Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ India

Railway track blown up

Leftist extremists have blown up a railway track and a telephone exchange in separate incidents in eastern India, television networks said yesterday. Suspected members of the Maoist Communist Centre and the People's War Group -- both banned organizations active in pockets of eastern and southern India -- blasted a portion of a railway track near Gaya in Bihar state, the reports said. In another incident, a group of extremists blew up a telephone exchange at Hariharganj in neighboring Jharkhand state's Palamau district, paralyzing phone links in the area, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

■ Japan

Bird-flu case reported

Initial tests for bird flu at a poultry farm in the western Japan city of Kyoto produced positive results, following the death of 10,000 chickens there, central and local government officials said yesterday. "This is a suspected case of bird flu," a farm ministry official said, adding that further tests would be done to confirm the results. A Kyoto local government official said three dead chickens and two live ones had tested positive for the virus. The local official said Kyoto prefecture first received reports on Thursday night that more than 1,000 chickens had been dying each day since around Feb. 20.

■ Vietnam

Death for stealing US$2

A 19-year-old unemployed man will face the firing squad in Vietnam after being convicted of murdering a pensioner to steal less than US$2 in local currency, court officials said yesterday. Nguyen Dang Chung was handed the death sentence on Wednesday by a court in Bac Ninh for the murder of his 80-year-old neighbor in August last year. Chung's accomplice, Dao Van Cuong, 19, was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Knowing that the old man lived alone, the pair entered his house and stabbed and beat him to death before fleeing with US$1.50. At least 16 people have been given the death penalty this year, while 11 others have been executed.

■ New Zealand

Man punches shark

A 15-year-old New Zealand surfer on Friday described how he punched a shark in the eye to fend it off as it bit his thigh about 100m off a beach in the South Island city of Dunedin. Chris Blair said he thought a seal was attacking him as he sat straddled across his board until he saw a dorsal fin and the shark's head wrapped around his upper leg. "I punched it in the eye and it let go straight away," he said. "I got back on my board and put my legs up. ... It came back after me and went under my board," he told the Otago Daily Times. The teenager said he yelled to fellow surfers who helped him to shore as the shark swam off. "At the time, I was just sort of in a bit of shock -- just a bit freaked out," he said.

■ Thailand

Wife chopped up

Israeli tourist Eli Cohen denied yesterday that he had killed his wife in a hotel room in the Thai capital, chopped up her body and dumped the parts in a canal. "I love my wife and I have two children. I am innocent. I never do anything like this," the disheveled, bespectacled Cohen told reporters. The 36-year-old faces death by lethal injection if found guilty. Police said they had arrested Cohen on charges of torturing and murdering his wife Carol, 26. Cohen was arrested after the discovery of a torso in a suitcase dumped in a Bangkok canal.

■ Germany

Debtor loses his teeth

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