- Abandoned Chinese baby rescued from toilet pipe
- Fire on Royal Caribbean cruise ship cuts short Bahamas trip
- Second former Peru president faces inquiry before campaign
Posted: 27 May 2013 08:09 PM PDT
BEIJING (Reuters) - Firefighters in eastern China have rescued an abandoned newborn baby boy lodged in a sewage pipe directly beneath a toilet commode, state television reported, in a case which has sparked anger on social media sites.
There are frequent reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth, a problem attributed variously to young mothers unaware they were pregnant, the birth of an unwanted girl in a society which puts greater value on boys or China's strict family planning rules.
In the latest case the infant was found in the sewage pipe in a residential building in Jinhua in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang on Saturday afternoon after residents reported the sound of a baby crying, state television said late on Monday.
Firefighters had to remove the pipe and take it to a nearby hospital, where doctors carefully cut around it to rescue the baby boy inside, the report said.
The child is in a stable condition and the police are looking for his parents, state television added.
The case has been widely discussed on China's Twitter-like service Sina Weibo due to the graphic nature of the footage, with calls for the parents to be severely punished.
"The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe," wrote one user.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sally Huang; Editing by Michael Perry)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
Posted: 27 May 2013 06:25 PM PDT
(Reuters) - Fire aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship forced it to dock at Freeport, Bahamas, on Monday, with all passengers and crew safe but the rest of the trip cancelled, the cruise company reported.
Grandeur of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, was on a seven-night trip that left Baltimore on Friday. The 916-foot-long (280-metre) ship was en route to CocoCay, Bahamas, when a fire occurred in its mooring area early on Monday, the company said in a statement.
The fire was extinguished in about two hours and the 17-year-old vessel was redirected to Freeport, the company said. As a result of the damage, the rest of the trip was cancelled and passengers were refunded their fares and offered a free cruise in the future.
"Royal Caribbean International is deeply sorry for this unexpected development in our guests' vacation," the company said.
The incident was the latest in a string of bad news for the cruise industry. In March, 108 people fell sick with a gastrointestinal illness on a Royal Caribbean Cruises ship.
In February, thousands of passengers spent nearly five days on a disabled cruise ship operated by Carnival Corp in the Gulf of Mexico, after an engine-room fire knocked out power and plumbing throughout most of the ship.
In the most recent mishap, all 2,224 guests and 796 crew on the Royal Caribbean trip were accounted for on Monday, and only minor medical incidents were reported, including fainting and an ankle sprain, the company said.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Peter Cooney)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
Posted: 27 May 2013 03:32 PM PDT
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's Alejandro Toledo was grilled in Congress on Monday over his family's purchase of a luxury home in Lima, making him the second former president to face inquiries that could narrow the 2016 presidential field.
A preliminary investigation by the attorney general's office into Toledo's real estate dealings comes as two-time former President Alan Garcia faces official inquiries over thousands of presidential pardons he granted to convicted drug traffickers during his 2006-2011 term.
Both politicians have denied any wrongdoing. And though the inquiries are only getting started, they could lead to authorities blocking their expected 2016 presidential bids.
Toledo, like Garcia, has said unproven allegations against him amount to a political witch-hunt designed to derail his political future.
There are only two other probable contenders for the upcoming race with a chance of winning, according to polls.
They are first lady Nadine Heredia and Keiko Fujimori, a one-time lawmaker and the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori. Peru has never had a woman serve as president.
Heredia, the charismatic wife of President Ollanta Humala, is widely expected to run for the presidency in 2016 when her husband cannot because of a constitutional ban on consecutive terms. She has denied she plans to seek office.
Lawmakers spent hours questioning Toledo on Monday for his 86-year-old mother-in-law's purchase of a $3.8 million house in Lima through what appeared to be an offshore holding company in Costa Rica.
Toledo has said his mother-in-law, Eva Fernenburg, used a loan, inheritance wealth and reparation payments for being a Holocaust survivor to pay for the house.
He said his family's purchase of the house may have been a political miscalculation.
"I might have made some mistakes but I am not corrupt," Toledo told lawmakers on Monday. "My hands and pockets are not stained."
Toledo, who works as an academic and is active on the speaking circuit in the United States, said all funds for the house were legally earned.
He vowed to retire from politics if proof emerges that he used an offshore company to transfer illicit funds to buy the house.
Toledo's party is an important ally of Humala's government in Congress. Toledo, who governed from 2001 to 2006 but lost the 2011 race, told the local newspaper El Comercio he would break with Humala if his government were behind the allegations.
On Friday, three of Humala's ministers dismissed all suggestions they were manoeuvring against Toledo and Garcia.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Terry Wade and Eric Walsh)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
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