Mon, May 30, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Australia
Anger spreads over trial

One of the country's largest charities, the Salvation Army, said that public anger over convicted drug runner Schapelle Corby's jailing in Bali was hampering its main annual door-to-door fundraising drive, the Red Shield Appeal that was held yesterday. Salvation Army spokesman Pat Daley said that "Collectors right around the nation have been reporting that people do not want their money going to Indonesia," although Red Shield Appeal has always been used to fund domestic charity projects, not overseas aid. Some charities such as World Vision have also reported calls from people asking for their tsunami donations to be returned in the wake of the Corby case. Many Australians have also threatened to stop vacationing on the resort island of Bali.

■ Afghanistan

Taxes to be phased in

Afghans and foreigners working in the country are soon going to have to start paying tax on their incomes. The wage tax is being imposed on all businesses with two or more employees from Sept. 23. The new tax will be set at a rate of 10 percent on incomes over 12,500 afghanis (US$250) a month. Incomes over 100,000 afghanis (US$2,000) a month will be taxed 20 percent. Afghanistan gets half of its more than US$600 million annual budget from donor nations and they are keen to see the government start developing sustainable revenue streams. The average basic salary of a government employee is 1,250 afghanis (US$25) a month so the new tax is largely aimed at the more than 2,000 foreigners and Afghans working for companies and aid groups.

■ China

Family drowns in a well

A man in southern China fell into a well and died, and five of his relatives who jumped in to save him also perished. Authorities in a village in Guangdong province recovered the six bodies from the well. The man who fell in first had slipped Friday when laying a water pump. One male relative jumped in to save him and when he wasn't successful, the others jumped in one after the other to help out; all drowned. The six were all of the males in the family, surnamed Li, who had dug the well at the beginning of the year.

■ Sri Lanka

Aid to be shared with rebels

President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday vowed to share foreign aid with Tamil rebels a day after former US president Bill Clinton urged local politicians to support the controversial move. Kumaratunga is facing opposition to any deal with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from her own coalition partner, the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, which has threatened to quit.

■ Singapore

Horny men duped by AIDS ad

Ads featuring a voluptuous brunette inviting telephone calls have triggered nearly 400,000 responses from intrigued men apparently unaware they are responding to the latest tactic by an AIDS awareness group. "You like my voice?" the woman "Nikki" asks her hotline callers. "Do you think it's sexy?" Nikki was created for the latest Action For AIDS (AFA) campaign in Singapore, with ads in public places depicting the sensuous woman in skimpy attire. She tempts people with slogans such as, "Want to know me?" and "You'll call again and again." Callers are greeted in English or Mandarin, with a sultry Nikki saying she would like to meet the man but wants to know if he would wear a condom.

■ United Kingdom
Big Ben stands still

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