Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Beware of hookers

Foreign tourists to China should stay away from prostitutes in order to

avoid being either robbed

or kidnapped, state media reported yesterday. The warning comes after a series of cases in which foreign visitors to Guangdong Province were lured by

local sex workers, only to

fall victim to often violent criminals, the China Daily said. Guangdong police counted 484 robberies involving prostitutes and foreign tourists in the first six months of the year and 130 kidnapping cases, a rise of 7.5 percent from the same period last year, according

to the paper. In a recent case, two Hong Kong residents were found naked and tied up in a house in Shenzhen, having been stripped of all their belongings, including their underwear, the paper said.

■ China

Strong quake rocks Tibet

An earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale rocked a remote region

of Tibet yesterday, China's State Seismological Bureau said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The epicenter of the quake

was 100km north of China's border with Nepal and 700km from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in a sparsely populated area of the Himalayan region, it said.

■ Hong Kong

Pap smear demand surges

Women in Hong Kong yesterday were having to make reservations up to eight months in advance for cervical smear tests after

a huge surge in demand following a pop star's death from cancer. Singer Anita Mui (梅艷芳), 40, a hugely popular entertainer, died

in December, three months after she announced she had cervical cancer. Her death sparked a huge increase in the demand for pap smear tests which has overwhelmed some clinics, which are now taking bookings as far ahead as next February. A year ago, it took only around one week to get a pap smear at one of the seven Family Planning Association clinics in Hong Kong, which test 90,000 to 100,000 women a year.

■ Hong Kong

Woman toe-dials for help

A tree-bound robbery victim jumped up and down to eject a mobile phone hidden in her bra and dialed for help using her toes, a newspaper reported yesterday. The woman and her husband, who are in their 40s, were robbed in a country park

by three knife-wielding men who tied them to two trees, police spokeswoman Trish Leung said. Leung said the woman managed to sneak her mobile phone into her clothing, while the South China Morning Post reported that she hid it in her bra. After the robbers escaped with an ATM card and some cash, the woman leapt up repeatedly until

the phone dropped out, then dialed for help with her toes. The couple managed to free themselves before police arrived, Leung said.

■ New Zealand

Firewalk charity backfires

An attempt on the world firewalking record, intended to raise money for a

Dunedin ambulance service, backfired on the organizers, the New Zealand Herald reported yesterday. The ambulance service spent more than the US$650 raised by the firewalkers treating the 36 who suffered burns

to their feet. However,

341 completed the firewalk which is believed to be a new world record. Organizers will be forwarding details of the event held in Dunedin, in

the southeast of the South Island, to the Guinness Book of Records for ratification.

■ United Kingdom

M15 to watch Muslim youth

Britain is to deploy teams of intelligence officers and surveillance experts in cities where it is feared that extremists are radicalizing Muslim youth, The Times reported yesterday. The internal security service, M15, will discreetly deploy officers in several towns in northwest England within the next couple of months in a bid to snuff out any incipient terrorist threats within the urban Muslim communities, the paper said, citing "govern-ment sources." It is hoped the scheme will greatly improve cooperation between special police services and counter-espionage officers.

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