■ Cambodia Eat more dog, governor says \n \nUnveiling plans to rid the city of stray canines, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema has urged city residents to eat more dog meat. "Come on, dog meat is so delicious," Chuktema told reporters of the English-language Cambodia Daily newspaper. "The Vietnamese and Koreans love to eat dog meat." Chuktema also said dog meat should be sold openly in the markets because there is a demand among poor people who eat it. "They don't have [nice] wine, but poor people can enjoy their dog meat with palm juice wine," Chuktema said. \n \n■ China \nBogus Harvard man gets jail \n \nA bogus Harvard graduate was jailed for 11 years for swindling a lonely Chinese woman out of tens of thousands of US dollars. The swindler answered a lonely heart advertisement from a wealthy woman in Chongqing and told the woman he was a Harvard graduate involved in the real-estate business, the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily reported. The woman was won over by the con man, who persuaded her to wire sums of money totalling nearly US$40,000 to him, explaining that his own money was tied up in business ventures. After friends convinced her he might be a swindler, she eventually reported him to the police who arrested him for fraud, the newspaper said. \n \n■ China \nPolice torture banned \n \nThe Chinese government has banned police from using torture to extract confessions, under new regulations aimed at easing growing public concern. Campaigners gave a cautious welcome to the rules, which theoretically curtail the powers of the police to detain, fine and "re-educate" vagrants, illegal migrants and prostitutes without recourse to lawyers or the courts. They are seen as breaking "administrative" rather than criminal law, and so are outside the courts' jurisdiction. According to Amnesty International, torture by kicking, beating, electric shocks, sleep deprivation and suspension by the arms are common. \n \n■ Japan \nIshihara says bomb OK \n \nOutspoken Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara found himself in hot water after saying a senior diplomat who had received a bomb threat deserved it because of his soft stance towards North Korea. Japanese police found what appeared to be a bomb at the home of Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi Tanaka after a person claiming to belong to a right-wing group called newspapers and said an explosive had been set there. There were no injuries. "A bomb was planted there. I think it was deserved," Kyodo news agency quoted Ishihara as saying. Ishihara, a nationalist who is often mentioned as a future prime minister, added that Tanaka "is at North Korea's beck and call." \n \n■ Japan \nDead baby stored in fridge \n \nA Tokyo policewoman was arrested for allegedly hiding her dead newborn baby inside a refrigerator at the police single women's dormitory, police said yesterday. Miho Watanabe, 27, a traffic policewoman, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of abandonment of a corpse, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity. Watanabe secretly gave birth to a baby boy inside her dorm room in downtown Tokyo on Sunday. The baby died two days later and she wrapped it inside a towel and stored it inside the refrigerator shared by her colleagues. The alleged crime surfaced by accident. \n■ Colombia Horse-bomb kills eight \n \nA bomb carried on a horse killed at least eight people Wednesday and wounded another 16 in central Colombia. The attacker had placed explosives on the back of a horse, guided the animal into the city of Chita and detonated them, authorities there said. As with most attacks in Colombia's civil war, no one claimed responsibility for the bombing. However, in the past, the country's largest and oldest leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has repeatedly detonated bombs loaded on horses, dogs, bicycles and even in footballs. \n \n■ Argentina \nIMF agrees to debt deal \n \nArgentina has clinched a new three-year IMF aid deal, the government said on Wednesday, seen as vital to help the economy recover from its worst ever economic crisis. The aid deal to refinance US$21 billion worth of debt with multilateral lenders comes just a day after Argentina defaulted on a US$3 billion debt to the fund and after months of tortuous negotiations. It also paves the way for Argentina to get down to restructuring US$90 billion worth of defaulted debt held by creditors from Milan to Tokyo -- and repair credit lines severed after last year's record sovereign default made it a financial pariah. "The government's letter of intent has been accepted," President Nestor Kirchner told a news conference. \n \n■ United States \nSanctions to be imposed \n \nThe US will impose economic sanctions on Burma, Cuba and North Korea for failing to take steps to stop "human trafficking," such as forcing people to work or engage in sexual acts against their will, the White House said Wednesday. Ten other nations, however, have made enough progress in ending "this heinous crime" to avoid losing US assistance, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a statement. "The president is committed to leading the fight to eradicate trafficking in persons, which according to our recent estimate involves up to 900,000 people a year being moved across international borders into forced labor, sexual exploitation and other forms of modern-day slavery," McClellan said. \n \n■ Germany \nDriving flute-player fined \n \nGerman police caught a man playing the flute with both hands as he sped through traffic at 130kph on a busy highway. "He was leaning back in the seat and steering the car with his knees and feet," said Johann Bohnert, a spokesman for police in the town of Traunstein near the Austrian border. "He looked like he'd had practice." He now faces a fine of 50 euros (US$56). The 52-year-old from Salzburg, Austria, told police he was not actually blowing the instrument. \n \n■ Cyprus \nCabbies told to scrub up \n \nCyprus wants its taxi drivers to bin their medallions, cover up hairy belly buttons and ditch flashy rings to project a cleaner image among tourists. The island's licensing authority plans etiquette classes for its cabbies after surveys conducted among holidaymakers showed some grooming was needed, the Alithia newspaper reported. "Thick gold chains around the neck, sovereign rings on three of the five fingers ... all this has got to go," the daily quoted an official at the licensing authority as saying. \n■ United States Uranium smuggled into US \n \nAmerican journalists successfully smuggled a container of depleted uranium into the US for a second year in a row, a US television network reported on Wednesday. ABC News said it shipped the uranium from Indonesia on board a ship to test US port security in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. ABC journalists sent 7kg of depleted uranium in a steel tube packed inside a suitcase from Jakarta, considered by the US to be a hotbed of terrorist activity, to Los Angeles, where it went undetected by customs officials. ABC said the depleted uranium, which is legal to import into the US, was harmless, but the exercise showed that highly enriched uranium, which gives off a similar signature, could be smuggled into the US easily. Federal authorities are considering criminal charges. \n \n■ United states \nInsurers sue Osama \n \nDozens of insurers on Wednesday sued al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden as well as several Middle Eastern countries, seeking US$300 billion in damages related to claims paid out for the Sept. 11 attacks. The insurers, which include units of Chubb Corp and Munich Re's American Re, brought suit in federal court in New York and Washington against groups such as al-Qaeda and countries including Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The suit, which was filed just one day before the two-year anniversary of the airplane attacks that killed about 3,000 people, argues these parties were responsible for the attacks, which resulted in the worst insurance disaster in history. \n \n■ Afghanistan \nKarzai vows to fight terror \n \nOn the eve of the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Afghan president expressed condolences to the US and pledged to continue the fight against terrorism. In a message read on national television and addressed to US President George W. Bush and the American people, President Hamid Karzai said the attacks had "shocked the whole world and the hatred against terrorism has increased in the hearts of all peaceful people." \n \n■ United states \nSept. 11 tops Pearl Harbor \n \nThe attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, ranked ahead of the bombing of Pearl Harbor as the most important event in the last 75 years, according to a national US poll released. Sixty-five percent cited Sept. 11, while the Japanese attack that brought the US into World War II was named most important by 61 percent of the RoperASW survey conducted Sept. 5 to Sept. 9 among 1,037 Americans age 18 and older. Men and women differed as Pearl Harbor was named most important by 63 percent of male respondents, while women rated Sept. 11 first by 73 percent. Ranked third overall in the poll was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan with 46 percent. \n \n■ Malaysia \nNormal day at Petronas \n \nSept. 11 was just another busy day at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur -- the world's tallest buildings. No special security measures were taken on the 2nd anniversary of the destruction of New York's twin towers. Officials said increased watchfulness has become standard during the past two years.
HOUSES FLOODED: The ground shook in Tonga as explosions were heard, followed by gushing water and pelting rocks, sending people running to higher ground A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the Pacific caused “significant damage” to the island nation’s capital and smothered it in dust, but the full extent was not apparent with communications still cut off yesterday. The eruption on Saturday was so powerful that it was recorded around the world, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the US. Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, suffered “significant” damage, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding that there had been no reports of injury or death, but a full assessment was not possible with communication lines down. “The tsunami has
Two years ago, Qi Jiayao visited his mother’s hometown of Shaoxing in eastern China. When he tried to speak to his cousin’s children in the local dialect, Qi was surprised. “None of them was able to,” said the 38-year-old linguist, who teaches Mandarin in Mexico. The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity. Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 percent of China’s population, up from 70 percent a decade ago. Last month, China’s State Council promised to
DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS: Beijing is attempting to address its population decline, including considering raising the retirement age and allowing more than two children China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths last year despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis. Across China, 10.62 million babies were born last year, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per 1,000 people. The growth rate is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of May last year’s once-per-decade census, which found
A powerful earthquake shook parts of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Friday, damaging buildings and houses and sending people into the streets, but no casualties were reported. Officials said there was no danger of a tsunami. The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake was in the Indian Ocean about 88km southwest of Labuan, a coastal town in Banten Province. Its hypocenter was at a depth of 37km, it said. Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Director Dwikorita Karnawati said there was no danger of a tsunami, but warned of possible aftershocks. High-rises in Jakarta swayed for