Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ NepalBombing injures 38 people

A bomb tore through a government office in the Nepali capital yesterday, wounding at least 38 people in an attack police suspect was carried out by Maoist rebels. Three men walked into the office of the Employees Provident Fund and left a bomb on the first floor, a police officer said. It exploded moments after they left and most of those wounded were laborers working in the high-rise building. "The mode of operation is the same as used by the Maoists," the officer said. But there was no comment from the guerrillas who are fighting to topple the constitutional monarchy.

■ Vietnam

Drug traffickers sentenced

Two Canadians were given a total of 31 years in prison for selling ecstasy in southern Vietnam, a court official said yesterday. Randy James Sachs, 27, and Nguyen Van Hai, a Canadian of Vietnam-ese origin, were convicted to 15 and 16 years respectively, after being caught with around 1,000 ecstasy tablets in May in Ho Chi Minh City, said Ly Ngoc Hai yesterday. The two men told police they intended to sell the drugs in night spots in the city formerly known as Saigon, the court official said. The sentences were handed down after a one-day trial in the southern economic hub on Monday. Vietnam has some of the harshest anti-narcotics laws in the region.

■ Australia

Oil slick threatening wildlife

An oil slick up to 12km long is polluting a World Heritage-listed stretch of the west Australian coast that includes an important nesting site for threatened loggerhead turtles, a state government said yesterday. The slick in the Shark Bay area of Western Australia state's north coast includes a turtle habitat on Dirk Hartog Island. It was reported to the state government on Monday, state Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said. Authorities have not yet determined the source, she said. It was not immediately clear whether any wildlife had been affected by the slick. "The members of our environment protection unit will be assessing the nature and extent of the spill to determine what action needs to be taken," MacTiernan said in a statement.

■ China

Traffic deaths blamed on fog

Heavy fog shrouding Shanghai was blamed for a pair of traffic accidents that killed 12 and injured 32, newspapers and the city government said yesterday. Ten people died early Monday when a speeding van smashed head-on into a truck carrying elderly women workers heading to a highway landscaping project, the reports said. The truck overturned, throwing the women from the open cargo bed where they were sitting. Newspaper pictures showed the truck's front end and wheels twisted, and farm tools, burlap sacks and pools of blood strewn across the road. The van's driver and 14 passengers were injured.

■ Australia

Ban on sheep-cutting urged

Farmers said yesterday they are investigating alternatives to slicing flesh from live sheep to prevent them from becoming infested with flies, after animal advocates urged a boycott of Australian wool to protest the "grossly inhumane" practice. Sheep ranchers have for weeks been under attack from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, for carrying out "mulesing" on sheep. The process -- performed without anesthetic -- involves cutting away wool and skin from the animal's hindquarters to prevent them from becoming infested with blowflies.

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