Sun, May 16, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ South Korea
General in money scandal

A South Korean army general who was second-in-command of joint US-South Korean forces has been indicted on charges of embezzlement, a spokeswoman of the defense ministry said yesterday. General Shin Il-Soon, deputy commander of the Korea-US Combined Forces Command, was immediately suspended from duty after being charged with embezzling 140 million won (US$118,000 US dollars). His replacement as a deputy chief of the combined forces has yet to be appointed. Shin is expected to go on trial within days, a defense ministry official said. Shin's arrest, the first ever of a South Korean four-star general, was seen here as the start of a wide-ranging probe into allegations of the misuse of public funds in the military.

■ Nepal

Rebels scuffle with hikers

Maoist rebels tried to extort cash from a group of five Israeli trekkers in Nepal, getting into a scuffle after the hikers refused to give them any money, a tour operator said Saturday. The five Israelis refused to hand over the US$50 each the rebels demanded, according to local reports. They then started hitting the trekkers with their hiking poles before making off with 5,000 rupees (US$69). The incident occurred in Shikh, a village west of Kathmandu. The rebels, who have been fighting for a communist republic since 1996 in an uprising that has so far claimed more than 9,500 lives, do not normally attack foreigners.

■ Singapore

Premier urges Iraq aid

Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, back from a trip to Washington and London, urged Asia and Europe to help the US succeed in Iraq for the sake of global stability and security. "If America departs unceremoniously and leaves behind an Iraq in shambles, its credibility and resolve to fight terrorism will be severely degraded," Goh said on Friday night at a dinner organized by the European Chamber of Commerce. "The whole of the Middle East will probably explode," Goh said. "We will all be at greater risk from terrorism and rogue states." "No other international issue can be easily resolved" unless ties are stable, he added.

■ Vietnam

Giant tumor removed

Doctors in Vietnam removed a 10kg tumor from a woman's breast on Thursday, a health official said yesterday. Som Sari, 25, from a Cambodian province on the Vietnamese border, was hospitalized at the Ho Chi Minh City tumor and Cancer Hospital just two days after giving birth to her second child, said Nguyen Chan Hung, director of the hospital. Sari developed the tumor when she was 15 and it had grown to the size of an orange after she had her first child in 2002.

■ Singapore

DNA cracks unsolved cases

DNA analysis helped police crack several unsolved cases for the first time in Singapore, leading to the conviction of three hard-core criminals, news reports said yesterday. The crooks were nailed using DNA profiling, a technique revealing the unique genetic makeup of an individual, The Straits Times said. Such profiling is possible now that police are equipped with a 4.2-million-Singapore-dollar (US$2.4 million) database, the first in Southeast Asia. It contains the DNA information on 36,000 prisoners and accused individuals. The three criminals had all left behind samples of their DNA, either in semen or blood, at crime scenes, the court heard.<

■ Venezuela
Chavez: They were dupes

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