Eight seek refuge in school:

Beijing: Eight people claiming to be North Korean defectors raced into a Japanese school in Beijing early today seeking refuge and were taken to the Japanese embassy, embassy officials said. One man, five women and two girls entered the school via the east side at 3:40 am on Sunday, and were taken to the embassy less than three hours later, the embassy said. “We’re now trying to establish their identities,” said a spokesman for the embassy. The eight entered the school, carrying a slip of paper, which said in English: “We are North Koreans. We want to go to South Korea. Please call the Japanese embassy.” Guards at the school alerted the embassy, which sent a bus to pick them up, the official said. — AFP

Ring leader gets death:

Shanghai: A Chinese tycoon convicted of running a prostitution and gambling syndicate and bribing local officials has been sentenced to death in southeast China’s Fujian province, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday. Chen Kai, a former small businessman who made his fortune in entertainment and property dealings, was found to have paid a total of nearly $1 million to 50 officials to persuade authorities to ignore his casinos and brothels, it reported. — AP

Whooping cough kills 25:

KABUL: UN and Afghan medics were airlifted to a remote province in central Afghanistan to vaccinate children against whooping cough after 25 youngsters died of the infectious disease, officials said on Monday. The US military said that the 10 medics were flown into Daykundi province on Sunday on a coalition helicopter with a small quick-reaction force to provide security. They were equipped with antibiotics for 2,000 people and vaccinations for 2,500 people. Mohammed Sarwar Danish, who is minister for justice and a former governor of Daykundi, said that 25 children had died of whooping cough in Ghizab district. — AP