LATEST CHINA SMOG SHUTS HARBIN CITY
CHOKING smog all but shut down one of north-eastern China's largest cities yesterday, forcing schools to suspend classes, snarling traffic and closing the airport, in the country's first major air-pollution crisis of the winter.
An index measuring PM2.5 reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin, the gritty capital of Heilongjiang province and home to some 11 million people.
SCHOOL-MEAL DEATHS: COUPLE ON MURDER RAP INDIAN police charged a school head teacher, Meena Devi, and her husband, Arjun Rai, with murder yesterday over the deaths of 23 children who were poisoned by a midday meal which was contaminated with pesticide.
The children, aged four to 12, fell ill within minutes of eating the lunch of lentils, potatoes and rice cooked at their primary school in a poverty-stricken village in eastern Bihar state on July 16.
STARBUCKS TARGETED BY CHINESE MEDIA
STARBUCKS has become the latest foreign firm to be roasted by China's state-run media, with a series of accusations that the world's largest coffee-shop chain is overcharging Chinese consumers.
State broadcaster CCTV aired a seven-minute report criticising the firm's pricing in China, arguing that a tall latte in Beijing is more expensive than in London, Chicago and Mumbai.