Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Malaysia
Flush or get fined

A failure to flush public toilets in Malaysia's southern Johor state will mean a 1,000 ringgit (US$263) fine under a drive for cleaner toilets. The new ruling also provides for a maximum 1,000 ringgit fine for those who do not turn off taps, draw graffiti, damage facilities or act "indecently" in public toilets, councillor Jimmy Low Boon Hong was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times yesterday. The by-law, which imposes a similar fine on shop and restaurant owners with dirty toilets, has been approved by the state council and is awaiting endorsement from all 16 local authorities, he said.

■ Solomon Islands

Warlord remanded

A notorious Solomon Islands warlord being investigated in the deaths of some 50 villagers and six local missionaries was remanded in custody by a court yesterday to await trial, Australian media reported. Harold Keke, who was arrested after surrendering to an Australian-led intervention force in the Solomon Islands, has reportedly been charged with attempted murder, robbery, possession of firearms and being a member of an illegal organization. In talks with a senior Australian diplomat last week, Keke allegedly admitted that six local missionaries kidnapped by his forces this year had been killed.

■ China

Dates for talks announced

China announced yesterday it will host six-way talks from Aug. 27 to 29 in the capital Beijing to try to defuse a 10-month crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The announcement, made by China's Foreign Ministry, confirmed dates revealed earlier in the day by South Korea. No other details were available. The talks would bring together the two Koreas, the US, Russia, Japan and China after a flurry of diplomatic activity to resolve the crisis, which erupted in October after US officials said Pyongyang had admitted to pursuing a uranium enrichment programme to produce atomic weapons. Beijing hosted initial three-way talks with Washington and Pyongyang in April, but they ended with little progress.

■ Thailand

Police bar politician

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy has been barred from entering Thailand where he was to give a speech yesterday, due to fears he could cause "trouble" in the aftermath of national elections, police said. Rainsy had been due to address the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on the political deadlock in Cambodia, whose Prime Minister Hun Sen is attempting to form a coalition after July 27 elections. Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party won line honors in the vote but failed to garner the two-thirds majority required to rule in its own right.

■ Jakarta

`Walk of Fame' for dictator

Jakarta's governor is planning to add former dictator Suharto's footprints to a Hollywood-inspired "Walk of Fame" in front of the presidential palace, a report said yesterday. Governor Sutiyoso, who like many Indonesians has only one name, will add the former strongman's footprints to the planned promenade alongside those of other former presidents and military generals, the Jakarta Post Daily reported. Suharto -- a five-star general -- ruled Indonesia with an iron hand for 32 years before he was ousted in 1998 amid pro-democracy riots.

■ Brazil
Man kills parents over doll

A man who considered an inflatable puppet his "bride" killed his parents because they demanded he divorce her and damaged the toy, media reports said Wednesday. The 44-year-old unemployed man apparently confessed to the crime, which occurred on Saturday, after a long interrogation by police in a suburb of Sao Paulo city, a police spokesman said. "The man thought the doll was a human being, called her his `bride' and talked to her," an acquaintance of the family was quoted as saying. But his parents, who were religious, demanded he separate from the doll. When the mother took a scissors and cut holes in the man's "bride," the man strangled and stabbed his father, age 70, and mother, age 71.

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