IN BRIEF (Page 2)

Updated: 2014-04-13 07:16

(China Daily)

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Forest fire threatens store of explosives

A forest fire is still raging in Sichuan province. The fire broke out at around 2:46 pm in a forest near Changbanqiao village in remote Liangshan prefecture, which is mainly populated by ethnic Yi people, sources with the Liangshan forest police said. The fire is burning over an area of 3 hectares and may threaten a chemical factory with a building storing explosives, the sources said. Firefighters, forest police officers, armed police and a helicopter have been dispatched to battle the blaze. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.


Chinese inundated with spam in 2013

Chinese mobile users received more than 300 billion spam messages last year, based on analysis of 270 million complaints, People's Daily reported on Saturday. Sales promotions accounted for 65 percent of the spam, while real estate advertisements accounted for 15 percent. Beijing mobile users received an average of 2.22 junk messages each day. The messages are sent via fake base stations - unlicensed telecommunication installations that allow criminals to send spam to nearby mobile users with fake phone numbers or disguised as communications from government departments, telecoms operators or banks. The report said a campaign against spam at the end of last year reduced such messages by over 50 percent in November and December.


No news of 22 miners trapped

Half the water from a flooded coal mine in Yunnan province has been pumped out, but no substantial progress has been made in the search for the 22 miners trapped since Monday. The workers are believed to be stranded at a depth of 1,876 meters - 10 meters below the level of the floodwater that inundated a pit of Xiahaizi colliery in Qujing city at 4:50 am on Monday. As of 8 am on Saturday, rescuers had drained over 22,000 cubic meters of water from the pit, reducing the water level to about 4.5 meters from the previous 10, a city government news release revealed.


Armed men seize police station

About a dozen gunmen seized a state security building and a police station in eastern Ukraine on Saturday amid simmering tensions in the country's Russian-speaking regions. The two incidents took place in Slavyansk, a town about 100 kilometers north of the regional capital Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters occupied a government building nearly a week ago. In the latest incidents, the armed men initially occupied the police station, where they seized at least 400 handguns and 20 automatic weapons, Ukraine police said in a statement. "The aim of occupying (the police station) was the guns ... they are giving these guns to participants in the protest in Slavyansk," the statement said.


Judge throws out attempted murder

A Pakistani judge threw out charges of attempted murder against a 9-month-old baby on Saturday, lawyers said, in a case that cast a spotlight on Pakistan's justice system. Baby Musa Khan appeared in court in the city of Lahore, sitting on his grandfather's lap and drinking from a bottle of milk. He and his adult relatives were charged this month with attempting to murder a policeman after his family clashed with police and gas company workers trying to collect overdue bills. Police registered a case against the whole family. The baby's grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, and his three sons still face the charges.


Rash of acid attacks stirs calls for change

A rash of acid attacks in recent weeks have horrified Colombians, provoking calls for special laws to deter a particularly fearsome form of aggression in an already violent society. For reasons as various as a lovers' quarrel or an argument among neighbors, five people have been attacked in the past two weeks with corrosive chemicals causing serious burns. In the latest case, which occurred on Wednesday in the northwestern city of Medellin, the victim, a 22-year-old youth, died.


Romania presses for NATO deployment

NATO should redeploy its forces in Eastern Europe and take a firm stand to prevent a contagion of the Ukraine crisis, Romania's foreign minister urged in an interview on Thursday with AFP. "Romania has concrete expectations of a redeployment and an eastward repositioning of NATO's naval, air and ground forces," Titus Corlatean said. "The Black Sea region must be a top priority for NATO and the EU," he stressed. Bucharest "is extremely concerned over developments in Ukraine which have a serious impact on international security," Corlatean said, stressing his country is "on the frontline".

Xinhua- Reuters - AFP

(China Daily 04/13/2014 page2)