Sun, Jul 04, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Philippines
Typhoon death toll hits 30

The Philippine death toll from Typhoon Mindulle rose to 30, while 12 others remained missing, rescuers said yesterday. Authorities said most of the victims drowned due to widespread flooding in all three main archipelagos. The missing are feared dead because they have not been seen for three days, according to the civil defense office. The government reported that 22 people were hurt by the typhoon that damaged 14,000 homes and left 385,000 people homeless. Damage to properties was estimated at US$13 million. Typhoon Mindulle first hit the northern Philippines with gusts of 190km per hour, then headed toward Taiwan.

■ China

Heat wave kills dozens

A heat wave in China's southern cities has been responsible for the deaths of at least 39 people in the last two days, with most of the casualties among the elderly or infirm, state press said yesterday. The mercury has topped 39 degrees Celsius in recent days and was expected to hit 36 degrees Celsius yesterday. Among the fatalities, 27 of the deaths were elderly people, with the oldest being 97 years old, while the youngest was a 20-year old who died of dehydration. The government has urged elderly people to stay at home, remain inactive and try to stay cool.

■ India

Villagers protest killings

Dozens of villagers blocked a road on Friday protesting the killing of three schoolgirls and a boy whose bodies were found near a village pond in eastern India, police said. The four, aged between seven and 10, disappeared on Thursday while walking home from their school in Rangamatia, a village 280km west of Bhubhaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state, said police officer Sangram Tudu. "We found the bodies of the four children near a pond with injury marks on the bodies," Tudu said. The killings' motive was not immediately known. The protesters stopped vehicles for an hour, but dispersed following an assurance by police that those guilty would be caught and punished, Tudu said.

■ Singapore

Forgery charged at school

The Nanyang Institute of Management's former chief was charged with instigating a staff member to commit forgery on student visa applications of 11 foreigners, news reports said yesterday. Liu Shuang-liang, 35, was accused of doctoring the applications to speed their approval by immigration officials, The Straits Times said. Liu was the institute's CEO when the alleged offenses occurred. Considered one of Singapore's biggest players in private education, the institute was sold to electronics firm IPC on Thursday.

■ Malaysia

Men calling 991 to chat

A total of 98 percent of the 671,667 calls made to the Malaysian 991 emergency number in 2003 were not genuine, Civil Defense Director General Jamel Ariffin said, the New Straits Times reported yesterday. Lonely and bored Malaysian men have been dialling the 991 emergency number to chat up female officers on duty, according to the report. The non-emergency calls were mostly from men while a smaller percentage were calls made by children and pranksters, the daily quoted him as saying. Jamel said the government was concerned about the high number of false alarms, adding that from January to May 2004, as little as 3 percent of the 221,622 calls were genuine.

■ United Kindom
Car crashes at parliament

A car with German license plates and four Romanian occupants crashed into the railings outside the British houses of parliament in Westminster, police said yesterday, adding that they were trying to establish whether it was an accident. The driver and one of the passengers were arrested on the spot and taken into custody. The other passengers, both women, were slightly injured and taken to hospital. "We are investigating whether the collision was accidental or deliberate," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

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