■ South Korea
Roh quitting ruling party
President Roh Moo-hyun was expected to quit South Korea's ruling party yesterday, his office said, in a move widely expected after a group of lawmakers loyal to him broke away to form a new party because of internal feuding.The presidential Blue House did not mention whether Roh would join the new party. "It has been made after a judgment that there is no need for the issue to be a target of argument any longer when the president's membership in a party has already become a target of exhausting political attacks," Roh's office said in a statement, referring to his decision to quit the Millennium Democratic Party. The break-up of the ruling party on Sept. 20 followed months of feuding between lawmakers loyal to Roh and others loyal to the party's founder, former president Kim Dae-jung.
Court rules for Chinese
In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court yesterday awarded US$1.7 million in damages to Chinese people whose relatives were killed or who themselves were injured from 1974 to 1995 by chemical weapons dumped by the defeated Japanese Imperial Army. The ruling at the Tokyo District Court for total damages of ¥190 million, came as China is urging Japan to speed up the disposal of abandoned weapons after one man died and more than 30 were injured last month by mustard gas dumped by Japan in northeast China. The 13 plaintiffs, who brought action in December 1996, had been demanding ¥20 million each in damages. They argued the Japanese military dumped massive quantities of poison gas such as mustard gas and lewisite in China as they withdrew in 1945, destroying all records of the stockpiles.
Cambodian beggers airlifted
Thailand yesterday began flying home 621 illegal Cambodian migrants who were rounded up during the past week in a drive to clear beggars from Bangkok before it hosts a summit of APEC leaders next month, officials said. Three C-130 cargo plans were making two flights each to fly the detainees to Phnom Pehn in Thailand's first such mass deportation of illegal migrants by air, an official said. City officials plan to remove some 10,000 beggars, prostitutes and homeless people from the streets ahead of the Oct. 20-21 meeting. A Thai army general at the airport told reporters that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was upset at Thailand for publicizing the deportations.
■ Hong Kong
Youth don't feel Chinese
Six years after Hong Kong was returned to Chinese sovereignty, young people in the former British colony say they prefer to think of themselves as Hong Kongers rather than Chinese. A survey of more than 4,500 secondary-school students released yesterday found the majority of students considered Chinese people as "mainlanders" and liked to call themselves Hong Kongers. Students also said they believed Hong Kongers had better civil qualities than their counterparts in China. Forty percent said they did not care about news from China and 80 percent said they were in favor of democracy, freedom and equality.
World's oldest man dies
The world's oldest man, Yukichi Chuganji, has died at 114 in southern Japan.
Bike bomb kills 11 people
A remote-controlled bomb killed 11 people and wounded at least 40 in southern Colombia on Sunday when it ripped through a crowded street lined with restaurants and discos, authorities said. The government blamed the blast on leftist rebels. The bomb, weighing about 5kg bomb and attached to a motorcycle, exploded at about 3am in Florencia, 335km south of Bogota, as revelers were leaving bars to go home. A 12-year-old boy who sold candies on the street and two patrolling police officers were among the dead. A 15-year-old girl had a leg amputated in hospital, doctors and military officials said.
Militant leader released
Egypt has released a leader of the militant group responsible for the assassination of former president Anwar Sadat after nearly 22 years in jail, police officials said on Sunday. Karam Zohdy, 51, one of the leaders of Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Group, was serving a life sentence in a tight security prison for his role in the Oct. 6, 1981, assassination. Zohdy and the Islamic Group had renounced violence, and Zohdy recently expressed regret for his role in Sadat's killing. Police officials said Zohdy was released on Thursday and returned to his hometown of Minya, 230km south of Cairo.
■ United states
Infamous director dies
Prominent US director Elia Kazan, who rose to the top of Hollywood and Broadway fame, but became embroiled in a controversy over the naming of suspected Communists during the McCarthy era, died at his Manhattan home on Sunday at the age of 94, his long-time attorney said. Floria Lasky, who served as Kazan's lawyer for over half a century, said she did not know the exact cause of death. Among his best known movies were A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, East of Eden and America, America. The movies On the Waterfront and Gentleman's Agreement brought him two Oscar awards. Kazan was shunned for decades by many in Hollywood for "naming names" of Communists he had met while he was a member of the party in the 1930s.
Hurricane on its way
Hurricane Juan headed for landfall in Nova Scotia on Sunday with sustained winds of 161kph and higher gusts, threatening wave surges of 1.5m on the coast, forecasters said. Canadian officials have issued rain and wind warnings for Nova Scotia and hurricane-force wind warnings for the waters surrounding the province. The swirling storm system, measuring about 300km wide, was expected to hit land near St. Margaret's Bay about 40km west of Halifax at around 1am GMT yesterday, dumping 5cm to 10cm of rain.
■ United kingdom
Diver walks through lake
A charity fundraiser was to plunge nearly 10m below the surface of Loch Ness yesterday -- with his life entrusted to a 60-year-old diving suit and 70-year-old maps. Lloyd Scott, last seen plodding the streets of London in a similar vintage diving suit for the 2002 London Marathon, plans to walk a marathon course on the bed of Loch Ness. The 41-year-old former firefighter will spend most of the next two weeks completing the challenge. The father-of-three, who suffered from leukaemia as a child, is setting out to raise money and awareness of the charity Children with Leukaemia. Scott had never dived until this year.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle