Tue, Nov 16, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Hong KongWoman hacks man, kills self

An elderly Hong Kong woman suffering from poor health tried to kill her bedridden husband with a cleaver and then jumped to her death in the latest of a number of family tragedies in the territory. The woman, 67, had been taking care of her husband after he suffered a stroke but decided to end both their lives on Sunday after she herself fell ill, a police spokesman said. "She left behind a suicide note saying she was ill and did not want to live any more. She said she was killing her husband as she was afraid no one would take care of him after she dies," the police spokesman told reporters on Sunday.

■ Australia

Backyards bad for cancer

Australians are more at risk of contracting deadly skin cancer in their home backyards gardening, barbecuing or simply hanging out the washing than on the beach. A national skin cancer survey, "From beach burns to backyard scorchings," found Australians were twice as likely to get sunburnt in the backyard as on the beach, the Cancer Council of Australia said yesterday. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing more than 35,500 people each year. Skin cancer is the most common, with more than 85,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year. "Australians seem to be associating sun protection with the beach but not with their incidental outdoor activity," said Dr Andrew Penman, spokesman of the Cancer Council.

■ Australia

Midnight Oil man burned

Midnight Oil rock singer Peter Garrett got a fiery reception in Canberra yesterday as he prepared for his new role as opposition lawmaker, with a government minister accusing him of lying about his voting record. The 51-year-old musician and environmental activist was a star recruit of the center-left Labor Party opposition when he agreed to run in a Sydney electorate for the Oct. 9 elections. But his candidacy was marred by accusations in the media that he had not been enrolled to vote -- an offense in Australia where voting is compulsory. The maximum fine faced by the wealthy rock star for failure to enroll is A$50 (US$38). However, now that he has enrolled electoral authorities will not impose a fine.

■ Malaysia

Anwar visits prime minister

Malaysian rebel politician Anwar Ibrahim met Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at an Eid al-Fitr reception yesterday, which analysts say may presage future cooperation between Anwar and the government. The former deputy premier, once tipped to be Malaysia's next leader before an acrimonious fall-out with former leader Mahathir Mohamad, visited Abdullah at the latter's Eid reception in northern Penang state, an aide to the prime minister said. "Anwar Ibrahim attended the PM's open house. They spoke for 30 minutes," the aide said.

■ Australia

Rogue undertakers get flak

Rogue Australian funeral companies transport bodies in open-back trucks and station wagons, stack bodies on top of each other, and store them unrefrigerated in homes and warehouses, an inquiry into the industry has found. The Australian Funeral Directors Association has warned that "backyard" [unprofessional] operators have crept into the industry, leading to a stream of consumer complaints, the Age newspaper in Mel-bourne, the state capital, reported yesterday.

■ United KingdomHouse sold with corpse

A British couple got more than they bargained for after the discovery of a badly decomposed body in an upstairs bedroom of the house they had just bought, the Daily Telegraph said on Monday. The newspaper said the skeletal remains may have been in the US$180,300 derelict house in Birming-ham, central England, for at least two years and had escaped detection despite complaints from neighbors about a bad smell. The dead man, who has not been identified, is thought to have been sleeping rough.

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