Cartoon leads to ban
A student from central China has been barred from university for drawing a cartoon of his "ugly" math teacher on his college entrance exam paper, a news report said Friday. The student drew a caricature of the teacher on his exam paper and wrote beneath it: "Look, this ugly man is my math teacher," the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily reported. The student, from Handan, Hebei province, first had 30 per cent of his test score docked and was then informed by the provincial test committee he would not be admitted by any university, the newspaper said.
Divorce by SMS
Malaysian Muslim men can divorce their wives through text messages on mobile telephones, the New Straits Times daily reported yesterday, quoting a religious adviser to the government. Hamid Othman, adviser to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said divorce via SMS or short messaging service was in accordance with sharia law if it was clear and unambiguous. "SMS is just another form of writing," the daily quoted Hamid as saying, following an Islamic court decision on Thursday that ruled in favor of a man who served divorce on his wife using SMS. Islamic law permits a man to divorce his wife by declaring "I divorce you" three times.
■ North Korea
DPRK says it will test nukes
North Korea is prepared to conduct a nuclear test unless the US responds positively to its proposals for resolving a row over Pyongyang's weapons ambitions, Japanese and North Korean sources were quoted as saying by a Japanese newspaper yesterday. The Asahi Shimbun said this had been conveyed to US envoy Jack Pritchard by a North Korean official in a secret meeting between officials from the two nations earlier this month. The Asahi said that a North Korean official told Pritchard: "If the US continues its policy of pressure against us, we may be forced to take opposing measures. Such as, for example, a nuclear test."
Naked steward on leave
A Singapore Airlines steward was placed on medical leave after he stripped off all his clothing on a flight and tossed out the contents of his wallet, a SIA spokesman said yesterday. Two hours into the flight from Perth, Australia to Singapore on July 11, the 31-year-old steward travelling as a passenger started acting up, according to the account in The Straits Times. He stood up and flung the contents of a glass of wine on passengers sitting around him, began shouting and made his way to the toilet in the middle of the plane, said witnesses. The crew members could not immediately do anything because they were stuck behind meal carts they had wheeled into the aisles.
Kangaroo cullings slammed
Animal rights activists protested yesterday outside an Australian army base where sharp shooters have been hired to kill 6,500 kangaroos. Many of the 36,000 or so kangaroos left inside the Puckapunyal base 100km north of Melbourne are starving to death because the long drought has reduced fodder. Marksmen already have picked off more than 20,000 kangaroos at Puckapunyal. Activist Rheya Linden said better options were available for bringing the herd to a more manageable size. As many as 25 million kangaroos have died of starvation during the drought.
Nuke vandals `irresponsible'
Calling them ``dangerously irresponsible,'' a federal judge sentenced three nuns to at least 30 months years in prison Friday for vandalizing a nuclear missile silo during an anti-war protest last fall. The Roman Catholic nuns cut a fence and walked onto a Minuteman III silo site last October, pounding the silo with hammers and painting a cross on it with their own blood. Officials said they caused at least US$1,000 in damage.