Tue, Jul 06, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Australia
Obesity affects fertility

Australia's staggeringly high obesity rate could slash fertility rates by half within a decade, specialists warned yesterday. Obesity researcher Robert David said an increasing number of women were suffering from the pre-diabetic condition of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which affects many overweight women. Australia's fertility rate has been steadily falling over the past 40 years with women now having an average 1.7 babies while 28 percent of the female population will not have any children. Fertility specialist David Knight said women suffering from PCOS had irregular menstrual cycles and often did not ovulate.

■ New Zealand

Spies held on passport scam

The government is still waiting for Israel to explain why two alleged Israeli secret agents were in New Zealand illegally applying for a passport, Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday. The pair, Urie Zoshe Kelman, 30, and Eli Cara, 50, pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of trying to obtain a false The Wellington government suspects they are spies attached to Israel's Mossad foreign intelligence service, and Clark has demanded that the Israeli government explain what they were doing in New Zealand.New Zealand passport. The pair are to be held in custody until their sentencing on July 15. The maximum sentence they face was not immediately clear. Clark said yesterday she had to receive a response from the Israeli government.

■ Japan

`Sararimen' to shed suits?

Japan's buttoned-up politicians and executives, often referred to as sararimen, are dressing down this summer in the latest bid to fight global warming. With temperatures topping 30?C and humidity edging towards unbearable, bureaucrats and businessmen have agreed to do the sensible thing by removing jackets at the office -- something of a revolution in Japan's ministries and corporations. The idea is to stay cool naturally rather than use energy by cranking up air conditioning. Ministers hailed the new dress code as a sign that they are serious about achieving Japan's pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases by 6 percent from 1990 levels before 2012.

■ Cambodia

Angkor Wat gets upgrade

Cambodia's celebrated Angkor Wat temple complex, the country's most treasured landmark, has been removed from UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger after 12 years, the UN cultural body announced yesterday. The Angkor site was one of three taken off the list at the ongoing World Heritage Committee meeting of the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou.

■ Japan

Abductee to meet family

A Japanese woman abducted to North Korea decades ago and repatriated in 2002 will be reunited later this week with the family she left behind in the reclusive communist state, Japanese media said yesterday. Hitomi Soga will meet her daughters and husband Charles Jenkins, who Washington says deserted to North Korea 40 years ago while on patrol in the Demilitarized Zone, in Indonesia on Friday.. Jenkins, 64, who married Soga in North Korea, feared he would be handed to the US military for a court martial if he came to Japan. Indonesia and the US do not have an extradition treaty. The family will be reunited in Indonesia for an unspecified period.

■ United Kingdom
Abortion pioneer speaks

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