■ EgyptIntact mummy found
A Japanese research team has found "a perfect mummy" in an unrobbed Egyptian tomb believed to be more than 3,500 years old, the team's leader said. The mummy was in a sealed wooden coffin unearthed in the archeological site of Dahshur North in northern Egypt, said Sakuji Yoshi-mura, who headed the team from Tokyo's Waseda Uni-versity. The mummified man was believed to be from a period 3,500-4,000 years ago, older than the era of Tutan-khamen, the pharaoh of ancient Egypt who ruled in 1336-1327 BC, Yoshimura said. The mummy, wearing a mask painted blue and red, was of high academic value as it was "a perfect mummy that has escaped robbery and other damage," he said, adding that the hieroglyphics showed the mummified man was an administrative officer.
Film Festival gains ground
The Bangkok International Film Festival has drawn welcome attention to Thai-land, shining a spotlight on its movie industry and attracting revenue to supplement its tourist sector. Alongside the festival, whose third edition wraps up tomorrow, runs a successful film market which was launched by organizers last year. The market, which opened on Monday and closed on Friday, was set in the five-star Shangri La hotel, where festival-goers were feted and filmmakers held press conferences, creating an ideal mixing-ground for the two events. "It is already a smash hit, we have more than tripled attendance over last year and have three times as many firms exhibiting," market director Christine Rush said.
Damaged tanker leaks oil
An oil tanker leaked thousands of tonnes of diesel oil into a river in Vietnam's rice basket Mekong Delta region but damage from the spill seemed limited after the remaining oil was trans-ferred to other ships, state media said yesterday. Oil spilled from the vessel, named as the Liberian-registered Kasco Monrovia, after it crashed into a pier at Catlai Port on the Dong Nai river in southern Vietnam on Friday, causing disruption to river traffic. The tanker was carrying 30,000 tonnes of diesel oil for state-owned oil importer Saigon Petrol. Officials said they had dispatched nine vessels to the area in an effort to contain the leak.
More dope, Ecstacy seized
Japanese customs officials seized record amounts of marijuana and Ecstasy last year amid rising illegal drug use and heightened crack-downs, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. Officials confiscated 889kg of marijuana last year, 16 percent more than the year before, the ministry said in a statement. International post was the favored method for smuggling marijuana, but inspectors also blocked an attempt to sneak in a 60kg stash hidden in a suitcase on a container vessel from Hong Kong. Ecstasy seizures reached a record high for the sixth straight year at 429,000 tablets, mostly from the Netherlands and France.
US send new envoy
US President George W. Bush on Friday named Thomas Schieffer, the current US ambassador to Australia, as the next envoy to Japan, the White House said. Schieffer, a Texan and close friend of Bush, will take over from current ambassador, Howard Baker, who is expected to retire. The 57-year-old Schieffer was appointed ambassador to Australia in August 2001, after Bush first won the presidency.
■ FranceDiet baguette to hit stores