Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Hong Kong
Crocodile makes appearance

Hong Kong's elusive stray crocodile resurfaced on Thursday after a prolonged absence -- but the Chinese hunter charged with its capture was out-of-town. Television footage on Thursday showed the croc, eyes bulging from the water surface, swimming along the swampy creek it's called home since first being spotted on Nov. 2. The croc has stayed out of sight in recent days, prompting Chinese hunter He Zhanzhao to return home to neighboring Guangdong Province for a break. The beast's extended absence spurred speculation that it may have died from the winter cold.

■ China

Serial killer executed

A serial killer convicted of kidnapping and killing 17 young people was executed in central China by shooting yesterday, a news report said. The official Xinhua news agency quoted Hunan provincial court officials as saying the death penalty was carried in public of 29-year-old Huang Yong. Members of the victims' families were on hand for the execution. Huang had confessed that he always admired other killers portrayed in films and said he had dreamed since childhood of becoming a professional killer. He had lured his young victims in the city of Pingyu with promises to teach them video gaming tips or give them jobs. The bodies of his victims were buried in a garden under his house.

■ The Philippines

Bomb kills soldier

A homemade bomb exploded as it was being disarmed outside an airport in the southern Philippine island of Jolo yesterday, killing a soldier and wounding another, the military said. Civilians found the improvised explosive device concealed in a cardboard box that had been left near a perimeter fence of Jolo airport. Troops were alerted and tried to disarm it, but it exploded, killing one. A second bomb was found on a roadside also near the airport but was safely detonated.

■ Cambodia

Laughter falls flat for comic

A popular Cambodian comedian complained yesterday that he could not find work and feared for his life because he campaigning for the royalist political party in the country's July election campaign. Pok Thareth, 40, better known by his stage name "Lorcy," had performed around Cambodia to help the Funcinpec Party campaign for the country's general election. However, Thareth alleges that since his performances aired on the pro-Funcinpec Ta Prohm radio station, the country's television stations, all linked to the rival Cambodian People's Party (CPP), have refused to air his routines. "They told me that my performances for Funcinpec attacked other politicians," Thareth said. "Now all TV station owners refuse to let me perform anymore. It affects my living very much."

■ Thailand

Cough drops get kids high

Teenagers in southern Thailand are resorting to large doses of cough drops to get high following the government's crackdown on illegal drugs and cough syrup, a news report said yesterday. The cough drops, available over-the-counter and costing only 1 baht (US$0.025) each, are dissolved in warm water or soda and taken five or 10 at a time by teenagers in Yala province, 750km south of Bangkok, according to the Bangkok Post. The dissolved cough drops have become popular since local authorities cracked down on sales of cough syrup containing codeine, which is widely used as an intoxicant in southern Thailand.

■ Portugal
Inmates refuse lunch

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