Nursery school rejects child
A Japanese private nursery school has rejected a child because one of its parents is infected with HIV, news reports said yesterday. Aikawa Nursery School in Kofu, some 100km west of Tokyo, rejected the child in March last year, Kyodo News said. The child, whose name and gender are being withheld, is HIV-negative. The school made the decision because "the disease is unusual and there still is social prejudice," according to the Tokyo Shimbun. "My child has nothing to do with my disease," the parent said.
Man sneaks onto plane
A holiday-seeking man sneaked undetected into a Malaysian Airline plane for a free trip to Bali only to be detained by Indonesian officials upon his arrival, according to a report yesterday. The 24-year old man from Malaysia's eastern Sabah state had breezed past dozens of security guards, closed-circuit cameras and airline crew at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to board the Bali-bound plane, police told the Star daily. Upon arrival, Indonesian officers discovered that the suspect had no travel documents and immediately deported him back. The man, who was working as a cleaner at the Malaysian airport, had been fired just two days before his daring stunt.
Road deaths a concern
With a mere 1.9 percent of the world's cars, China now clocks up 15 percent of global deaths on the roads, state media reported yesterday quoting Ministry of Public Safety figures. In the first 10 months of the year, there were 566,000 accidents, and 85,600 deaths on the country's roads, the Xinhua news agency reported. Last year, 109,000 Chinese were killed on the 1.76 million kilometers of roads which criss-cross the country. The Ministry of Transport has pledged to launch a national motor safety program next year in a bid to improve China's perilous road safety record.
■ North Korea
North Korea yesterday demanded compensation from the US for suspending a deal to build two nuclear power plants, state media reported, quoting the official North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun. The Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO) announced a week earlier it would suspend construction of two light-water reactors after judging North Korea had failed to meet necessary conditions to continue the project. "The decision by the American and other members of the KEDO is a measure of open distrust against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and deals a brutal blow to the negotiated framework of relations between the DPRK and the United States," according to Rodong Sinmun.
■ South Korea
Chinese end hunger strike
Some 2,400 Chinese citizens of Korean descent ended their two-week hunger strike yesterday after President Roh Moo-hyun promised he'd do his best to help them obtain South Korean citizenship. The mass hunger strike came amid a government crackdown on illegal aliens who have overstayed visas in South Korea. However, Roh indicated getting citizenship for the Chinese nationals is not a done deal, saying the effort involves China's sovereignty. The government said there are still about 90,000 illegal aliens in South Korea including Chinese, Thais, Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Vietnamese and Mongolians.
■ United Kingdom
Terror suspect arrested
Anti-terrorist police in Britain have arrested a 33-year-old man in the central city of Birmingham on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, police headquarters said on Friday. They said six buildings in the city were being searched. Police said the arrest in Birmingham was not connected to two earlier arrests under anti-terrorist legislation in two other cities. Detectives searched three homes and three business premises in Birmingham Friday night, but had not so far recovered weapons or explosives, a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police said. The Birmingham man was detained Thursday by officers from the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorism unit and he is being held at a police station in west-central England.