Fri, Aug 22, 2003 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Pakistan
Afghan troops fire artillery

Afghan soldiers fired artillery at a Pakistani checkpoint in the remote northwest tribal region where cross-border shooting has strained relations between the neighboring countries, a Pakistan official said yesterday. At least four shells slammed into an empty field Wednesday near the Pakistani security post in Mohmand area, some 100km northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, Abdul Rahman, a local government official, said yesterday. Pakistan did not return fire, he said. There were no injuries. It was not immediately clear what prompted the incident.

■ China

China, WHO tackle SARS

China will join hands with the World Health Organization (WHO) to step up infectious-disease control and prevent future SARS outbreaks through better training and education, state media said yesterday. The WHO and the Ministry of Health will jointly launch a program next month to train medical workers to prevent infectious diseases from spreading in hospitals, Beijing-based WHO representative Alan Schnur was quoted as saying in the China Daily newspaper. The program will begin in Beijing and involve about 100 medical workers, Schnur said.

■ China

Tibetan exiles denied entry

A group of prominent exiled Tibetans have been denied permission to visit China, which has accused some of the members of engaging in "splittist" activities, Radio Free Asia reported yesterday. The visit was first proposed a year ago by Gyalo Dhondup, the brother of Tibet's spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama. The trip was aimed at promoting understanding and making contact with Tibetans living under Chinese rule, RFA said, adding that China had been widely expected to approve the visit. Sources in China told RFA's Tibetan service that Beijing had rejected the idea on grounds that some members of the proposed delegation had engaged in "splittist" or separatist activities.

■ Thailand

Sleeping man dies laughing

An ice-cream truck driver in Thailand died while laughing in his sleep, a newspaper reported yesterday. Damnoen Saen-um, 52, laughed for about two minutes on Wednesday and then stopped breathing, The Nation said, quoting officials. The newspaper said Damnoen's wife tried to wake him up but he kept laughing. An autopsy suggested that he might have had a heart attack, The Nation quoted a doctor as saying. "I have never seen a case like this. But it is possible that a person could have heart seizure while laughing or crying too hard in their sleep," said Dr. Somchai Chakrabhand, deputy director-general of the Mental Health Department, according to The Nation.

■ Solomon Islands

Australia claims success

International peacekeepers have largely restored law and order to the troubled Solomon Islands in less than a month, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said yesterday. In July, the Solomon Islands' government pleaded with its neighbors to send troops and police to end widespread violence and extortion by rebel warlords and their heavily armed militias. The violence has driven the South Pacific nation to the brink of collapse. Neighboring nations responded by sending an Australian-led force of 2,300 police and troops that immediately imposed a weapons amnesty to allow fighters to turn in their guns without fear of prosecution.<

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