Fri, Dec 10, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Cambodia

Sex workers kidnapped

About 30 men and women, some armed with handguns, attacked a shelter in Phnom Penh and kidnapped more than 80 sex workers that authorities rescued earlier this week, The Cambodia Daily said yesterday. The attackers surrounded the shelter on Wednesday, assaulted its guards and forced the women -- half whom were underage -- into SUVs, said Somaly Mam, president of Afesip, a French group helping abused wo-men. Authorities rescued

the 83 women and girls on Tuesday from a brothel.

"The girls were very afraid," Somaly Mam told newspaper. "They told me the boss of the hotel has a lot of power, and that he will come to take them." She said two Interior Ministry policemen were on duty during the raid, but were too afraid to stop the attack.

■ Thailand

Bombs disrupt rail service

Train services in three southern provinces were temporarily halted yesterday following simultaneous bomb explosions on railway tracks in a region stalked by an escalating Muslim insur-gency, officials said. Chit-santi Dhanasobhon, head

of the State Railways of Thailand, said four bombs were planted on tracks in Yala, Pattani and Songkhla provinces, with three of them exploding simultan-eously and the fourth being destroyed by an anti-bomb squad. The bombs went off as cars, each carrying six police officers and three railways officials, were on daily routine trips to inspect the tracks and detect any explosives. No casualties were reported and only minor damage was caused by the blasts.

■ Australia

Rogue hairdressers nabbed

Police said yesterday they had smashed a gang of rogue employees who staged a string of firebombings aimed at a rival in Sydney's hair products supply market. Police arrested three men in a series of raids late Wed-nesday and charged them over 12 arson attacks on

warehouses over the past six years that have caused damage estimated at A$80 million (US$61.6 million). The alleged ringleader, the owner of a hair salon supply business who was arrested at a warehouse in suburban Sydney, was also charged with ordering an attack on a rival business operator. The police said the accused were part of a conspiracy to dominate Sydney's lucrative hair products market.

■ Malaysia

Pigsty was a brothel

Police busted a brothel in

an abandoned pigsty after housewives complained that their husbands spent a surprising amount of time there, officials said yester-day. The pigsty, with 20 cubicles, had been furnished with tables, fans, a bar serving alcohol, neon lights and a sound system, a Selangor state police official said. Police had placed the pigsty under surveillance before moving in on Wednes-day, arresting three prostitutes from China, a Malay-sian pimp and 30 clients, the official said. Other prosti-tutes managed to escape. Police released the clients after taking their statements.

■ Thailand

World Bank official dies

A South African World Bank official has been found dead in a five-star hotel in Bang-kok, sources said on yes-terday. A spokesman for the bank confirmed that a staff member had died at a Bang-kok hotel and that an investigation was continuing. Police at the forensic division said the body of Laura Walker arrived from the Shangri-La Hotel on Wednesday afternoon.

■ Italy

Company sells single shoes

It is the oddest offer ever made available in shoe shops: "Buy two, get a third for free." Yet, this is precisely what two Milan-based entrepreneurs have come up with as they seek to break the monopoly of pairs and revolutionize a fashion principle that has resisted bravely for several thousand years. Simone Cassola and Jack Ray, both in their late 30s, run "ADD's" -- oddly enough, the world's first single shoe manufacturer. Their motto is Scoppia la coppia, an Italian play on words loosely translated as "Split the pair." "We have two feet which are different from each other, so why should shoes be in pairs," Ray said.

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