Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Hong Kong

Worms found in public pools

A spate of worm sightings

in public swimming pools

has forced several closures

and police said Thursday

they have been called to investigate the case that's

left Hong Kong feeling a

bit squeamish. The worms, actually mosquito larvae, don't pose a health threat

but they have generated

intense local media coverage including TV footage showing them wiggling in the water. Worms have been found in three pools that have now been closed for cleaning, and police are trying to determine whether a crime has been committed. The worm sightings emerged as pool lifeguards continue a wage dispute with the government, but the lifeguards denied involvement.

■ China

SARS hero denied travel

A former military doctor who blew the whistle on China's SARS coverup has been prevented from traveling

to the Philippines to receive Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, officials said yesterday. Chinese authorities refused

to grant 72-year-old Jiang Yanyong (蔣彥永) travel papers and he will be represented at the ceremony on Tuesday by his brother, a spokeswoman for the Ramon Magsaysay international award foundation said. The award, considered Asia's most prestigious prize, was named after the Philippines' most popular president, who died in a plane crash in 1957.

■ China

Workers given back pay

The government is making

a push to pay millions of workers from the countryside billions of dollars in unpaid wages for construction work, plugging a hole that has fueled discontent and social unrest. The total default sum owed to migrant workers

in construction was more

than 48 billion yuan (US$5.8 billion) at the end of last year, more than one-third of which was for last year alone, Vice Minister of Construction Huang Wei (黃衛) told a news conference. Almost all the money owed to farm workers last year was paid off by June 30 and more than 87 percent of the 32.3 billion yuan owed for work before last year had been paid, Huang said.

■ Cambodia

Shoppers lynch robber

Hundreds of infuriated shoppers outside a popular mall in the capital Phnom Penh beat an armed robber

to death after he tried to steal

a motorcycle, police said yesterday. Two teenagers were about to leave the parking lot outside the

center on Wednesday when

a gunman shot one of them

and tried to grab their bike, district police chief Phorn Pheng said. "It was a people's court. The people saw these young men being robbed

and came to help, beating the robber to death. There were hundreds of people," he said, adding that police would not pursue the leaders of the mob attack. The shot man was recovering, he said.

■ New Zealand

School bans pajamas

A high school has decided to limit the range of apparel its pupils can wear under their uniform kilts -- and pajama bottoms are out, local media reported yesterday. Principal of the South Island Waitaki Girls High School, Linda Cowan, decided the new

fad of girls wearing pajama bottoms rolled up and tucked into their knee-high stockings had become a nuisance and should be forbidden, the Otago Daily Times said. "I have no idea why they were doing it. It wasn't because they were too lazy to get dressed properly. Some

girls were talking about their sleeping pajamas and their school pajamas." She thought it could be "some sort of bizarre trend" going back to old-fashioned long bloomers.

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