Wed, May 04, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Australia
Fish flattens fisherman

In a fishy tale with a different ending, an angler yesterday described how a 1.5m mackerel jumped into his boat, injured him -- and then got away. Glen Hopper said he suffered bruised ribs and cuts to his face and arms when the mackerel flattened him. "I remember it coming out the water and the next thing I knew I'm in the back of the boat winded, trying to get my breath." Hopper, 43, estimated that the mackerel weighed about 30kg. It shot into his boat, hitting him in the chin and chest, before spearing back into the water.

■ Hong Kong

Chinese police discovered

A Chinese man facing deportation from Hong Kong claims police from China pursued him to the territory and tried to arrest him, the Apple Daily reported yesterday. Though Chinese police have no jurisdiction over Hong Kong, there have been repeated claims that they are operating here. Police arrested seven people, including two Chinese police officers last June after the group was seen acting suspiciously in an upscale neighborhood.

■ New Zealand

Iraqi diplomat told to leave

The government said yesterday it will clamp down on undesirable immigrants after admitting that an ex-diplomat in former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's regime had entered the country and applied for residency. "We will act to defend our borders" against immigration cheats, Prime Minister Helen Clark said after the unnamed man and his wife were ordered to leave the country. She said New Zealand had to be vigilant for migrants "who are determined to cheat" to get into the country.

■ South Korea

Vice minister resigns

Vice Construction Minister Kim Se-ho offered his resignation yesterday to take responsibility for the scandal over a failed oil project in Russia that is under investigation by prosecutors. President Roh Moo-hyun was expected to accept Kim's resignation. Kim was in charge of the Korea Railroad agency when it agreed to invest in a botched oil development project in Sakhalin Island. The agency lost at least US$6 million when Moscow later denied approval for the project.

■ Hong Kong

Two jailed for rock theft

Two men were jailed yesterday for stealing rocks that were to be used to help build an artificial lake at Hong Kong's Disneyland theme park. Tung Chung village chief Law Kam-fai, 63, was sent to prison for two years for masterminding the theft of about 800 tonnes of boulders and rocks from a river on Lantau island. Wong Yat-wah, 52, whose firm excavated the rocks, was jailed for 21 months.

■ Cambodia

No guarantees for politician

Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that he could not guarantee the freedom of opposition leader Sam Rainsy if he returned home, apparently backpedalling on an assurance he made last week. Sam Rainsy fled the country in early February after he and two of his deputies were stripped of their parliamentary immunity, opening the way for him to be arrested on defamation charges. "If you want to come back, you can come back by yourself. No one will hurt you [but] I cannot guarantee your safety," Hun Sen said. He said Sam Rainsy had "better wait until his next life" if he was hoping for a letter of guarantee that he would remain free.

■ Latvia
Killer blames upbringing

A man being tried on charges of murdering 30 elderly women said on Monday his upbringing was partly to blame for the four-year killing spree. Kaspars Petrovs, 27, is on trial in Riga Regional Court for robbing and strangling the women between 2000 and 2003. He claims he strangled them only so they would lose consciousness. "All my life I have felt that I am different," Petrovs told the court. "I missed attention and tried to compensate for it with my pranks and mischief. I sought consolation in books and created my own world of fantasy, until I could no longer discern fantasy from reality," he said.

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