Tue, Oct 14, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Hong Kong
Monks slain in monastery

A Taiwanese and a Hong Kong monk were stabbed to death at the Tung Lum Monastery, police said yesterday. The motives for the killings were unclear. The body of the 84-year-old Hong Kong monk was found lying in a pool of blood beside two knives on Satur-day near a dormitory, a police spokeswoman said. Yau said the monk suffered a fractured skull, eye injuries and knife wounds to both hands. The 53-year-old Taiwanese monk, Hsu Chian-wei, was found lying next to a pickax, had a stab wound to his chest and knife wounds to his left hand. No arrests had been made.

■ Indonesia

Militant guilty of bombings

A Muslim militant was jailed for 20 years by an Indonesian court yesterday for a 2000 car bomb attack on the Philippine ambassador's residence in Jakarta which killed two people, badly wounded the envoy and injured 17 others. Abdul Jabar was also convicted of involvement in a series of Christmas 2000 church bombings. Police have said they believe the car bombing was funded by Hambali, the top al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah militant captured in Thailand in August and now in US custody.

■ Australia

Gel could replace glasses

A revolutionary gel that can be implanted into the eye could enable millions of people to throw away their glasses, scientists at the government's Vision Co-operative Research Center believe. They claim a simple injection of the gel into the lens of middle-aged people could prevent the otherwise inevitable onset of sight deterioration. The technique, which is expected to unde-rgo human trials by the end of next year, could herald a revolution in ophthalmic surgery, according to experts. The scientists have been working on the gel technique to combat cataract surgery. But the technique could also be used for the ageing eye, which loses its ability to change shape and focus due to an inevitable hardening of the lens.

■ Australia

Lunar land for sale

Lunar Realty opens its doors in Melbourne today selling .40 hectare blocks on the moon for A$59 (US$40) and 4-hectare "lifestyle" blocks for A$298. Paul Jackson, 33, announced yesterday that he had bought the Australian rights to sell the land from Nevada-based entrepreneur Dennis Hope. Since 1980 Hope has been exploiting what he said is a loophole in the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty that barred nations from laying claim to the moon but said nothing about individuals. Hope registered a claim for the moon and planets with the US, the USSR and the UN and has been selling plots of the moon's real estate ever since. Jackson said 2 million people from 180 countries have bought a slice of the moon since 1980.

■ Japan

Arrests over export scam

Police arrested several used car dealers yesterday over the export to North Korea of a large trailer that could be used for launching missiles, Kyodo news agency said. A police spokesman said that he could not confirm the arrests, but that officers had searched premises and homes linked with a used-car dealership in the town of Onojo on suspicion of fraud. The company is suspected of falsifying documents to show the price of the trailer as less than ?300,000 (US$2,770), so that it would be exempt from strict export controls, Kyodo said. The real price was more than ?3.4 million, the agency said.

■ United States
100 injured in derailment

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