Fri, Dec 24, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Thailand

Terrorist plans uncovered

Terrorists are plotting attacks next year at tourist resorts across Thailand, according to documents found in the house of a fugitive leader of the country's Islamic insurgency, a senior security official told reporters. The rebels also planned to turn three Muslim-dominated provinces in Thailand's south into a base for international terrorist groups, he said. The plans indicate the insurgents want to broaden a conflict in the south that has killed more than 570 people this year. The documents were seized earlier this year from the house of Masae Useng, a former Islamic school teacher who the government accuses of masterminding a separatist plan for Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces.

■ Australia

Salami smuggler intercepted

A Swiss student has been fined A$4,000 (US$3,057) for trying to smuggle a salami into Australia. Dylan Pascal Graves, a Swiss national studying English in Western Australia state, was caught with the salami hidden in his luggage at Perth International Airport last month after a routine search by customs officials. Australia has strict quarantine laws, and customs officials inspect all incoming flights for agricultural pests and food that could carry diseases. Graves twice told customs officials that he was not carrying any food, but an X-ray revealed 400g of salami concealed in his luggage. He was charged with making a misleading statement to an officer and knowingly importing prohibited food into the country.

■ Macau

Gambler jumps to his death

A gambler threw himself to his death inside a new Las Vegas-owned casino in Macau after losing more than US$400,000 at the tables, police said yesterday. The man jumped 20m to his death on Wednesday evening from an indoor, third-floor walkway inside the Sands casino, set up by Sheldon Adelson, who runs the Venetian casino in Los Angeles. Police said that witnesses saw him jump over a 1m high barrier, then walk along a ledge on the walkway. He jumped to his death as security guards raced toward him, a spokesman said.

■ China

`Harmful' Web sites closed

China has shut down 1,287 Web sites which spread "harmful information" on religious cults, superstition and pornography, a government Internet watchdog said yesterday. Among those closed were 1,129 pornographic sites and another 114 "which promoted gambling, superstitious activities and cult propa-ganda," said the official Reporting Center for Illegal and Harmful Information. The center said the crackdown was in response to public complaints made over its Web site in a campaign which started in June. "The reporting center will make it a priority to target illegal Web sites on gambling, fraud and superstition," it said. China often uses the word "superstition" to refer to religions.

■ China

Eight die in explosion

A family of seven and a guest were killed when a powerful explosion ripped through a private home in central China yesterday, state media reported. The blast occurred at 2am in the household of a farmer surnamed Li in Nanqiao township, Hunan Province, Xinhua reported. "Police are investigating at the moment. It's probably a criminal case, and not an accident," a township official said. The explosion was so powerful that a resident in a neighboring building was injured, according to Xinhua.

■ Israel

US presses Israel on drones

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