Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Girl freed from prison home

Police have freed a 16-year-old Chinese girl whose mentally ill mother held her captive for 15 years in their apartment, a news report said yesterday. Police in the northeastern city of Harbin this week broke into the apartment of Jiang Wei and her 56-year-old mother, Jiang Binlan, after a neighbor found a letter from the daughter asking for help, the China Daily reported. Jiang Binlan suffered from severe schizophrenia and was afraid that her daughter might be taken from her following her divorce 15 years ago. The paper did not say how the two survived without leaving the apartment, but a photo on its front page showed Jiang Binlan using a basket on a rope to buy goods from vendors on the street below.

■ Pakistan

Family drowns at beach

Five family members including two children drowned yesterday during a picnic at a popular island getaway near the southern port city of Karachi, police said. Three others were also feared dead. High waves swept Shah Zeb, 11, and Shah Neela, 12, away as they played at the beach on the island of Manora, police said. Six male relatives raced into the sea to save them but were also caught by the treacherous waves. Rescuers recovered five bodies, including those of the children. Police said navy divers were searching for the three missing relatives.

■ India

Terrorist given seven years

A district court in India has sentenced a man to seven years in jail for planning to crash airliners into the House of Commons and Tower Bridge in London on Sept. 11, 2001. Judges in Mumbai handed down the sentence to Muhammad Afroze, who had also confessed in police interrogation to plotting with a group of al-Qaeda operatives to attack the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, Australia, and the Indian parliament in 2001. Afroze was arrested under controversial anti-terrorist laws in India after the Sept. 11 attacks. Afroze was arrested at a Mumbai city hotel in October 2001 in possession of pilot training documents from Britain and Australia.

■ Australia

Sailors seconds from death

A near tragedy on an Australian submarine prompted by an onboard flood persuaded the navy to reduce the depths to which its six Collins-class vessels dive, a report said yesterday. The HMAS Dechaineux was just 20 seconds from sinking irretrievably to the bottom of the Indian Ocean with 55 sailors on board while off Western Australia in February 2003, the Weekend Australian newspaper said, quoting crew members. The submarine began flooding when a sea water hose in the lower engine room failed while it was at its deepest diving depth, the report said. The deepest diving depth, as well as the depth at which the submarines now operate, is classified information.

■ Japan

Earthquake causes injuries

A magnitude-6.0 earthquake shook eastern Japan yesterday, injuring more than a dozen people, rattling buildings in the capital and temporarily suspending flights and train services. There was no danger of tsunami, the Meteorological Agency said. The earthquake, which struck at 4:35pm, was centered about 90km underground in Chiba prefecture, just east of Tokyo, the agency said. The quake injured about 16 people in the area, including five people who were hit by a falling signboard at a supermarket in neighboring Saitama prefecture, Kyodo News agency reported.

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