Tue, Feb 03, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ South Korea

Protesters block prosecutors

About 200 opposition party members blocked prosecu-tors and scores of riot police from arresting a political -ally of former president Kim Dae-jung on corruption charges, a party official said. Prosecutors allege Hahn Hwa-kap, a lawmaker from the opposition Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), received 1 billion won (US$530,000) in illegal election funds in 2002 from firms such as SK Group. Backed by about 150 riot police, prosecutors tried several times to enter the party's headquarters in Seoul, where Hahn had holed up, on Sunday, but were obstructed by about 200 MDP members blocking the entrance. No clashes were reported, and prosecutors gave up shortly before midnight, a party official said on condition of anonymity.

■ Indonesia

Buffalo tries to flee fate

A water buffalo, reluctant to be sacrificed to mark the Islamic holiday of Id al-Adha, escaped from a mosque and ran amok for five hours on Sumatra before being caught and killed yesterday. The animal escaped from the grounds of the Al Rahman mosque in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau province late on Sunday and was only caught early yesterday, the state Antara news agency said. The water buffalo broke loose from its rope and took to the street. It injured several people, and forced others to jump into a sewage ditch to escape its attack, the agency said. The buffalo also managed to escape the efforts of three pickup trucks sent to try to corner it.

■ Nepal

Strike shuts Katmandu

A strike by Nepal's main opposition parties to press demands for a new govern-ment virtually shut down Katmandu yesterday with shops closed, most schools empty and public transport off the streets. There were no reports of violence in the first hours of the one-day strike in Kathmandu and two other nearby cities, police said. "The strike is ... to pressure the king to correct his regressive step," the opposition parties said in a statement. The king fired an elected prime minister in October 2002, and named a loyalist in his place. Banks and government offices were open but most employees had to walked to work as most buses and other public transport was not running.

■ New Zealand

Boy fires rifle at school

An eight-year-old boy fired

at least four shots at a school yesterday as children arrived for classes in the South Island city of Dunedin, police said. No one was hurt when the boy fired the .22 caliber rifle from his bedroom window, piercing a neigh-bor's window before turning and firing at the school, said police sergeant Shane Fogarty. Police were inves-tigating the boy's motive. Two shots shattered the window of the house 60m across the street, showering a resident with glass. The boy then fired four shots at the school, 120m away.

■ China

Second space trip planned

China's official media said yesterday that the country would begin training next month for a second manned spaceflight. The mission will probably involve two astronauts -- possibly including Yang Liwei (楊利偉), who in October was the lone astronaut aboard Shenzhou 5, China's first manned mission into space, the official Xinhua News Agency and the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper said. The date of the mission remains unclear, though some reports have said it could be in the first half of next year.

■ France

Surveillance of judge probed

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