Wed, Jun 02, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Afghanistan

Bomb kills police chief

A senior police official was killed in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad yesterday when a bomb attached to his office chair exploded, doctors said. Haji Ajab Shah was killed at the police headquarters of the city, the capital of Nangarhar Province, as the workday began. "His body is in the morgue," said a doctor at the hospital to which Shah was taken. The attack was the latest incident in a wave of violence in the run-up to landmark elections in September, most of which has been blamed on remnants of the ousted Taliban regime and their Islamic militant allies including al-Qaeda.

■ China

Radiation gadget missing

Hundreds of police in Shanghai were searching yesterday for a small cylinder containing a gamma-ray apparatus capable of transmitting fatal doses of radiation, Chinese state press reported yesterday. The 10kg box containing the instrument used to perform industrial radiography on construction sites disappeared early Saturday after a company driver parked a car carrying the cylinder outside his flat, the Shanghai Daily said. When he returned, the canister clearly marked with a radioactive sign, was missing. Press reports said a two day-search in the city's northern Jingshan district had yet to yield results.

■ Indonesia

Potholes cause protests

Indonesian residents protesting at the state of their street have planted banana trees and released catfish in its huge potholes, a report said yesterday. "We want this street to be immediately repaired," Pos Kota newspaper quoted protester Otong Sasmita as saying. He said Perjuangan avenue in Bekasi just east of Jakarta was used by heavy vehicles serving a nearby industrial center and had been potholed for years. Protesters have released baby eels and catfish in water-filled potholes and planted scores of banana trees in others.

■ China

Tycoon gets 6-year term

A real estate tycoon once ranked as China's 11th-richest man was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison on charges of fraud and stock manipulation. Zhou Zhengyi (周正毅) was sentenced by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate Court, the official Xinhua News Agency said. A court spokesman declined to confirm the report. Zhou was ranked in 2002 by Forbes Magazine as number 11 in its list of China's wealthiest people. It estimated his fortune at that time at US$320 million. He made millions running restaurants and shops before branching out into property development, but ran afoul of regulators and was arrested in September. It wasn't clear if time Zhou has already spent in jail would be counted toward the sentence. There was no word on whether Zhou would appeal.

■ Malaysia

Whipping demos halted

In the face of public condemnation, Malaysia has suspended a nationwide program to hold whipping demonstrations in primary schools, news reports said yesterday. The road show of sorts, which was aimed at reducing the rate of serious juvenile offences like rape and drug trafficking, will continue to be held in secondary schools for older students, said deputy internal security minister Chia Kwang Chye. Chia said the government would also conduct a study to decide whether the program should be abandoned or changes made should be made to it.

■ United States

Last Civil War widow dies

Alberta Martin, the last widow of a Civil War veteran, died on Monday in Alabama, ending an ascent from sharecropper's daughter

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