Tue, Aug 10, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Internet purity drive begins

China is working with its top two search engines to crack down on Internet pornography by restricting the use of keywords, Xinhua news agency said on Monday. A recent survey of Internet use in China showed that 70 percent of surfers used Chinese search engines such as Baidu and 3721 and US-based Google Inc to look for information. Baidu has barred 40,000 keywords. "It means about half a million porn pages can't be clicked open as in the past," Baidu head Bi Sheng told Xinhua. China began its crackdown on porn sites last month and closed 700 Web sites in the first 10 days of the campaign, Xinhua said. The country has 87 million Internet users, over 50 percent of whom are under 24 and approximately 18 percent are minors, Xinhua said.

■ Malaysia

Man dies after sly romp

A Malaysian man died after having his penis nearly hacked off by his neighbor when he was caught having sex with the suspect's wife, news reports said yesterday. The 39-year old man and 34-year-old woman were allegedly in the midst of an act of passion at a deserted housing estate late Saturday when the woman's enraged husband suddenly appeared, the official Bernama news agency reported. The suspect allegedly slashed at his neighbor's penis until it was nearly severed. The woman attempted to bring her lover to a clinic, but was involved in a minor car accident on the way. The victim died from blood loss.

■ Australia

Kidnapped baby returned

An ambulance crew responding to an anonymous call yesterday found a 3-week-old baby girl who was snatched from her mother in a weekend attack at a Melbourne shopping mall, and two suspects in the kidnapping later turned themselves in. Paramedics found Montana Barbaro abandoned at a rundown house and she was reunited with her parents at a hospital, police spokeswoman Cathy Heycock said, one day after the mother, Anita Ciancio, 27, made a tearful public plea for the baby's return. Later yesterday, police said they detained a couple who turned themselves into a police station in Ballarat, a town outside the southern city of Melbourne where the baby was kidnapped.

■ Hong Kong

Officers raid bootleggers

Hong Kong customs officers have smashed an illegal Chinese liquor syndicate which bottled hooch in filthy conditions and even left cockroaches in some drinks, the government said yesterday. During a four-day operation, customs officers raided two factories illegally producing liquor, containing snake and herbal extracts, that retailed at 110 outlets. They seized a total over 10,000 bottles or about 6,000 liters of liquor, worth about HK$200,000 (US$25,600). Five Hong Kong men were arrested.

■ Japan

Talks with N Korea to begin

Japanese and North Korean diplomats will meet in Beijing this week for working-level talks aimed at resolving a dispute over the North's kidnapping of Japanese nationals decades ago and the North's nuclear programs, Japan's Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The two-day meetings, starting tomorrow, would be the first since Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi flew to Pyongyang on May 22 for a summit with North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il. The two sides, which have never had diplomatic relations, have said they eventually hope to establish ties.

■ France

Rugby star held for murder

France's former rugby captain was under arrest for murder on Sunday after allegedly shooting his wife at a party on Saturday night. About 60 fellow guests, who had gathered in Bourgoin-Jallieu, near Lyon, to celebrate the end of the rugby season, were reported to have witnessed Marc Cecillon shoot his wife Chantal three or four times, just before midnight. She died after being hit in the head and throat. "He had a row with friends, left the party and returned half an hour later with a pistol, and began to shoot," one guest told reporters.

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