Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ India
`Witch' burnt to death

A 65-year-old woman was burnt to death in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand on suspicion of being a witch. The incident took place early this week in a village in the Gumin district of the state, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. The paper reported that the immolation took place a day after two women were burnt to death in the Godda area of the state on suspicion of being witches. The Hindustan Times said while the state had passed a law two years ago to prevent persecution and killing of alleged witches, it is hardly ever implemented.

■ India

Authorities block toiletries

In an attempt to check entry of alcohol, anti-liquor authorities in the western Indian state of Gujarat have ended up driving away toiletries like colognes and aftershaves from the market. The Times of India newspaper reported that while the prohibition officials have failed to stop sale of illegally brewed liquor, they have stopped entry into the state of medicinal products like antiseptics and cosmetics with an alcohol base. Cosmetics, several medicines and hair oils are perennially out of stock in the state as they contain alcohol. Forwarding agents say the shortage is due to the complicated process for acquiring a license to sell the products.

■ Japan

Sub search abandoned

Researchers will abandon the search for the world's deepest diving submarine, which disappeared in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan. The Japan Marine Science and Technology Center gave up looking for the Kaiko, the only submarine that has visited the ocean's deepest point at 10,911m, on the advice of specialists, Kyodo News reported Friday. The experts told the center the only way to look for the probe would be to scour the seabed with sonar, but they added there was no way of narrowing down the area of the search. The probe disappeared on May 29 while it was conducting earthquake research on the sea floor off southern Japan during a typhoon.

■ China

Five priests arrested

Five members of the underground Roman Catholic clergy have been arrested in northern China while trying to visit a priest recently released from a labour camp. Priests Kang Fuliang, Chen Guozhen, Pang Guangzhao, Joseph Yin and deacon Wang Lijun, aged 25 to 32, were arrested in Baoding city in Hebei province on July 1, the Stamford-Connecticut based Cardinal Fung Foundation said. They were on their way to visit Lu Genjun, an underground priest who had just been released after three years in a labour camp, the foundation said in a statement seen yesterday. It gave no further details.

■ Thailand

Police to kill drug dealers

Thai police have been told to shoot and kill drug dealers and traffickers who resist arrest, renewing a government crackdown on narcotics use. "They should be tried and jailed," Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said in his weekly radio address. "If they fight, there is nothing we can do. They will have to die prematurely if necessary." Thaksin was responding to a report from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board that said use of amphetamines in Thailand had risen in June and was likely to increase further in July despite a government clampdown.

■ France
Fugitive rushed to prison

Yvan Colonna, France's most-wanted fugitive who was arrested in Corsica, arrived early yesterday at Paris's Sante prison after being flown out from Ajaccio, police said. Elite police had swooped on a shepherd's hut in southern Corsica late Friday, capturing Colonna, 43, sought for the 1998 assassination of the island's governor. Colonna's arrest in Porto-Pollo came as the trial of eight Corsican nationalists accused of complicity in the assassination of the island's prefect, or governor, Claude Erignac was drawing to a close in Paris. Colonna was to appear before an anti-terrorist judge later Saturday. The murder of 60-year-old Erignac in Corsica's main city of Ajaccio was the worst act of separatist violence on the island.

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