Police arrest 44, find 16 kids
Police yesterday said that they have charged 44 men with possessing and producing child-abuse material after a year-long investigation into dissemination of abhorrent content on the Internet. Police also removed 16 children from harm in an operation that saw arrests in almost all of the country’s eight states and territories, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement. The men, aged 19 to 57, face 350 charges between them, police said. The AFP said it began the investigation after receiving a report that thousands of people were using an unspecified cloud storage platform to spread child-abuse material.
Church collapse toll rises
The death toll in the collapse of a three-story church building in the eastern part of the country rose to 21, rescue officials said yesterday, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble. “The deceased include 12 women and nine men,” the National Disaster Management Organization said in a statement, upping the toll from 17 dead on Thursday. It said that eight people had been rescued alive at the scene since rescue workers began combing the disaster site. The Church of Prosperity collapsed on Tuesday in the town of Akyem Batabi just after worshipers had concluded a prayer meeting. One survivor told local media that 60 people were inside the building when it came down. The causes of the accident were still unknown.
Indigenous leader wins prize
Alessandra Korap of the Munduruku tribe in the Amazon was awarded the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights prize for her work defending the rights, ancestral lands and culture of indigenous people in Brazil. “This prize is not for me alone, it is for all of Brazil’s indigenous peoples that are crying out for help,” the 36-year-old said in a telephone interview. “It has strengthened our cause. We will cry out louder,” she said. The US$30,000 award draws attention to the struggle of her tribe to stop the building of hydroelectric dams on the Tapajos River, where the Munduruku live, and gain recognition for their reservation lands, Korap said.
Warplanes strike Gaza
Warplanes yesterday struck suspected Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip before dawn following rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory. Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures” operated by Islamist group Hamas, which has controlled the territory since 2007, the Israeli army said. Hamas reported no casualties from the strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis.
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
Hundreds of flights at one of China’s busiest airports were canceled yesterday as Shanghai raced to bring a local COVID-19 outbreak under control. Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities. Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found
On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of a worker at a nearby construction site. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3m-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Between April and September, wild bears were spotted 13,670
‘OCEAN OF STORMS’: The Chang’e 5 seeks to collect about 5kg of samples from a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain, known as Oceanus Procellarum China plans to launch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. The Chang’e 5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, would seek to collect material that could help scientists understand the moon’s origins and formation. The mission would test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions. If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the US and the Soviet Union decades