Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Hope fades for miners

Rescue teams resigned themselves yesterday to pulling only corpses from a mine where 103 workers remained trapped after a gas blast, as Chinese media demanded investment to mechanize the industry and improve safety. So far 63 bodies have been hauled from Chenjiashan mine in Tongchuan city, Shaanxi Province following a gas explosion Sunday, Xinhua news agency said, citing Shaanxi provincial mining industry administration director Huo Shichang. Another 103 miners were trapped underground and presumed dead after one of the worst mining disasters in China for more than a decade. "The possibility of survival is virtually non-existent but the rescue program is still going. We will not give up hope," said a Shaanxi coal mine safety bureau official surnamed Chen.

■ Vietnam

Lover dies in grenade blast

A man in southern Vietnam killed himself and seriously injured five others when a grenade he was carrying exploded, local police said yesterday. Luong Pho Xam, 30, had an affair with his neighbor's wife, and was caught by Luong Phong Bi, the cuckolded husband, last week, said a police officer from Nghe An Province where the accident occurred. Xam was ashamed at being caught and worried that the neighbor's family would publicize the affair. Seeking to prevent this, he went to their house on Thursday to threaten them with a grenade, said the police officer, who declined to be named. As he was holding the grenade and threatening the family, it exploded, the police officer said.

■ China

Gasoline scooters banned

Shanghai will ban the use of gasoline powered scooters by the end of next year as part of a city-wide campaign to clean up its polluted environment, state press reported yesterday. "Some 190,000 gasoline scooters have already been eliminated from the city since the campaign started three years ago, and the 160,000 that are left will disappear next year," said Xu Zuxin, director of the Shanghai Environment-al Protection Bureau. Resi-dents must turn the old ones in will only be allowed to buy those that use liquified petroleum gas (LPG), a butane and propane mixture that has similar burning properties to natural gas, the China Daily said.

■ Thailand

Pair weds in ape ceremony

In a dense southern jungle, the male of the species called out for his mate, who gave a high-pitched response and eagerly slid down from an 8m tree into a loving embrace. And then Sam Lake presented Noga Russin with a wedding ring. The couple had met while working with gibbons on Phuket island, fell in love, and then decided to ape the simians in their own mating ritual. Lake, a 26-year-old Briton, and Russin, 28, from Israel, said they were impressed by the monoga-mous love-lives led by gibbons and vowed to follow that example.

■ Australia

Call blacklisting offered

A phone company is offering customers the chance to blacklist numbers before heading out for a night on the town so they can reduce the risk of making any embarrass-ing, incoherent late-night calls. A survey of 409 people by Virgin Mobile, a joint venture of The Virgin Group and Optus, found 95 percent made drunk calls. Of those calls, 30 percent were to ex-partners, 19 percent to current partners, and 36 percent to other people, including their bosses.

■ Germany

Nude Snow White fired

A German singer who plays Snow White has lost her job at Dresden's Christmas fair after posing for nude photos in a bathtub, Bild newspaper said on Monday. Fair organizers fired Samira, 22, after photos appeared in Bild and other publications showing her lying naked in a bathtub filled with soap suds and rose petals. Samira, whose surname was not given, has played Snow White for five years. Dresden's mayor and others who miss her performance are asking that she be reinstated.

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