Fri, Jun 04, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Thailand

Treason charged

A ruling party lawmaker surrendered to police yesterday to face treason charges in connection with a deadly raid on a military arsenal in January that marked a resurgence of separatist violence in Thailand's Muslim south. The charges against Muslim lawmaker Najamudeen Umar, which he denies, have deeply embarrassed the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin has not defended the lawmaker. Najamudeen went by car yesterday to a Bangkok police facility along with four parliamentary colleagues from his Thai Rak Thai party and presented himself for arrest to the deputy national police chief, Lieutenant General Kovit Wattana.

■ Nepal

Deuba seeks alliances

A new prime minister was sworn in and began wooing political parties yesterday to form a multi-party government. Sher Bahadur Deuba, fired by King Gyanendra two years ago, was reappointed Wednesday as Nepal's 14th prime minister in as many years, replacing royalist Surya Bahadur Thapa, who quit last month after weeks of protests. Homnath Dahal, a spokesman for Deuba's Nepali Congress (Democratic) party, said the new leader wanted to "bring the Maoists into the political mainstream." Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepali Congress Party chief, said: "Deuba must revive the dissolved parliament to get our support."

■ Vietnam

Crime boss executed

Vietnam executed notorious crime boss Nam Cam by firing squad yesterday after convicting him last year in a major crackdown on his empire of vice, bribery and murder that tainted the ruling Communist Party. Truong Van Cam, known as Nam Cam, was shot at dawn yesterday along with four other convicted members of his gang at the Long Binh firing range in Ho Chi Minh City, a city court official said on condition of anonymity. Nam Cam's nephew Nguyen Huu Thinh and three others -- Nguyen Viet Hung, Chau Phat Lai Em and Pham Van Minh -- were also executed.

■ Afghanistan

Taliban claims killings

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for killing three foreign aid workers and two Afghans in northwestern Afghanistan, the deadliest assault on international relief agencies since the radical Islamic militia was ousted from power in late 2001. The foreigners were hired by the Dutch office of the medical relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres and were identified as a Dutch man, a Norwegian man and a Belgian woman, spokesperson Marjon van der Pas said in Amsterdam. The dead Afghans were their translator and driver.

■ Hong Kong

Tycoon's child makes a fuss

Accused of crashing her Porsche then leaving the scene, Hong Kong gambling tycoon Stanley Ho's (何鴻燊) eldest daughter created another scene in court by interrupting the judge to ask for a delay, a prosecutor said yesterday. Ho Chiu-ying pleaded innocent on Wednesday to charges of careless driving and failing to notify police immediately about the wreck in October, but she started complaining out loud before her hearing began, government lawyer Albert Luk said. The 56-year-old woman, also known as Jane Ho, interrupted Magistrate Bina Chainrai during another case, saying she paid heavy taxes to Hong Kong and asking Chainrai to delay her appearance because she felt dizzy, the Ming Pao daily reported.

■ Venezuela

Agents found in vote vault

Two election council directors gave conflicting accounts about the presence of at least 10 federal agents in a vault where petitions for a recall vote against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were being stored. Sobella Mejias, a director consid-ered to be sympathetic to the opposition, said on Wednesday that at least 10 federal agents were found sifting through voter registries in the council's headquarters in Caracas. National Guard troops detained the men. However, Jorge Rodriguez, a director whom opposition leaders label as government-friendly, said the agents were investigating allegations that ID cards belonging to dead people had been used to verify signatures on petitions.

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