Sun, Nov 23, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Hong KongMan found in suitcase

A Pakistani man who tried to sneak into Hong Kong in a suitcase and the two Indian smugglers who helped him have each been sentenced to 10 months in prison. Abdul Basit, 32, pleaded guilty to a charge of entering Hong Kong without permission and was ordered jailed on Friday by the Kwun Tong Magistracy, the South China Morning Post and other newspapers reported. His smugglers, Ravinder Singh, 23, and Amarjit Singh, 37, also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Basit's illegal entry. Judiciary spokeswoman Jamie Or said Saturday that she had no information on the case.

■ Vietnam

Boy sold as dog

Vietnamese drug addicts kidnapped a mute teenager, bundled him in a sack and sold him to a dog-meat eatery as a stray canine, state media said yesterday. The Gia Dinh Xa Hoi (Family and Society) newspaper said the two addicts grabbed the homeless 13-year-old from a busy market in Halong city. The kidnappers tied up the boy, bundled him into a sack and sold him to the restaurant for 300,000 dong (US$19), the newspaper said. The restaurateur, shocked to find the boy, fed him and released him. In Vietnam, eating specifically farmed breeds is believed to bring health benefits and is seen as auspicious.

■ China

Police raid gay brothel

Police in southwest China's Chongqing municipality raided the city's largest gay brothel, state media reported yesterday. In Thursday's sweep of the Blue House Club, officers found records of what they believed to be close to 100 male and female prostitutes, the Chongqing Economic News said on its website. The newspaper quoted staff as saying the number of regular club members was probably in excess of 300. A journalist who posed as a job hunter was told he would be required to serve both male and female customers, according to the paper. Prostitution has emerged as a growth industry during the years of economic reform in China.

■ Afghanistan

Bin Laden not a priority

Catching terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is not a priority in the war on terror, top US General Peter Pace said on Friday on a visit to troops hunting Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. "We would be glad to capture Osama, that's certainly something that we would like to do, but that is not essential to the proper prosecution of the war against terrorists," the vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters. "He is an individual that we would like to bring to justice but what we need to do, without focusing on individuals, is focus on the campaign," he said in the US-led coalition's Bagram Air Base headquarters north of Kabul.

■ China

Guard gets jail for assault

A guard at a south Chinese labor camp has been sentenced to two years in jail for beating a prisoner senseless over a minor infringement of the rules. The incident happened at the Baiyun Re-education Through Labor Camp in Guangzhou province in May when the guard, 25-year-old Cai Zheng, beat and kicked the prisoner into a state of shock, the Beijing Legal Times said. Cai, who was annoyed because the prisoner had been hard to manage, was assisted by two other officers, one of them wielding a baton, the newspaper reported.

■ IsraelSettlements to come down

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to remove some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by the summer of 2004 to make way for a Palestinian state, Israel's Channel 2 television said on Friday. Israeli and Palestinian officials were not immediately available for comment, but a source in Sharon's office said: "There is such talk, but for now it only concerns settlements in Gaza. A lot could happen by next summer." The decision would mark Sharon's most significant move towards implementing a US-backed "road map" to peace and Palestinian statehood -- and away from his traditionally unswerving support for settlements in the occupied territories.

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