Sun, Sep 26, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Hong KongWoman files SARS suit

A woman has filed Hong Kong's first SARS discrimination lawsuit alleging she was dismissed from her job because her mother contracted the disease, an equal rights official said yesterday. Kwok Yeuk-ching began proceedings Friday to seek damages from her former employer, Hip Wall Industries Ltd., and Mac Thuong Can, a director and shareholder of the company, a court document showed. The Equal Opportunities Commission filed the suit on Kwok's behalf, commission spokesman Sam Ho said. It is the first case filed in a Hong Kong court alleging discrimination against severe acute respiratory syndrome patients or their relatives, Ho said.

■ Hong Kong

Long Hair to take own oath

Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄) has insisted on taking his own version of the oath on being sworn into the legislature next month despite officials warning of possible disqualification, a newspaper reported yesterday. Veteran protester Leung -- also known as "Long Hair" -- said that Legislative Council officials warned him in a meeting on Friday that anyone who failed to take a proper oath could not attend meetings, the South China Morning Post reported. Leung said that he will swear allegiance to the people of Hong Kong and China, to fight for democracy and justice and to defend human rights and freedom.

■ India

Every vote matters

Indian election workers said yesterday they plan to clock a full day running a polling booth next month in a remote village near Tibet -- where the total electorate is one. Manjulikh Chakma, a 26-year-old tribal woman, is the only registered voter in Miao, a village of 150 families in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which holds state elections Oct. 7. But poll authorities said they were required by law to fully staff the poll station, meaning a team of 14 poll workers and guards will walk six hours through jungle terrain to reach Chakma -- even if she decides not to vote.

■ New Zealand

Food poisonings a mystery

New Zealand's food-poisoning rate is the highest in the developed world -- and no one knows why, the New Zealand Herald reported yesterday. The number of cases of campylobacter alone leapt by 18 per cent last year to a record 14,786 cases. Campylobacter is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria and leads to diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever. Although last year's figures for other countries are not yet available, New Zealand's rate of 368 cases for every 100,000 people was almost five times Australia's rate in 2002 and almost 10 times the rate in Canada.

■ Malaysia

Record for `Scorpion Queen'

A Malaysian woman set a new world record yesterday after living 36 days in an enclosed cage with 6,000 live scorpions. Nur Malena Hassan, nicknamed "Scorpion Queen," had already broken the world record on Tuesday after remaining inside the glass cage for 32 days, but she wanted to stay on for another three days to put the record beyond reach. The 27-year-old was greeted by cheers when she stepped out of the cage yesterday. Nur Malena moved into the 4m-by-3m glass box on Aug. 21 in a shopping mall in Kuantan, about 250km east of Kuala Lumpur. She spent her days watching DVDs and reading, and told reporters that her toughest times were at night when the venomous animals became active.

■ AustriaIAEA assails N Korea

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