Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Japan
Shoe snatcher snared

Police in southern Japan arrested a man for stealing shoes at a local hospital, then later stumbled upon a collection in his home of 440 women's shoes -- all for the left foot, an official said on Sunday. The private hospital in Usu city began receiving complaints two years ago that shoes removed at the entrance hall were going missing. Police arrested Ichiro Irie, 45, on Saturday and found a box overflowing with women's shoes, including high heels, patent leather pumps, sandals and nurses' shoes. Irie told police he had "a penchant for women's feet." It wasn't clear why he seemed to prefer the left foot.

■ China

Man kills money-eating dog

A farmer in Honghu, Hubei Province killed his pet dog and cut it open after it swallowed his US$300 life savings, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported yesterday. The dog gobbled up 25 notes worth 100 yuan each when Sun Xiaoshan left his savings lying around the house. Sun managed to retrieve 14 of the notes, which were partially damaged but worth a total of around US$170 from the dog's stomach, the paper said.

■ China

Priests detained over retreat

Authorities have detained a dozen underground Roman Catholic priests and seminarians for attending a retreat that was not sponsored by the state, a US-based religious rights group said. They were being held at a detention center in Gaocheng County, Hebei Province, a week after authorities took them into custody, the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation said. The group also said authorities demolished a church in nearby Liugou village in June, about two weeks after its completion. "It does not appear that the Chinese government respects the Pope with these consistent and harsh treatments of the Roman Catholic Church in China," foundation president Joseph Kung said.

■ India

Bachelors living in fear

Young men in the eastern state of Bihar are being closely watched by their families to prevent them from being abducted and unwillingly married, the Hindu Times newspaper said yesterday. The paper reported that with the onset of the traditional wedding season, fear has gripped families with unmarried men. The practice in the Begusarai area of abducting bachelors has risen to alarming proportions in recent years with a sharp rise in dowry demands. Families who want to marry off their daughters without paying a dowry often hire criminals to abduct eligible boys and force them into wedlock, the paper said, quoting social activists. So far 13 cases of such forced marriages have been registered with police this year.

■ South Korea

Key presidential aide quits

President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday accepted the resignation of a close aide accused by the political opposition of making the president's leadership look shaky. Lee Kwang-jae, who held the key post of briefing the president on state affairs, has been embroiled in allegations of corruption, though no criminal charge has been filed against him. Lee turned in his resignation on Oct. 18 but it wasn't accepted until yesterday as pressure mounted on Roh to reshuffle his staff to regain public confidence. Roh said earlier this month that he no longer felt confident as president and would step down if he failed to win a fresh mandate in the referendum.

■ United States
Gay bishop won't back down

Canon Gene Robinson, the Anglican communion of churches' first openly gay bishop, pledged at the weekend that he would defy the world leaders of the church and proceed with his consecration next week in the US. Speaking via a videolink to a conference of gay and lesbian Christians in Manchester, England, Robinson confirmed that he was determined that he would not stand aside next Sunday. Anglican church leaders have warned that his appointment could tear the worldwide church apart. Robinson, 56, a divorced grandfather, with two daughters, has lived with his partner, Mark Andrew. for 13 years.

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