Tue, Nov 11, 2003 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Australia

Suspected killer arrested

A man was arrested for the 2001 murder of a British tourist in the Australian outback yesterday, minutes after he was acquitted of unrelated sex offences. Police were waiting outside the South Australian District Court as Bradley Murdoch, 45, was acquitted of a series of sex crimes he was alleged to have committed after the 2001 murder of Peter Falconio. Murdoch was linked to Falconio's murder by DNA samples taken after his arrest in for the alleged sex offences. Police in the Northern Territory issued a warrant for Murdoch's arrest for Falconio's murder last year but under Australia's legal system he could not be formally charged until he was acquitted of the South Australian charges or had served time if convicted of them. Falconio's body has never been found.

■ Philippines

Afghan bikini queen praised

Miss Afghanistan, Vida Samadzai, condemned in her homeland for parading in a bikini at the Miss Earth contest in Manila, won the pageant's first "beauty for a cause" award on Sunday. The 23-year-old Samadzai, the first Afghan in three decades to take part in a beauty contest, failed to make it to the contest's semifinals. But she was cited for "symbolizing the newfound confidence, courage and spirit of today's women" and for "representing the victory of women's rights and various social, personal and religious struggles." Samadzai could face prosecution if she returns to her native country because of her attire at the pageant.

■ China

Clinton warns about AIDS

Former US president Bill Clinton warned China yesterday that a ballooning AIDS epidemic threatened its economic miracle. "China is moving in a positive direction... the headlines are hopeful and the future looks bright," Clinton told a conference on AIDS and SARS in Beijing. "But the weight of 15 or 30 million people living with HIV and AIDS could blunt a lot of your progress, especially if the burden falls most heavily on young people. AIDS is no respecter of geography or ethnicity. Beyond the human cost it is an economic and security threat as well," he said.

■ Afghanistan

Taliban regrouping in south

The Taliban control at least four districts in southeast Afghanistan's Zabul province, Zabul's deputy governor told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) yesterday. The former hardline rulers are now trying take control of the Zabul capital Qalat, where a powerful bomb went off at the headquarters of the province's governor on Saturday, Mawlawi Mohammed Omar told the Pakistan-based agency. Zabul, which neighbors Pakistan, is on the frontline of increasing attacks by Taliban fighters regrouping in southern Afghanistan and in Pakistani border regions.

■ Hong Kong

Workers feel stressed out

More than half of Hong Kong's working population say they are under more stress than ever before, according to a survey yesterday. The survey by the University of Hong Kong found that SARS and the economic slump has taken its toll on people's health. More than half of the 600 people interviewed said that stress was causing them health problems and affecting their work efficiency. Hong Kong's economy has been buffeted by successive economic downturns that have seen the jobless rate climb to nearly 8 percent and house prices fall by 65 percent from their 1997 peak.

■ United States

Gore slams Patriot Act

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