Police battle slum dwellers
Indonesian police clashed with hundreds of slum dwellers yesterday, firing tear gas and warning shots as they attempted to evict them from land in the capital slated for a shopping center, a media report said. Wailing families burned tires and screamed "Go to hell," at police, according to privately owned El-Shinta radio. Most families ignored orders to abandon their homes and watched as police began destroying some 1,500 shacks, the radio station reported. In the past month, local authorities have stepped up a campaign to remove shanties from land abandoned after the 1997 to 1998 Asian financial crisis.
■ South Korea
Fines target illegal workers
South Korea's government said yesterday it will double the fines imposed on illegal workers and their employers in an effort to reduce the growing problem of foreigners overstaying their visas. The Justice Ministry has revised regulations to impose up to 20 million won (US$17,390) in fines for employers of foreigners with expired visas or without valid visas, the Yonhap news agency said. The maximum fine was previously 10 million won (US$8,695). Illegal foreigners will also be fined a maximum of 20 million won, deported to their native countries and banned from re-entering Korea, Yonhap said, quoting the Justice Ministry.
Archbishop speaks on gays
Sydney's Anglican Archbishop said yesterday that the Britain-based church may have to expel its American wing and a Canadian diocese which blesses same-sex unions. Archbishop Peter Jensen said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has three options for dealing with deep divisions in the 77 million-member church over the issue of homosexuality -- ignore it, recognize different opinions on homosexuality as valid, or withdraw recognition from the American church and the Canadian diocese of New Westminster. Williams has called a meeting for later this month of Anglican primates from all over the world to discuss the issue.
Troops hunt down suspects
Pakistan sent in troops and helicopters to a remote tribal region near the border with Afghanistan yesterday to hunt down suspected al-Qaeda militants hiding there. Major General Shaukat Sultan, spokesman for the Pakistan military, said the operation in the mountainous Wana region, some 350km southwest of the capital Islamabad, was a fresh effort to apprehend suspected al-Qaeda members. "It started early this morning in the Wana area," he said. "Our Quick Reaction Force is involved. Our ground troops and aviation assets are also taking part in it. No US or foreign troops are involved," he added.
Man killed for porn protest
A man was beaten to death with bamboo sticks and a hammer for protesting the screening of pornographic material at a movie theater in northern Bangladesh, a news report said yesterday. Mesba-ul Haq, 21, scuffled with several moviegoers when he protested the showing of clips from a Western pornographic film during the screening Wednesday of a Bengali movie in Godagari village in Rajshahi district, the Daily Janakantha newspaper reported. At the end of the show, about six men assaulted Haq outside the theater, leaving him seriously injured. He later died at a hospital in Rajshahi city, 270km north of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital.
Brothels ready for rugby
Australian brothels are recruiting extra dominatrices in anticipation of a boom in business generated by this month's Rugby World Cup, a sex industry spokesman said yesterday. With more than 100,000 overseas visitors expected for the tournament, Eros Association coordinator Robbie Swan said brothels believed business would increase by at least 30 percent. Swan said rugby union's English public school heritage meant demand for bondage and domination services was likely to skyrocket. Swan said that major events were always good for business. He said that in Canberra, where his business is based, the biggest event they'd ever had was the World Council of Churches conference in 1994 when business was up 250 percent
Pope still leading
Pope John Paul II is "very ill" but still is able to lead his Church, the head of the French episcopacy said Wednesday. "Things shouldn't be hidden. This pope is very ill," Stanislas Lalane said on Europe-1 radio, noting that the pope has difficulty moving and talking. The 83-year-old pontiff doesn't work alone, he said. "He is surrounded by collaborators. "But I assure you the Church is governed," Lalane said, noting John Paul's important decisions recently made and a heavy schedule that includes a ceremony on Oct.19 in which Mother Teresa is to be beatified. The pontiff suffers from Parkinson's disease.
■ United States
Jeb recruited by Bush team
Governor Jeb Bush of Florida will serve as chairman of his brother's re-election campaign in the state, whose votes could prove crucial in the presidential election next fall. The George W. Bush campaign announced the appointment on Wednesday, along with that of Brett Doster, a 32-year-old lobbyist and former aide to Jeb Bush, as the president's Florida campaign manager. The campaign also released the names of 59 leaders who will help raise money and get out the vote for President Bush here. They include Armando Codina, a Miami real estate developer and former business partner of Jeb Bush.
Glue spill clogs roads
A weary Dutch truck driver who nodded off at the wheel created a sticky situation for German emergency on Wednesday: his load of glue spilled right across the autobahn. Denmark's main route to the sun, the A7 freeway from the Danish border southwards, was blocked by the overnight crash. Police said the semi-trailer first veered into the soft shoulder, then swerved across the center strip and came to rest on the opposite carriageway. Between 1,000 and 2,000 liters of liquid gum for paper spilled from plastic barrels and had to be blasted off the asphalt with high-pressure steam guns.
■ United nations
Deal with Iran, US urged
Iran is likely to be able to make a nuclear weapon within two years and Washington should consider a deal giving Tehran security, diplomatic and economic benefits to persuade it to abandon its nuclear arms programs, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon. The report, by a weapons expert with close ties to the White House hard-liners, recommended UN measures to stop Iran importing technology that could be used in nuclear arms and said covert operations should be considered against Iranian nuclear facilities.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic