Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Suicide bomber kills official

A Chinese local government official was killed in a suicide bombing by a villager apparently dissatisfied with the compensation he received for his appropriated land, state media reported yesterday. The bombing on Wednesday in a private office in Sichuan Province killed official Ge Junming and villager Zhang Mingchun, the Xinhua news agency reported. Ge was also the chairman of a corporation called Mingda, which appropriated a sand quarry owned by Zhang to build a road to a power station. The villager was apparently not satisfied with the compensation the corporation offered for his land and took 2kg of explosives and a detonator to Ge's office at Mingda and blew them up.

■ Japan

Human cloning ban lifted

The government's top science council has voted to adopt policy recommendations that would permit limited cloning of human embryos for scientific research in Japan. Japan banned human cloning in 2001, but has permitted researchers to use human embryos that aren't produced by cloning. The recommen-dations, approved on Friday, would let researchers produce and use cloned human embryos, but only for basic research, said Tomohiko Arai, an official at the Cabinet's Council for Science and Technology Policy. The cloning won't be allowed for use in treating human patients.

■ Cambodia

Lovesick son goes berserk

A son whose parents insisted he could not marry his sweetheart and should become a Buddhist monk instead went berserk and torched his parents' motorbike after his father refused the son's demands to behead him with a cleaver, police said yesterday. "Khon Sokna is a good son but he was heartbroken when his parents refused to let him take a wife. He went to the shop to drink rice wine, and then he came back home and demanded his father kill him with a cleaver before setting his parents' motorbike on fire," said Kim Sokun, deputy police chief of Ang Snoul district, Kandal province, about 20km outside Phnom Penh.

■ Australia

Opposition leader inhaled

Australian opposition leader Mark Latham yesterday admitted smoking marijuana in his youth, saying he went further than former US president Bill Clinton and inhaled the drug. On the campaign trail in the southern city of Melbourne, Latham was asked if he had ever dabbled with marijuana. "Yes I did and, I have got to own up, I did inhale. So there you go. How about that?" he told reporters. Latham refused to elaborate on his experience when pressed by a journalist. Latham, 43, has been pitched by his Labor Party as offering a generational change in leadership as he attempts to oust conservative Prime Minister John Howard, 64.

■ Hong Kong

Laziness HK's leading killer

Laziness has become Hong Kong's number one killer and is shortening the lifespan of one in five people, a news report said yesterday. The study found one in five people aged over 35 was more likely to die of causes linked to physical inactivity than other causes, according to the Hong Kong Standard. More than 24,000 deaths were analyzed by the University of Hong Kong for the study. Researchers found 50 per cent of the people who died were physically inactive, meaning they not been involved in physical activity for longer than 30 minutes a month.

■ United States
NATO hosts Olympics troops

US forces on standby in case of terrorist attacks during the Olympics may be based in Greece despite the host's insistence that no foreign troops be deployed on its soil, NATO diplomats said on Friday. NATO agreed to take command of 400 US special forces personnel during the Aug. 13-29 games. But the 26-nation alliance's "decision sheet," its formal agree-ment, deliberately avoided specifying where they would be based. Greek Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis said on Thursday that the NATO-led troops would be on alert "in some third country." A New York Times report that the NATO-commanded troops would be deployed to protect US athletes and dignitaries during the games provoked a furor in Athens this week. Diplomats said protection for US citizens in Greece was essentially a job for bodyguards.

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