Worker shortage

JHAPA: A shortage of agriculture labourers has gripped Jhapa district. Most of them gone to work in the national highway project that India has started across the border. According to locals, farmers in the district have not yet started paddy harvest yet due to the shortage of labourers. Most of the male labourers above 15 years of age have begun going to India across the border for work. — RSS

River threatened

BIRGUNJ: Sirsiya River that flows through the town is coming under increasing environmental threat due to discharge of industrial waste and sewage directly into it. Environment scientists say the water in the river is so polluted it cannot support life. The river ecosystem has been deteriorating as the oxygen level in the water is too low due to heavy pollution. Until a few years back, people used to take the water from the river for household use, irrigation and for their cattle. Sirsiya River has religious, social and cultural significance. — RSS

Oil above $80

SINGAPORE: Oil prices briefly rose above $80 a barrel on Tuesday in Asia as better-than-expected US corporate earnings boosted investor confidence. Benchmark crude for November delivery rose as much to $80.05 a barrel but later fell back and was down at $79.34 by late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose to settle at $79.61 on Monday. Crude did a chin-up over $80 a barrel for the first time this year after Apple Inc and Texas Instruments Inc reported third quarter earnings on Monday that beat analyst forecasts. Caterpillar Inc, Coca-Cola Co and DuPont are scheduled to report later. — AP

BoC official quits

BEIJING: Bank of China (BoC) announced its vice-president Zhu Min had resigned, amid speculation that he is set to take a senior position at the IMF. Zhu, 56, was leaving the state-run bank to join another organisation, the Chinese lender said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange, without elaborating. “Bank of China Co received the resignation from vice-president Zhu Min on October 16. He resigned from the position because he will transfer to another post,” it said. State media has said Zhu — who would first take up a position at the central People’s Bank of China — would be the first Chinese national to hold a major post within the Washington-based fund. — AFP