Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Australia
Cat busts pot-growing owner

An Australian woman has her cat to blame for landing in court for growing commercial quantities of cannabis in her Sydney apartment, news reports said yesterday. Miffed at being left alone for the weekend the cat miaowed so plaintively that neighbors called in animal rights group RSPCA, who in turn called in the police. Rhonda McIntyre, an unemployed gardener, pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis plants worth close to A$100,000 (US$71,000). McIntyre, 49, faces a jail term of up to two years or a stiff fine, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

■ China

Foot-binder in hospital

A 17-year-old girl in northern China has been hospitalized after trying to make her feet smaller by using the traditional practice of foot-binding, a news report said yesterday. The teenager was taken to hospital by her mother after wrapping her feet in bandages so tightly they began to bleed, the South China Morning Post reported. She attempted foot-binding because she was self-conscious about her height and her unusually large feet, according to the newspaper. The practice of foot-binding -- keeping women's feet petite by wrapping them up so tightly that the bones break -- was common across China in the last century.

■ South Korea

Nuclear talks predicted

South Korea said yesterday it was "very likely" that a fresh round of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program would be held before the end of the year, echoing a similar prediction from China a day earlier. "The views among the countries concerned are moving in that direction. Barring any unexpected development, I think it is very likely that the next round will take place by the end of the year," South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan said in a news briefing. The first round of talks, held in Beijing in August, brought together the US, China, the two Koreas, Japan and Russia. That meeting ended without an agreement on when to meet again.

■ Indonesia

Bombing trial starts

The first suspect charged in connection with the Aug. 5 bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta went on trial yesterday, facing the death penalty for allegedly storing explosive materials used in the attack. Sardona Siliwangi was charged with violating recently passed anti-terror laws, said state prosecutor Sudihardjo. He was put on trial in Bengkulu on Sumatra island, where he was arrested two months before the Marriot blast, which killed 12 people and wounded 150. He faces a maximum death penalty if found guilty. Siliwangi was arrested in June in Bengkulu along with five other suspected militants over a bank robbery. Police later accused him of storing explosive materials that were used in the Marriott bombing.

■ Singapore

Teen prankster sentenced

A 15-year-old boy was sentenced to hundreds of hours of community service for pretending to be Singapore's education minister in an e-mail to his principal that demanded the expulsion of two fellow students, a newspaper reported yesterday. The student was caught after he mistakenly forwarded the message to the minister he was impersonating, former Education Minister Teo Chee Hean, The Straits Times reported. A magistrate court on Tuesday sentenced the boy to 240 hours of community service and ordered his parents to pay a US$2,880 bond

■ United States<
Syria sanctions approved

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