Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Australia

Sliding door stumps robbers

Three hooded bandits in eastern Australia bungled a robbery when they apparently mistook a restaurant's sliding door for a swinging one, police said yesterday. About 20 diners at Gabby's seafood restaurant in the coastal town of Gerringong watched as the trio repeatedly tried to kick the glass door open Saturday night, but they failed to enter and later fled in a stolen car. Restaurant owner Greg Moore said the door was unlocked -- and clearly marked "slide." These might not have been your average criminals, police investigator Jamie Williams warned. "They're probably more dangerous because they're dumb," Williams said.

■ China

At least 57 miners die in fire

At least 57 miners were dead and three missing following a massive blaze at a complex of iron mines in northern China, the government reported yesterday. Rescuers managed to pull 46 miners to safety, the State Administration for Work Safety said in a report on its Web site. The bodies of 49 were recovered, while the location of eight others had been pinpointed, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The blaze broke out Saturday morning after an electronic cable caught fire inside a mine in Shahe, in northern China's Hebei Province, Xinhua said. The fire spread quickly to five connected mines, suffocating miners where they worked, while thick smoke slowed rescue efforts.

■ Japan

Six dead in latest suicides

Six people were found dead in two deserted cars over the weekend in Japan's latest group suicides, police said yesterday. A woman and two men in their 20s were found slumped over in a car parked outside an isolated forest in Fukuoka about 900km southwest of Tokyo, on Sunday. Several portable charcoal stoves were found on the floor of their car and the three were found to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, said prefectural police spokesman Katsutoshi Mizuochi. The car windows were sealed shut with vinyl tape from the inside, he said. Investigators also found suicide notes from the three.

■ Philippines

Major detained for sex abuse

An army major has been detained after being caught on film sexually abusing cadets at a training camp in the northern Philippines, officials said yesterday. The alleged abuses by Major Ferdinand Ramos was exposed when a victim complained to a Manila television station and handed over a videotape to prove his accusations. The footage, aired over the weekend, showed Ramos forcing a military trainee to perform oral sex on him. Other frames showed Ramos performing oral sex on other recruits and trainees being forced to engage in sexual acts.

■ India

100 Hindus detained

Police detained about 100 hardline Hindus as they tried to stop traffic in western India yesterday after calling a nation-wide strike to protest against the arrest of a revered priest over the murder of a temple official. Security was tightened after members of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal threw stones and smashed bus windows in the state of Maharashtra, to demand the release of Jayendra Saraswathi, head of one of India's most powerful Hindu monasteries. "Our religious leader is innocent. We will continue to protest until he is set free," said Vynakatesh Abdeo, a senior leader of the VHP.

■ United States

Hunters killed over stand

A dispute among deer hunters over a tree stand in northwestern Wisconsin erupted in a series of shootings that left five people dead and three others injured. The incident happened when two hunters were returning to their cabin on private land in Sawyer County and saw the suspect in one of their tree stands, County Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle said. A confrontation and shooting followed. Both men were wounded and one of them radioed back to the cabin. Other hunters responded and were shot. The suspect was "sniping" at the victims with a SKS assault-style rifle, Zeigle said. The dead included four males, including a teenage boy, and a woman.

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