators opened a criminal case under the charge of the provision of services that do not meet safety requirements, with forensic investigators on hand to interview people who were at the scene, carry out examinations and secure evidence at the site.
Inmates escape prison
Nearly 80 prisoners, many of them members of a big Brazilian drug and arms-trafficking gang and described as “highly dangerous,” on Sunday escaped from a prison near the border with Brazil, police said. The inmates, who were Brazilian and Paraguayan, made their getaway through a tunnel they had dug from the prison in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, police spokeswoman Elena Andrada said. “Our best men have gone to the border to attempt to recapture the prisoners,” Andrada said. Minister of Justice Cecilia Perez told reporters that it must have taken prisoners “several weeks” to build the tunnel. “It is evident that the staff knew nothing and did nothing,” Perez said. The prison’s warden was dismissed and dozens of guards were arrested.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after