Tue, Mar 16, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ChinaNaval exercise set for today

China and France will hold rare joint naval exercises off Qingdao today. "It's the biggest in scale and the most substantial in content of an exercise between the Chinese navy and a foreign navy," Xinhua said on yesterday, quoting Ju Xinchun, captain of the missile destroyer Harbin. French President Jacques Chirac, keen to strengthen ties with China and win French business a firm footing in its rapidly growing market, sided with Beijing in January in opposing plan's for Taiwan to hold a referendum.

■ China

13 years late -- it's a boy

A couple raised their only child for 13 years in the belief it was a girl, until a hospital visit alerted them to the fact that he was really a boy, state media said yester-day. The couple, from the central city of Zhengzhou, were fooled by their child's underdeveloped sexual organs, the Zhengzhou Evening News reported. They did not realize anything was wrong until they were baffled by a "reaction in the lower half of his body" whenever he watched pretty women on TV, the paper said. The parents took their child to the hospital, where an exam corrected their mistake about the child's sex. Doctors concluded that the boy was suffering from a disease causing sexual organs to be somewhat hidden from view, and he was subsequently treated in a three-hour-long operation.

■ Cambodia

Coalition talks scheduled

The leaders of the outgoing coalition government were scheduled to hold talks late yesterday aimed at breaking an eight-month political deadlock, royalist leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh said. He said his meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen would be the first since November talks that saw the three parties which won seats in July elections agree to form a coalition admin-istration. The meeting may indicate an imminent resolution to the bickering between Hun Sen's Cam-bodian People's Party (CPP), the royalist FUNCINPEC and opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). FUNCINPEC and the SRP formed a surprise alliance in the wake of the July polls, in which the CPP won the most seats but failed to secure the majority it needs to govern alone, forcing it to seek out a coalition partner.

■ Singapore

Cernan saw wall in space

The Great Wall of China is visible from space, the last man to walk on the moon told the Straits Times, contradicting China's first spaceman, who said he couldn't spot the giant fortification. Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan -- who walked on the moon in December 1972 -- told the paper he viewed the wall from space. He said it's a matter of having good eyes and knowing where to look. For decades, the Chinese have said the wall was visible from space, but the myth was shattered when Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei (楊利偉) returned from space last year and said could not see the wall while in orbit.

■ Singapore

Man stripped by thieves

Thieves left an elderly man with almost nothing but the shirt on his back after taking away his trousers along with more than US$5,500 in cash and valuables, police said yesterday. The 72-year-old was walking down a dark alley on Saturday when he was accosted by two men who pulled down his trousers and ran off with two Rolex watches, eight rings, cash and several documents.

■ GreeceBomb found outside bank

Greek police discovered and exploded a bomb outside a Citibank branch in Athens, site of this summer's Olympics, after an anonymous tip came in to a newspaper, police said. "There was a controlled explosion of a bag placed near the Citibank after we were told it would go off in 35 minutes," a police official said. There was no claim of responsibility. A police source said the bomb was not sophisticated but was powerful enough to cause "death and damage". Police found two sticks of dynamite, a clock and a detonator in the remains of the bag placed five metres from the bank's entrance.

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