Fri, Oct 03, 2003 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Indonesia
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.

■ Australia

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.

■ Pakistan

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.

■ Bangladesh

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.

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