Thu, Jun 05, 2003 - Page 5 News List

World news quick take


Heatwave kills over 1,000

A red alert was sounded yesterday in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh as the weather office warned that heat wave conditions which have already killed 1,065 people would worsen. Government officials said state authorities were considering keeping schools closed for at least a week until annual monsoon rains arrive. Andhra Pradesh's state capital Hyderabad had recorded a temperature of 44?C even before mid-day yesterday. While Andhra Pradesh has borne the brunt of the heat wave, elsewhere in India 30 people have died from heat-related ailments since rising temperatures engulfed India's Gangetic plains mid-May. In neighboring Bangladesh, reports yesterday said 11 more people have died in a heatwave that has been searing that country for the past week, bringing the death toll to 62.


Gang boss found guilty

The reputed "godfather" of Vietnam's criminal underworld was found guilty of seven crimes yesterday, including ordering a hit on a rival gang member, in a case that has entangled officials from the ruling Communist Party. Truong Van Cam, better known as Nam Cam, was convicted of murder, assault, gambling, running gambling dens, sheltering criminals, bribery and helping others to flee the country. His trial, along with those of 154 other defendants, is viewed as a test of how serious the Communist nation is taking its vow to wipe out widespread corruption.


Girl fatally desired

A primary school beauty killed herself and four of her friends and admirers drank poison in torment over their tangled relationships, a news report said yesterday. The 13-year-old girl, known as Miao Miao, killed herself by drinking poison on May 19 because so many boys in the school loved her, according to the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily newspaper. She left a letter saying she had been wrong to let so many boys fall in love with her. Three of her admirers and one female school friend then took poison themselves in the days following Miao Miao's death but were rushed to hospital and saved.


Jakarta asserts sovereignty

The Indonesian government wants to relocate 300,000 families to dozens of uninhabited islands close to its borders to prevent neighboring countries from claiming them, a local newspaper reported yesterday. Stung by a December court decision that handed ownership of two islands to Malaysia, the government says it plans spend the next five years populating 88 islands.

New Zealand

Sexual predator charged

A 35-year-old schoolteacher has admitted a sexual relationship with a boy aged 10, telling police she loved him like a son, news reports said yesterday. The woman, Faryn Ripine Matthews, told police they had intercourse 10 to 20 times over a period of about eight months, the High Court in Rotorua heard, when she pleaded guilty to three representative charges of sexual violation of a minor. The boy lived next door to the woman at the time, and she taught him briefly in 2001 when the offences took place but resigned her job in September and confessed to police, the New Zealand Herald reported. She could be jailed for up to 20 years when sentenced on June 20, and the judge told her a prison term was inevitable.


More cattle to be tested

Another 650 cattle in Canada will be slaughtered and tested for mad cow disease after DNA testing failed to confirm the origin of the lone cow infected so far, an investigator said Tuesday. The animals from five Alberta farms will be transported, killed and have samples of their brains checked in laboratories. The official had said Monday the investigation of any possible spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, could conclude by the end of the week. Adding 650 more animals for testing was expected to add at least a few more days. That is bad news for the Canadian beef industry, which wants the US and other countries to lift bans on Canadian beef imports as soon as possible.

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