Tue, Dec 21, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Malaysia

Wedding called off via SMS

A jilted bride was left waiting on her wedding dais after her groom called off the engagement via a mobile phone text message, a report said yesterday. But Norlida Abdul Rahman, 23, put on a brave face and her wedding dress on Friday night and carried on with the wedding feast for 1,000 guests at her family home although her fiance, a state football player whose identity was not revealed, did not turn up. "Everything was going well until last Monday when he began behaving differently and showed doubts about the marriage," Norlida was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times. Early on Friday, she received his text message, cancelling the wedding and asking her to forgive him. "We were not meant to be together," he had written.

■ China

Jury trials to be used

China will start holding jury trials next year as part of court reforms that also will increase the number of judges. Jurors are to be elected to five-year terms and must have at least two years of university education, Xinhua reports said. It wasn't clear how the use of juries would affect the two biggest public complaints about Chinese courts -- corruption by court officials and interference by Communist Party officials in rulings. Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court, promised that courts would take tougher action on the politically sensitive issues of corruption and intellectual property theft, as well as smuggling and dereliction of duty, the reports said.

■ Japan

Cancer victim slashes two

A man distraught over his losing battle with cancer went on a stabbing spree at a Tokyo hospital yesterday, fatally slashing two fellow patients and wounding a nurse with a kitchen knife, police said. Mitsuru Asami, 59, was arrested by police at Shirahigebashi Hospital yesterday morning, accusing his two victims of watching him too closely, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity. An 86-year-old man was stabbed in the chest and abdomen, and a 75-year-old man was stabbed in the throat and stomach, the spokesman said. A 41-year-old female nurse was stabbed in the back and was in critical condition, he said.

■ China

14 die in mine explosion

Fourteen workers died in a gas explosion at a coal mine in southwest China, workplace safety officials said yesterday. The blast Sunday in Shilin town, Sichuan Province, occurred when 17 miners were underground, the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety said on its Web site. Rescuers hauled eight bodies from the shaft and brought the other nine workers to the surface only for six to die later in hospital from their injuries. The remaining three were receiving treatment. The coal mine, which has an annual capacity of 27,215 tonnes, belongs to the Xingwen County Yinfang Mining Co.

■ Cambodia

US to give funds for Angkor

The US government will give a US$550,000 grant to help protect one of the temples in Cambodia's renowned Angkor temple complex, officials said. The grant will be given to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to conduct research and to create a plan to manage tourism at the 9th-century Phnom Bakheng temple, the US State Department and the WMF said in a statement received yesterday. It would be the first time the US government has directly supported conservation work at the Angkor temples.

■ Turkey

Church leaders acquitted

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