Sun, Jun 13, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Pakistan

Bomb rocks official's home

A powerful bomb exploded outside the home of a senior security official in central Pakistan on Saturday, killing one person and wounding three others, police and doctors said. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the blast outside the home of Ghani-ur-Rahman, the commander of the Frontier Constabulary in Dere Ismail Khan, 300km southwest of Islamabad. It was not immediately clear whether Rahman was at home when the explosion occurred, but police said he was not among the injured. Police said a man who died in the blast was a clerk at a government office. He was crossing the road outside Rahman's residence when the bomb detonated.

■ China

Sickly police solve few cases

Poor health and shoddy detective work kept Chinese police from tracking down millions of criminals last year, state media reported on Friday. About 70 percent of all criminal cases investigated in the country last year went unsolved, the Xinhua News Agency said. China's Ministry of Public Security tested the stamina of nearly 400 police from different parts of the country last year and the vast majority came up short, Xinhua said. "The ministry also randomly picked 400 front-line policemen to receive a medical check last year, finding 30 percent of them suffered cardiovascular diseases, 40 percent suffered high blood pressure..., 30 percent had gastroenteric diseases and 16 percent had hepatitis," the report said.

■ Japan

Iraqi food makes troops sick

Dozens of Japanese troops dispatched to Iraq for a humanitarian mission have fallen ill and military officials think they have identified the enemy: bacterial microbes in the food. As many as 90 of the roughly 550 soldiers at the base in the southern city of Samawah complained of diarrhea this week, a Defense Agency spokeswoman said yesterday on condition of anonymity. Japanese media reported that others had suffered from fever, vomiting or dehydration -- symptoms that military doctors say indicate food poisoning.

■ Vietnam

Fraudster sentenced to death

A post office employee has been sentenced to death after embezzling US$365,000 from a district post office in Vietnam, a court official said Saturday. Tran Phuoc Toan, 36, embezzled the money from payments he received for prepaid mobile phone cards he was distributing, said Dang Quoc Khoi, the judge in Bac Lieu province people's court. "He used most of the appropriated money for his drinking and gambling," Khoi told reporters from the rural province 200km south of Ho Chi Minh City. Under Vietnamese law, fraud cases involving more than US$194,000 can lead to a death sentence.

■ Vietnam

Drunk swallows metal bars

A man in southern Vietnam is in stable condition after an operation to remove three 17-cm metal bars he swallowed in a drunken challenge, a nurse said yesterday. Hoang Ngoc Son, 22, swallowed the metal bars -- normally used in construction -- after a challenge from his friend during a drinking session, the nurse said. Son swallowed the bars in in the middle of last month. They did not pass through his digestive system and he went to hospital on Wednesday complaining of stomach pain. "He thought the bars would go out of his stomach in the digestive way, but they didn't," a nurse said. Son is recovering from the operation and will be discharged in a week, the nurse said.

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