Sat, Jan 01, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ South Korea

Military ships in showdown

A North Korean patrol boat threatened yesterday to fire warning shots after accusing a South Korean ship of violating the countries' western sea border, an official said. The South's sailors responded that they were operating normally in their waters, and warned they would "strictly respond" if the North side fired any warning shots, a military official said on condition of anonymity. North Korea doesn't recognize the western sea border demarcated by the UN at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The boats remained 20km apart for about an hour during the incident Friday morning until the Northern boat retreated northward, Yonhap news agency reported.

■ China

More miners feared dead

Rescuers in southern China searched for a third day yesterday for 10 miners believed trapped in an illegal mine flooded with river water, the government said. The flood occurred Wednesday around 11am at a coal mine near the city of Laibin in China's Guangxi region, Xinhua News Agency reported. The report said nine men and one woman were missing. The owner of the mine allegedly fled and was being sought by police. Meanwhile, an investigation into a separate disaster on Dec. 21 at a mine in China's Shanxi province that killed 13 people showed that a lit cigarette was to blame, Xinhua said.

■ Vietnam

Child-using dealer jailed

A woman has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being caught using her 12-year-old-son to deliver heroin, a court official said yesterday. Thirty-five-year-old Le Kim Loan was arrested in March in a hair dressing salon in Hanoi after police found her son carrying 76 grams of heroin, said the court official, who asked not to be named. "She drove her son to somewhere near her clients, dropped him off and had him bring the heroin to the customer," the official said. Loan was given the sentence after a one-day trial in the capital, said the official from the Peoples Court. "The boy did not know that he was carrying heroin because his mother had warned him not to open the box," the court official said.

■ Singapore

Military bases opened to aid

The government opened up the Southeast Asian city-state's naval and air forces bases yesterday so that donors could drop off supplies before they were shipped on for distribution in Indonesia. Defense Minister Teo Chee-hean said airports in the Sumatran towns of Medan and Banda Aceh were already overstretched because of the massive amount of aid and personnel arriving to support the global quake relief effort. About 470 personnel set sail from the base aboard RSN Endurance bound for Aceh, Sumatra and the region that was closest to the Sunday quake.

■ United Kingdom

Prozac-suicide link lost

A British medical journal said yesterday that it gave US regulators confidential drug company documents suggesting a link between the popular anti-depressant Prozac and a heightened risk of suicide attempts and violence in 1988. The British Medical Journal reported that Prozac's manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Co, was aware in the 1980s that the drug could have troubling side-effects. The journal said the missing documents had formed part of a 1994 lawsuit against Eli Lilly on behalf of victims of a workplace shooting. One of the 1988 records reported that fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac, had caused "behavioral disturbances" in clinical trials. The journal said it turned the documents over to the US Food and Drug Administration, which had agreed to review them.

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