Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China

Miner deaths reach 210

Another corpse was found yesterday in a coal mine in northeastern China, taking the death toll from the country's worst mining disaster in recent history to 210, state media said. Five miners are still missing after a gas explosion at the state-owned Sujiawan colliery in Fuxin city, Liaoning Province on Monday. At least 29 workers were injured in the blast. Mining accidents and fatalities are an almost daily occurrence in China but their severity is getting worse.

■ Japan

Quake jars Tokyo

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake centered north of Tokyo shook the city early yesterday, jarring buildings, injuring at least 28 people, and temporarily disrupting train service. The 4:46am quake was centered in southern Ibaraki prefecture. The epicenter was 45km below the surface. At least 28 people were injured, including three seriously, in Ibaraki and surrounding prefectures and were treated at hospitals. There was little damage because the quake's epicenter was far enough underground that much of the shock was absorbed, and because buildings in Japan are designed to withstand the shaking. Japan, which rests atop several tectonic plates, is among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

■ Cambodia

Commander found guilty

The nation's highest court affirmed yesterday the conviction of a former Khmer Rouge field commander found guilty of murdering three young Western travelers in 1994. Chhouk Rin, whose conviction and life sentence for killing the tourists from Australia, Britain and France was upheld by the Appeals Court in November 2003, had appealed the case to the Supreme Court. Chhouk Rin, 51, has insisted he was not involved in the killings of Australian David Wilson, Frenchman Jean-Michel Braquet and Briton Mark Slater after they were seized by Khmer Rouge guerrillas in a July 1994 attack on a train. Chhouk Rin's lawyer told the court that Chhouk Rin was innocent and shouldn't be prosecuted under Cambodia's criminal law since the government gave him amnesty when he defected from the Khmer Rouge.

■ Australia

Mining permission sought

French nuclear power giant Areva said yesterday it wants to mine uranium in Australia's world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, sparking environmentalists' outrage. A spokesman for Cogema Australia -- wholly owned by Areva -- said it would revive efforts to mine a deposit in Kakadu over which it holds rights once a five-year ban imposed by the land's traditional Aboriginal owners ends in April. The Northern Territory Environment Center condemned the move, saying the proposed uranium mine was not only in an environmentally-sensitive world heritage-listed park but was also close to the Nourlangie rock, an Aboriginal art site that attracts many visitors.

■ Japan

Coffee may prevent cancer

A study of more than 90,000 Japanese found that people who drank coffee daily or nearly every day had half the risk of liver cancer as those who never drank coffee. A research team of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo found that the protective effect occurred in people who drank one to two cups of coffee a day and increased at three to four cups. A separate study reported in the same journal reported a 52 percent decline in rectal cancer among people who regularly drank two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee.

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