Fri, Aug 06, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Stabber feared loss of job

A mentally ill janitor who stabbed 15 children and at least three teachers in a Beijing kindergarten was afraid of losing his job, state media said yesterday. The 52-year-old suspect, Xu Heping, is now in police custody after going on the rampage on Wednesday at the kindergarten affiliated with the Peking University No. 1 Hospital. One child has died from neck injuries. The official China Daily newspaper said the kindergarten was due to close in September, and quoted some witnesses as saying Xu feared losing his part-time job.

■ Pakistan

Army helicopter crashes

A Pakistani army helicopter with about 16 people aboard crashed yesterday in a remote northwestern tribal region that has been the scene of sporadic fighting with foreign militants and their local supporters, police and a senior army official said. Authorities have recovered at least four bodies from the crash site, said Inayat Ullah, a police official in Karak. He did not know if there were any survivors, but said they believe about 16 people were on board. Another police officer, Naseer Mohammed, said the helicopter caught fire after the crash and that several bodies might still be inside the wreckage.

■ China

Jail sentence in milk case

A Chinese man was sentenced yesterday to eight years in jail in what is believed to be the first conviction in a scandal over the widespread sale of potentially lethal baby milk powder, the supreme court said. Li Xindao, a shopkeeper in Taolao township of eastern Anhui province, was convicted of selling a sub-standard formula that caused the death of a four-month-old girl in December last year, the court said on its website. "Acting out of a profit motive, he deliberately sold food products that he knew did not conform with the standards," the county court in nearby Linquan City said in its ruling.

■ Thailand

Police targeted in attacks

A suspected Islamic militant shot to death a retired police sergeant and a bomb exploded outside the home of a police captain in separate attacks yesterday in Thailand's restive Muslim-dominated south, officials said. The 60-year-old retired sergeant, a Muslim, was shot twice by a gunman on a motorbike in the Yaring district of Pattani province, said police Colonel Suthon Distayabutr. In neighboring Narathiwat province, a time bomb exploded in a truck parked outside the house of the police captain, police said. The bomb was timed to explode in the morning when the captain usually takes the vehicle to work. However, he took a motorbike instead and no one was injured in the blast.

■ Hong Kong

Food poisoning cases rise

Food poisoning cases have rocketed in Hong Kong as safeguards rigidly followed after last year's SARS outbreak are quietly forgotten, figures suggested yesterday. Food poisoning cases affecting one or more people have shot up by more than 80 percent compared to 2003 according to the Department of Health. And more people are being struck down, with a 60 percent increase in the number of people affected by food poisoning. Health officials were yesterday investigating two new outbreaks in Hong Kong hotels affecting a total of nearly 100 people. The city of 6.8 million saw 268 food poisoning cases in the first six months of the year, up 82 percent more than the 117 reported during the same period last year.

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