Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Vietnam

Bomber gets 21 years

A court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced a Chinese man to 21 years in jail for attempting to kill his Vietnamese fiancee using a homemade bomb, state-controlled media reported Friday. Xu Han Liang, 43, was convicted of ``murder, property extortion and destruction and illegal use of explosives'' at Thursday's one-day trial, the Thanh Nien newspaper said. Those accused of attempted murder are charged with murder in Vietnam. According to the report, Xu blew up 200 grams of explosives on his fiancee's doorstep in June 2002 following a dispute about money. No one was hurt in the incident, but part of the house was destroyed, it said.

■ South Korea

Security tightened after tape

South Korea boosted security around air and sea ports and its diplomatic missions overseas yesterday, after an audiotape attributed to al-Qaeda urged Muslim youths to attack the US and its allies, including South Korea. South Korea, which has 2,800 troops in Iraq, meanwhile convened its National Security Council to assess the threats. "We've ordered all our diplomatic missions overseas to strengthen security," Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon was quoted as saying by national news agency Yonhap following yesterday's meeting.

■ Singapore

Low marks for bosses

Employees in Singapore think less of their bosses than workers in other ASEAN countries do, with those in the Philippines tops in rating their employers favorably, a study showed on Friday. While 62 per cent of employees in Singapore think highly of their employers, this is below the 67 per cent norm for global high-performance companies tracked by Chicago-based International Survey Research (ISR) and the lowest level in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Elsewhere in the region, positive leadership ratings stood at 68 per cent in Indonesia, managing a third-place tie with India, followed by Malaysia with 67 per cent and 63 per cent in Thailand, according to the list published in The Business Times.

■ Japan

Storm's death toll rises to 22

The death toll from a tropical storm that cut a path of destruction across Japan rose to 22 on Friday after search teams found three more victims, including a 70-year-old farmer, police said. Tropical storm Meari caused floods, triggered deadly landslides and forced about 10,000 people to flee their homes. Five people were missing and at least 80 others had been injured. By late Thursday, the tempest -- downgraded from typhoon status -- had moved east out to the Pacific Ocean, the Meteorological Agency said. Three more people were found dead on Friday, adding to the 19 deaths confirmed the day before.

■ Yemen

Judge headed to prison

A Yemeni state security court yesterday sentenced a judge to 10 years in jail after convicting him of supporting a rebellion in the north of the country. Muhammad Ali Luqman, who heads a primary court in the western Haraz district, was found guilty of nine charges ranging from supporting an armed rebellion to foment-ing sectarian strife and instigating against the legitimate authority. Authorities said Luqman supported the slain rebel cleric Hussein Badruddin al-Houthi who led his armed followers to battle govern-ment forces in the northern province of Saada for nearly three months.

■ Netherlands

EU refugee proposal fails

France, Sweden and Belgium shot down a German proposal to set up European Union refugee processing centers in North Africa. EU ministers on Friday debated a proposal by German Interior Minister Otto Schily to address concerns over how the 25-nation bloc can stop the flow of illegal migrants crossing to Europe. Hundreds of people have died trying to make the sea crossing from Africa. Schily urged the EU to take action to deal with what EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino called a ``humanitarian crisis.'' About 800 refugees landed on a small island south of Sicily on Thursday and Friday.

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