Mon, Aug 23, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Malaysia

No human bird flu cases

Three Malaysians who were hospitalized with possible bird flu symptoms were cleared of the disease yesterday, an official said. The government announced Thursday that the lethal H5N1 strain of avian influenza had been discovered in chickens in a village near the Thai border where eight people have already died from bird flu this year. Officers culled all 103 chickens reared as pets and livestock in the village and are monitoring the health of villagers and those living in surrounding areas. The Malaysian government has assured the public that chicken sold in the market was safe for consumption.

■ Singapore

Nigerians swindle locals

Dozens of Singaporeans have been duped by a Nigerian syndicate which told them they had won a six-figure sum in the El Gordo lottery, the Sunday Straits Times reported. Spanish police are investigating the case and more than 100 illegal immigrants, mostly Nigerians, have been arrested for running the scams, the report said. Some victims have lost as much as S$70,000 each to the syndicate which sends out letters with instructions to transfer money into a Spanish account for tax and back charges in order to claim the so-called prize, the report said.

■ China

Gay revenge killer executed

China has executed a 25-year-old university dropout for killing six men, four of whom had raped him after getting him drunk, the Beijing Youth Daily said yesterday. Li Yijiang cut off the penises of his victims, aged between 20 and 30, after killing them, but the newspaper did not say how he murdered them. He was put to death in Beijing on Friday for the murders in 2002 and 2003. Four of his victims, whom he had met through the Violet Boy Web site, got him drunk and raped him, the daily said. Li later lured them out one by one and got his revenge. The report did not say why Li had killed the other two men. Li reportedly came from a violent home, where his father often beat up his mentally ill mother.

■ Thailand

Gambler immolates woman

A man has confessed to drugging and then burning his girlfriend in order to sell her belongings to pay a gambling debt, The Nation newspaper said yesterday. Chaicharoen Tang, 33, admitted to police that he had given his girlfriend Nonnapa Insee, 31, a drug cocktail on August 18, then put her body in a petrol-soaked blanket and set her and her condominium on fire, police said. An autopsy revealed that Insee died from third-degree burns and smoke inhalation. Police have charged Tang with murder, arson and theft.

■ Malaysia

Scorpion cage stunt starts

A woman is trying to reclaim the world record for the longest stay in a room full of scorpions, news reports said yesterday. Nur Malena Hassan, 27, moved Saturday into a locked glass box where she plans to live for 36 days with more than 6,000 of the poisonous arachnids in a shopping mall, Mingguan Malaysia newspaper reported. Scores of people watched as she stood fearlessly in a red sweater and jeans with scorpions crawling on her head, chest and legs in Kuantan, 350 km east of Kuala Lumpur. She set a world record in 2001 by living for 30 days with 2,700 scorpions. She was stung seven times, fell unconscious and almost gave up the attempt.

■ Zimbabwe

Extradition request rejected

President Robert Mugabe has rejected an extradition request for 70 alleged mercenaries accused of plotting a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea, a state newspaper reported. Mugabe and home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi met with two envoys sent by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of the oil-rich West African nation, The Herald reported Saturday. "They wanted the extradition of the suspected mercenaries to Equatorial Guinea, where we said it is not possible, since it will be against international laws," Mohadi was quoted as saying after talks at Mugabe's official residence.

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