Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ North America

Potter' turns a buck

The third installment in the movie series about a youthful wizard kept its spell over North American audiences as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban grossed US$35.1 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Monday. The picture remained atop the box-office heap, and has now conjured US$158.1 million for distributor Warner Bros. A strong stable of contenders were aiming to unlock Azkaban from its hold on first place. The Chronicles of Riddick, a science fiction movie starring Hollywood muscleman Vin Diesel, was in second place with US$24.6 million.

■ Turkey

5 killed in fighting

Three Turkish village guards and two rebels from the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in separate incidents in southeastern Turkey Sunday night. The semi-official Anadolu news agency said two PKK rebels were killed during an attempted attack on a recreation building behind a military barracks near the southeastern town of Bingol. In a separate incident three village guards, local men armed and paid by the state, were killed in an attack by PKK militants in a mountainous area of Hatay, near the Syrian border.

■ United States

Moore plans Blair film

Michael Moore, the US documentary film maker who won the top award at Cannes this year for a film panning US President George Bush, has indicated he plans a similarly excoriating movie on British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his role in the invasion of Iraq. "I personally hold Blair more responsible for this war than I do George Bush. The reason is, Blair knows better," Moore said in an interview, details of which were published in yesterday's British press. "Blair is not an idiot. What is he doing hanging around this guy?" he asked.

■ United States

No more needles?

A revolutionary procedure that uses a stream of gas to open up small holes in the skin, allowing drugs to be given with the wipe of a swab, could soon end the need for painful injections, US medical scientists report. The technique, known as microscission, uses gas to bombard a small area of skin with crystals, removing the rough surface-layer and creating tiny holes through which drugs can be administered. In recent trials, scientists found that holes up to a fifth of a millimeter deep -- enough to reach a patient's bloodstream -- could be created without even touching the skin. A local anaesthetic, the test medication, was then successfully applied with a swab. Experts believe that the 20-second procedure could revolutionize how vaccinations and other needle-based medications are administered.

■ Space

First Phoebe pictures arrive

The spacecraft Cassini, due to begin exploring Saturn next month, flew within 2,000km of the planet's mysterious moon Phoebe at the weekend. The first pictures sent back show a black, bruised and tiny world, about 200km across. Phoebe reflects only about 6 percent of the sunlight that falls on it. "This odd moon has a little ice and a lot of black material on its surface but, beyond that, we know very little," said Dale Cruikshank, a Nasa scientist who will use data from the flyby to calculate Phoebe's chemical composition.

■ Iraq

US to keep prisoners

The US will continue to imprison between 4,000 and 5,000 Iraqi prisoners it deems threatening, a US military source said. Fewer than an additional 1,400 detainees will either be released or transferred to Iraqi authorities by June 30, the US said on Sunday. The International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday that all Iraqi prisoners of war and interned civilians should be released by the US when sovereignty is transferred. Yet US officials also plan to keep two other facilities open for Iraqi detainees, and

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