Grandpa delivers baby
A grandfather delivered his daughter's baby when an ambulance arrived too late and the paramedic did not know how to cut the umbilical cord, media reports said yesterday. Lo Liang Kai, 58, waited another 20 minutes for Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) paramedics to arrive and sever the cord attaching the baby to the mother, The Straits Times said. When the mother and daughter were finally taken to the private ambulance, it failed to start so they used the SCDF vehicle instead. The saga began when labor pains prematurely struck Lo's daughter, Teresa Lo, at her flat. Her husband called Thomson Medical Centre, but an ambulance did not turn up for more than 45 minutes, five minutes longer than it took the baby to arrive. The 27-year-old woman had not been due to give birth for another month.
■ The Philippines
Man dies in karaoke quarrel
A 35-year-old man was killed inside a karaoke bar in the Philippine capital after he refused to stop singing, a police officer said yesterday. Police officer Fedencio Basibas said Danilo Celicious died instantly from multiple gunshot wounds inside a karaoke bar in Manila's suburban city of Quezon on Sunday. "The victim and his friends were drinking and singing inside the bar when another group of men drinking in a nearby table asked that they stop singing," he said. "But the victim refused and just continued singing."
Oxen choose mung beans
It seems Cambodia's royal oxen may have also heard the rumor that recently spread through the country that eating specially-prepared mung beans can ward off the deadly SARS virus. The oxen chose the green beans, which created a stir throughout much of the country earlier this month when Cambodians heard that eating them prevented catching SARS, as their widely preferred dish in the country's ancient annual plowing ceremony. In the ceremony, for years used as an indicator of the coming growing season, the oxen ate 96 percent of the mung beans.
■ The Philippines
Corpse must be removed
Health and water officials yesterday rushed to retrieve a corpse of a 19-year-old man who drowned in an aqueduct of the Philippine capital's water system, fearing the remains might contaminate the supply. Manila Water spokesman Joel Lacsamana said the company might have to use navy divers to retrieve Randy Diaz's body, if moves to flush out the corpse fail within the next 48 hours. Diaz fell into the aqueduct on Saturday while picking fruit from a tree inside the compound of the water facility in the Manila suburban city of Quezon.
Suspect further identified
One of the North Koreans arrested last month aboard a boat believed to have carried heroin into Australia was accredited to Pyongyang's embassy in Beijing, a Melbourne newspaper alleged yesterday. The claim by The Australian comes after Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called in the North Korean ambassador to protest Pyongyang's involvement in the attempt to smuggle 50km of heroin into Australia. The Pong Su, which had refused repeated requests to pull into a port on Australia's east coast, was boarded 50 nautical miles off Sydney by an Australian frigate.
Work begins after election
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt was set to form a new center-left government after the ruling Liberals and Socialists won a general election that also produced big gains for a far-right party. The anti-immigration Vlaams Blok won the largest vote in its 25-year history on Sunday, five months after race riots rocked the port city of Antwerp. The Blok stands no chance of entering government because all mainstream parties refuse to deal with it, but the size of its vote highlighted ethnic and linguistic tensions fuelled by high unemployment, North African immigration and concern over crime. The Liberals and Socialists won a clear parliamentary majority in Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia in this linguistically divided nation of 10 million people, but their Greens coalition partners were decimated.