In brief: Expedition leader who shot polar bear that killed student is hailed as a hero
THE man who shot the polar bear that killed a schoolboy and injured four others in Norway has been hailed as a hero. Adventurer Michael 'Spike' Reid, 29, was a leader of the expedition which was attacked.
Horatio Chapple, 17, pictured, an aspiring medical student, was killed in the attack on Friday. The group was on a British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) Arctic expedition.
Mr Reid, from Plymouth in Devon, suffered serious head and neck injuries when he was mauled.
He is reported to be in a serious but stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital in Tromso, Norway. BSES Expeditions said the others injured were fellow team leader Andrew Ruck, 27, believed to be from Aberdeen, and youngsters Patrick Flinders, 16, from Jersey, and Scott Smith, 17, of Cornwall.
Rebels launch push on Libyan coast
Rebels launched a new offensive yesterday, out of their stronghold in Libya's western mountains, battling regime forces in a drive toward the heartland of Muammar Gaddafi's rule on the Mediterranean coast.
Opening a new front, the rebels are aiming to break a months-long deadlock and eventually fight their way to the capital, Tripoli.
Booms of shelling and rocket fire echoed from the front lines, centred on the town of Bir Ghanam, where the rebel force, backed by tanks, fought Gaddafi's troops much of the day. Later, witnesses saw flattened buildings, presumably targeted in Nato airstrikes, and three smouldering government tanks in the town.
The rebels are hoping for a breakthrough in the far west of Libya.
China clears eastern area for Typhoon
More than 200,000 coastal residents evacuated an area of eastern China and thousands of ships were called back to shore yesterday as Typhoon Muifa bore down on the country after battering the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.
Zhejiang province moved 206,664 people from its coastal areas while another 80,400 were relocated in Fujian province, according to local government websites. Thousands of ships along the eastern coast were also called back to shore. Typhoon Muifa is forecast to hit China early tomorrow morning, making landfall in the eastern province of Shandong and skimming the coast as it heads north, China's Central Meteorological Administration said.
Somali president says rebels defeated
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed said yesterday that his military had defeated Islamist rebels battling to overthrow his Western-backed government after the al-Shabaab group began withdrawing fighters from the capital Mogadishu.
Rejecting Mr Ahmed's claim to have quashed al-Shabaab's four-year insurgency, the militants' spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, said their retreat was tactical only and they were holding their positions elsewhere in the anarchic country.
A 9,000-strong African peacekeeping force and Somali government forces had been steadily wresting control of rubble-strewn Mogadishu from the militants this year. Al-Shabaab's pullout followed a string of fierce gun battles late on Friday. Somalia has been without effective central government since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre 20 years ago. Al-Shabaab's retreat from the Somali capital Mogadishu signals an acceptance it cannot militarily defeat a government propped up by foreign muscle and firepower, but raises the spectre of an escalation in al-Qaeda-inspired raids.
Japan turns against nuclear industry
JAPANESE Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday took his campaign against nuclear energy to Hiroshima which 66 years ago became the world's first victim of an atomic bomb. It marks a change of tack in a country which has until now carefully avoided linking its fast growing, now discredited, nuclear power industry to its trauma as the only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs.
Mr Kan, speaking at an anniversary ceremony for victims of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, repeated that the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at Fukushima after a March earthquake convinced him Japan should end its dependence on nuclear power. The damage from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which the authorities are still trying to bring under control, has led to calls for an end to the reliance on nuclear power in the quake-prone country.
"I will deeply reflect on nuclear power's 'myth of safety', investigate thoroughly the causes of the accident and fundamental measures to secure safety, as well as reduce the dependence on nuclear power plants," Mr Kan said.
London police cars attacked by mob
Two patrol cars in London were attacked last night after members of a community where a young man was shot dead by police took to the streets to demand "justice".
The 29-year-old, named locally as father-of-four Mark Duggan, died at the scene in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday. About 120 people marched from Broadwater Farm to Tottenham Police Station yesterday, forcing officers to close the High Road and put traffic diversions in place. After night fell, two police cars parked about 200 yards from the police station were set upon. Officers were being dispatched to disperse the crowd, police said.
Military joins with Gay Pride festival
The Dutch military joined Amsterdam's annual Gay Pride parade for the first time, with uniformed men and women saluting the crowds from a boat chugging through a historic city canal.
A balloon-festooned barge bearing the standards of the service branches and sponsored by the Defence Ministry yesterday sailed among about 80 other floats, with music blaring from most of them and dancers dressed in flamboyant costumes -- or very little at all.