Sat, Aug 02, 2003 - Page 5 News List

World news quick take

Australia

Robber takes baby along

An eight-month-old baby in Australia got an early taste of playing cops and robbers when his father staged a hold-up and took him along for the ride, police said yesterday. A masked, knife-wielding man robbed a fast-food restaurant and escaped with his son in the front seat of a stolen getaway car. He then dumped the car and walked with the child to a nearby bar where he started drinking. The man appeared to be on drugs, and tried to swallow some unidentified pills after the bar staff called police. Police took the man, to the Royal Perth Hospital and looked after the baby until they found his mother.

Nepal

Rebels agree to talks

Maoist rebels agreed to resume peace talks with Nepal's government after it satisfied two of their three key demands, including the release of jailed rebel leaders, a peace broker said. The rebels did not set a date for the much-delayed third round of peace talks but announced their intention to rejoin the negotiations in a letter to the government from top leader Prachanda. The government, which has asked rebels to begin talks within two weeks, fulfilled two key rebel demands Tuesday by releasing three rebel leaders and handing over a list with the status of 36 rebels reported missing by the guerrillas. The government continued to reject a third demand that it withdraw its army back to its bases, but pledged that troops would not attack the rebels.

Thailand

Summit prompts clean-up

Stray dogs and homeless people will be barred from central Bangkok as part of official preparations for the APEC summit in October, the city's governor was quoted yesterday as saying. Bangkok Governor Samak Sundaravej said homeless people sleeping rough in the city's central Sanam Luang area and other historic sites could not be tolerated. "Our city is not Calcutta," the Bangkok Post quoted Samak as saying. "We must not allow such an eyesore. They must not be there at all times, not just during the APEC summit." Samak said stray dogs would be rounded up from Bangkok's historic central area and sent to a shelter in the eastern province of Sa Kaew.

Cambodia

King rules out intervention

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihanouk said yesterday he would not become involved in the political brawling following last weekend's national elections. He said in a letter to the nation that the three main political parties would have to resolve the issue of a new coalition government on their own. "The King should not intervene in political issues. The three parties and the people have a duty to solve their problems," he said. The Cambodian People's Party expects to win 73 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly, short of the two-thirds majority required to govern.

Afghanistan

US forces engage guerrillas

US helicopter gunships killed four guerrillas in southern Afghanistan and allied troops forced another group to flee into Pakistan after attacking a US base, a US spokesman said on Friday. The guerrillas were killed by two AH-64 Apache gunships after a group of 15 opened fire on a coalition special forces patrol from a ridgeline north of the town of Kandahar on Thursday. In another incident, a coalition special forces team came under small-arms fire from three guerrillas near their base at Spin Boldak. There were no coalition casualties in either incident.

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