■ East TimorMartial arts gangs clash
Two martial arts gangs clashed in East Timor, leaving four dead including a 70-year-old man who tried to break up the brawl, police said yesterday. The clash started late on Tuesday when one gang accused the other of attacking innocent civilians in Urahu village, about 50km outside the capital of Dili, National Police Commissioner Paul Fatima Martins said. The fight quickly escalated to include hundreds of villagers fighting mostly with sticks and homemade spears as friends and supporters of the gangs joined the fray, Martins said.
Death for baby trafficking
A woman has been sentenced to death and two others given life imprisonment after being found guilty of trafficking 120 babies in impoverished Henan Province, state press said yesterday. Li Guoju was sentenced to death by the Puyang intermediate court on Friday for buying and selling children, the Legal Daily reported. Eleven other defendants were convicted in the case, with two sentenced to life imprisonment, the paper said. The gang bought and sold mostly baby girls from August 1998 to March last year, it said. Li planned to appeal the verdict, it added. Police have said 42,215 women and children kidnapped in the three years since 2001 had been located and freed from captors.
HK gang leader caught
Malaysian police have captured a gang leader wanted in Hong Kong and Macau for his alleged involvement in a wave of killings and car bomb attacks, a news report said yesterday. Kai Hong -- the leader of a Hong Kong-based triad crime gang known as Sun Yee Onn -- was on the run for over a decade before he was arrested in a drug bust last week in Malaysia, the New Straits Times newspaper reported, citing unidentified sources. Kai Hong is wanted in Macau for allegedly attempting to kill the police chief. Separately, six Chinese nationals were also arrested in and around Kuala Lumpur last week in connection with an international methamphetamine-making operation in Fiji.
Suu Kyi's birthday celebrated
More than 400 members of Myanmar's pro-democracy party yesterday prayed for the release of their leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she spent her 59th birthday under house arrest. Gathering at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, party members released nine doves and 60 balloons to mark the beginning of Suu Kyi's 60th year. After the meeting at their headquarters, about 200 of the NLD members marched to Yangon's hilltop Shwedagon Pagoda, where they prayed for Suu Kyi's health and freedom. The group was closely watched by about 30 security personnel, but no incidents were reported.
■ Hong Kong
Hut razed in call for help
An elderly Hong Kong man -- hungry and stuck in his telephone-less home due to leg injuries -- tried to signal for help by setting fire to a quilt but started a blaze that razed his single-story hut, police said yesterday. The 60-year-old man, identified only by his surname, Leung, was seriously hurt in the fire, police spokesman Ng Ting-kai said. Leung said he had run out of food following an accident six days earlier that injured both his legs, Ng said. The burning house prompted a neighbor to call the police, and Leung -- found sitting outside the ruins of his home with his hair singed from the fire -- was later arrested for arson, Ng said.