Mon, May 02, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ South Korea
Ruling party loses elections

President Roh Moo-hyun's ruling Uri Party suffered a crushing defeat in by-elections, failing to win a single parliamentary seat yesterday. South Korea's main opposition Grand National Party, or GNP, swept five out of six parliamentary seats up for grabs in Saturday's polls, and increased its seats to 125 in the 299-member National Assembly. An independent lawmaker won the final seat. The ruling Uri Party, which currently holds 146 seats, had hoped to restore its majority in the parliament. The party lost its parliamentary majority earlier this year after five of its lawmakers lost their seats for election law violations.

■ Australia

Australian citizen deported

Red-faced officials yesterday said they were searching for a woman accidentally deported as an illegal immigrant four years ago, even though she was a naturalized citizen. Acting Immigration Minister Peter McGauran said the case was "particularly disturbing" and departmental officers were trying to find the woman after being contacted by concerned members of her family. "The individual is still overseas and we're attempting to locate the individual and we're liaising with the family," he said. He refused to give details about the woman or identify the country where she was deported. Critics said the case showed overzealous bureaucrats had too much power in determining immigration cases.

■ United States

Bollywood lauds Hasselhoff

India's version of the Oscars were handed out at the glittering Bollywood movie award ceremony in Atlantic City, where a veteran director swept the top honors and US actor David Hasselhoff was named international star of the year, because his successful television series are among the most popular on Indian television. An audience of composed largely of Americans of Indian origin cheered veteran Yash Chopra, who was named best director for his film Veer-Zaara, which also picked up the award for best film and best actor for its star Shah Rukh Kahn. Rani Mukherjee won the best actress award for her role in Hum Tum.

■ Hong Kong

Critics slam `fake' vote

An election yesterday to choose delegates who will select Hong Kong's next chief executive was condemned as pointless amid widespread belief Beijing has already decided who will win the leadership race. A tiny turnout of the 47,000 eligible voters -- just five percent by 2pm, six and a half hours after polls opened -- also added fuel to critics who slammed the exercise as a "fake" poll. At stake are 33 vacant seats on the 800-member election committee, which will gather on July 10 to select the chief executive of the territory.

■ Singapore

Zoo forced to rethink safety

A moat now separates spectators from an African wild cat performing at the Singapore Zoo's nightly shows after the animal scratched a tourist, a crocodile bit its keeper and a jaguar escaped. The zoo is considering changing the stage design of its "Creatures Of The Night" show amid calls to ban such performances. An audience was waiting for a serval (wildcat) to jump up and grab some meat on a stick when the animal strayed and scratched the leg of a Chinese woman with her child instead. The day before, a female jaguar escaped and wandered around for 30 minutes before it was sedated and returned to its enclosure, causing hundreds of zoo visitors to be evacuated. In a third incident, a gavial (crocodile) bit a keeper cleaning the den.

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