Sun, Oct 19, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Thailand
Bush's spirit cursed

US President George W. Bush has been trapped in a clay pot and tossed into a river in northern Thailand -- or at least his spirit has after being cursed by hundreds of farmers protesting US agriculture policy. A photograph of the US leader was sealed inside a pot amid black magic mantra chants, then tossed into the Ping River on Friday by demonstrators after they rallied at the US consulate in Chiang Mai, a farm group leader said. "This is a traditional northern Thai ceremony aimed at keeping his spirit down on the riverbed so he could not come and exploit our natural resources or suppress our [farming] brothers with his superior influence," Weerasak Wan-ubol, an executive of the Northern Farmers Alliance, said yesterday.

■ Malaysia

Anti-Jew remarks panned

Australia kept up pressure on Malaysia yesterday over comments about Jews by outspoken Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that drew loud protests from Western governments and Israel. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, in Bangkok for an Asia-Pacific summit, said he had protested to Malaysia's acting foreign minister during a bilateral meeting yesterday. "We saw the remark made by Dr. Mahathir in his speech as anti-Semitic," Downer told reporters. Mahathir provoked an outcry when he asserted that a Jewish lobby controlled Western powers. "The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy," Mahathir told an Islamic summit in Malaysia on Thursday.

■ Malaysia

Man pulls train with teeth

A Malaysian claimed a world record yesterday by pulling six railway passenger coaches along a track with his teeth. Organizers of the event in Kuala Lumpur will apply for V. Rathakrishnan's feat to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records, the national news agency Bernama reported. Rathakrishnan, 37, pulled the coaches, weighing 260.8 tonnes, for a distance of 4.2m. The book currently lists Belgium's Walter Arfeuille as the record holder for "greatest weight pulled with teeth." He pulled eight railway passenger coaches weighing 223.8 tonnes for a distance of 3.2m in Belgium in 1996.

■ Cambodia

Hun Sen opponent killed

A senior political editor for a radio station owned by a key opposition party was shot dead yesterday, two days after Cambodia's prime minister accused the broadcaster of insulting his party. Chou Chetharith, 37, a deputy editor of the royalist FUNCINPEC party's Ta Prum radio, was shot in the jaw in broad daylight in Phnom Penh by a gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle, police and party officials said. "He was killed immediately," Ta Prum radio chief Narithyath Ninda said.

■ India

10 rape suspects arrested

Police on Friday rounded up 10 people in connection with a Swiss diplomat's rape earlier this week in the Indian capital, a police spokesman said. "Their movements at the time of the incident are being verified and fingerprints are being matched with those lifted from the cigarette lighter and the victim's car," Deputy Police Commissioner Vivek Gogia said. The lighter was found in the car of the 36-year-old woman, who worked in the consular section of the Swiss embassy, following her abduction and rape inside her car on Tuesday.

■ Zimbabwe
Plane crashes into suburb

At least four people were killed yesterday when a light aircraft crashed into a crowded Harare suburb, a police spokesman said. Three people on board the plane as well as one bystander in the low-income township of Kuwadzana, on the western outskirts of the capital, were killed, police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said. Two other residents were seriously injured.

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