Thu, Jul 01, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ South Korea

Roh names ministers

President Roh Moo-hyun named three new Cabinet ministers yesterday, tapping a former head of his ruling Uri Party to handle relations with North Korea. Chung Dong-young, a former Uri chairman and close ally of Roh, was named as South Korea's new unification minister, said Jeong Chan-yong, the presidential adviser for personnel affairs. Chung replaces Jeong Se-hyun, who was appointed unification minister in 2002. Chung is a journalist-turned-legislator who undercut his party's popularity ahead of April parliamentary polls with a gaffe in which he told older South Koreans to "stay home and rest" and let the young generation vote.

■ Pakistan

Caretaker PM sworn in

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was sworn in on Wednesday as Pakistan's prime minister, a job he is expected to keep for less than two months before passing it on to a technocrat handpicked by military President Pervez Musharraf. By the end of next month, Shaukat Aziz, a former executive with Citibank of New York who Musharraf made finance minister after a military coup in 1999, will take over the reins provided he wins a seat in the lower house, or National Assembly. Hussain, a political wheeler-dealer who threw his lot in with General Musharraf after he seized power almost five years ago, was named as a stop-gap prime minister by Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who resigned the premiership on Saturday after a 19-month stint.

■ Hong Kong

Test-taker commits suicide

A Hong Kong schoolgirl ran out of an exam she was taking and jumped three storeys to her death, police said yesterday. The girl, 17, was midway through the examination when she ran out and clambered over the railings of a school corridor to commit suicide Tuesday afternoon. An ambulance crew raced to the scene at St. Stephen's College in Hong Kong's Stanley district and declared her dead shortly after 3:30pm, a police spokesman said. Seventeen Hong Kong students have committed suicide in the current academic year compared to just 12 in the previous school year.

■ Hong Kong

Safety device goes berserk

A fire extinguisher sprang a leak and shot 12 storeys into the air, taking off a construction worker's arm in a freak accident that prompted his coworkers to pray to appease angry spirits, reports said yesterday. The accident occurred Monday in a building many believe is haunted after a fire eight years ago killed 40 people and injured 81. Workers were demolishing the building when the sudden leak in the fire extinguisher propelled it into the air. The 36-year-old man who lost his arm remained hospitalized in serious condition yesterday, government officials said.

■ Hong Kong

Charges in boulder theft

A rural committee official appeared in court yesterday charged with fraud over a scandal in which a river was ruined to beautify a site next to a new Hong Kong Disney park. Hundreds of tonnes of boulders were illegally excavated from the Tung Chung river to use on the under-construction Disney theme park on Hong Kong's Lantau Island earlier this year. The stolen boulders were used to landscape a government site adjoining the theme park. Contractors backed by rural officials allegedly claimed the boulders were being removed to solve a flooding problem with the river.

■ United States

Second cow tests positive

A second animal in less than a week preliminarily tested positive for mad cow disease and will be retested, the US Agriculture Department said late on Tuesday. It refused

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