Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Cambodia

Monk commits suicide

A Cambodian Buddhist monk committed suicide this week because no one would lend him money to pay for his studies, local media reported yesterday. The Khmer-language Koh Santipheap newspaper said Yun Kim, 19, hanged himself early Wednesday morning with his safron robes in his bedroom at Pon Ray pagoda in southeastern Kampong Cham province. Commune police chief Kun Lay told the newspaper that the monk killed himself because of outstanding debts of US$13 and disappointment that villagers in the area would not lend him more money to further his studies.

■ China

Mao's great-grandson born

Nearly three decades after his death, Mao Zedong (毛澤東) has a new title: Great-grandfather. The first great-grandson of China's communist founder was born this week on the 110th anniversary of Mao's birth, a newspaper reported yesterday. The son of Mao Xinyu, Mao's grandson, was born on Friday at a Beijing hospital, the Beijing Times said. It said the family hadn't chosen a name yet. Mao Zedong, born on Dec. 26, 1893, led China from its 1949 revolution until his death in 1976. Mao Xinyu, who is in his early 30s, is the son of Mao Anqing, Mao's second son. Mao's first son, Mao Anying, died fighting in the 1950 to 1953 Korean War.

■ Australia

Hunt for killer croc starts

The hunt for a crocodile and the body of a man it attacked and killed in the remote Northern Territory province began yesterday after floodwaters hampering the search receded, police said. The 4m reptile attacked 22-year-old Brett Mann last Sunday while he was bathing in the rain-swollen Finniss River, which cuts through a flooded tropical wilderness about 80km southwest of the territory's capital, Darwin. After killing Mann, the crocodile came back for two friends bathing with him, sending them scrambling up a tree in the river. It menaced them all night, and a police search party found them still in the tree 22 hours later.

■ Japan

Women might ascend throne

Japan is preparing to revise its succession law to allow women to ascend the 2,600-year-old Chrysanthemum Throne for the first time in more than two centuries. The change could see Princess Aiko, the two-year-old daughter of the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, become only the ninth female to head the world's oldest monarchy. The debate over how to avert a possible succession crisis gathered pace after Princess Aiko's birth in December 2001. Under the 1889 imperial household law, only males can inherit the throne. In the absence of the patter of tiny male feet inside the imperial palace in Tokyo, many Japanese believe a change in the law is inevitable.

■ Thailand

Troublemakers sent to camp

Thai authorities are planning to send troublesome students to military "boot camps" following a series of deadly street fights between youths from rival vocational schools, news reports said yesterday. Administrators of about 80 state and private vocational schools in Bangkok were ordered on Friday to compile lists of student trouble-makers within 10 days and submit them to Education Minister Adisai Bodharamik. Students on the list would be sent to military camps to undergo behavior training for between two and six months, depending on how violent they have been.

■ Iraq

Shiites target France

Iraqi Shiite clerics called Friday for a boycott of French products in protest at France's move to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious insignia from schools. "I suggest that a fatwa be issued by [Shiite religious scholars in] Najaf, [the Iranian Shiite religious center of] Qom and al-Azhar [the Sunni Muslims' highest religious authority] ordering a boycott of French products," firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said. "If we cannot reach such a decision, we should at least threaten to do it," he told worshippers during his weekly sermon in Kufa near Najaf.

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