Tue, Apr 13, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ AustraliaCranky alligator dumped

Would you upset Mr. Cranky Pants? Some thieves tried, but apparently soon regret-ted it. A four-year-old alliga-tor named Mr. Cranky Pants was stolen from a reptile park at Somersby, north of Sydney, over the weekend, but officials at the zoo said yesterday the thieves may have underestimated his moodiness and let him go. The animal was later found in a nearby creek. "Mr. Cranky Pants is a cranky pants, he gets moody and so they probably messed with the wrong alligator and dumped him," said Al Mucci, an Australian Reptile Park official. "He looks relieved to be back. You can tell with alligators by their eyes whether they're stressed or not stressed, and he looks glad to be back," he said.

■ Indonesia

Golkar leading vote count

The Golkar party held a razor-thin lead in parliamen-tary elections ahead of President Megawati Sukar-noputri's party, partial results showed yesterday. With over 60 percent of the estimated 124 million votes cast in the April 5 elections, Golkar was at 20.59 percent. Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle had 20.12 percent. Officials have been taking several days to count ballots and final results were not yet tallied. However, Megawati's party was projected to lose more than a third of the 34 percent of votes it won in the 1999 elections.

■ Indonesia

Governor's sentence upheld

The Supreme Court has upheld a three-year prison term against East Timor's last Jakarta-appointed governor for failing to stop the bloodshed when the territory voted for indepen-dence in 1999, a court official said yesterday. The verdict against Jose Abilio Osorio Soares -- who is ethnically East Timorese -- means he will be the first Indonesian official to be punished over the blood-shed. Three military officers have had their sentences overturned by the high court in recent weeks. Rulings against two remaining defendants are expected soon. Twelve others have already been acquitted. Jakarta's attempts to punish those guilty of human rights abuses in East Timor have been criticized as a sham.

■ Hong Kong

Twin girls, mother killed

A 31-year-old mother and her six-year-old twin daughters were found chopped to death at their apartment over the Easter holiday weekend, police said yesterday. The

45-year-old husband was also seriously wounded and was in a critical condition in hospital yesterday following surgery. Police discovered the bodies on Sunday evening after a man called them saying his daughters were lying in a pool of blood. The mother, who is believed to have recently arrived from China, and her daughters were unconscious when the police broke into the apartment. All had multiple chop and knife wounds and a bloodstained knife was found close by.

■ New Zealand

New Zealanders unhealthy

Poor diet and lack of exercise were responsible for the deaths of two out of every five people who died in 1997, according to a ground-breaking study by the Ministry of Health. About another one in five of all deaths was due to smoking and drinking alcohol, the ministry said. It said the study showed that hundreds of deaths could be prevented each year if more people ate a healthy diet with more fruit and vegetables and under-took "moderate intensity" exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week.

■ United KingdomTorso found in suitcase

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