Tue, Sep 06, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Pakistan
Gunman opens fire

A gunman opened fire at security officials who were trying to enforce a ban on carrying arms in a tribal town in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing two officers and wounding two others. The officers were attacked in a bazaar in Miran Shah when they gave an order to a local tribesman who was carrying an AK-47 rifle, local government administrator Tariq Hayat said. Instead of complying, the unidentified man allegedly opened fire at the officers and fled.

■ Philippines

Congress in heated debate

Opposition lawmakers yesterday warned Congress that throwing out impeachment charges against President Gloria Arroyo could lead to unrest and worsen a month-long crisis sparked by allegations she rigged last year's elections. The 236-seat House of Representatives, which is overwhelmingly dominated by pro-Arroyo legislators, are preparing for a final debate before voting on whether to uphold a justice committee's decision to throw out all three impeachment complaints against Arroyo. She is accused of rigging last year's election, and of bribery, corruption and other crimes.

■ China

Fuel truck rams a plane

Beijing International Airport was lucky to avoid tragedy after a refuelling truck rammed a plane in one of two accidents at Chinese airports over the weekend. The fuel truck hit a Finnair jet bound for Helsinki after refuelling it on Saturday, becoming lodged under the plane's wing, the China Daily said. Frantic maintenance staff were forced to pump out eight tonnes of petrol from the plane and deflate the truck's tires to release it. All 287 passengers on board were evacuated and no injuries were reported.

■ Australia

Muslim party created

The country now has a Muslim political party and its leader says he hopes eventually to gain control of the Canberra parliament and impose sharia law. The Best Party of Allah in Australia (BPAA) applied for registration yesterday to be the voice of the country's 300,000 Muslims. "We want leaders who believe in Allah and will legislate accordingly for the laws that Allah prefers for our personal lives," BPAA founder Kurt Kennedy said. He said there could be no guarantee that extremists would not infiltrate the party but doubted they would want to join. "We totally reject people who would kill people indiscriminately, you know, as violence for its own sake and that's the story, that's the end of it," he said. Kennedy, a Vietnamese-born recent convert to Islam, said the new party had 100 members.

■ Singapore

Maids found guilty

Two Indonesian maids, who admitted to killing their Singaporean employer, were found guilty of culpable homicide yesterday, escaping execution on the reduced sentence after a court found that mental anguish pushed them to kill. Juminem, 20, and Siti Aminah, 17, were sentenced to life imprisonment and 10 years' jail respectively for killing Esther Ang Imm Suan, Juminem's employer, in March last year by suffocating her with a pillow and bludgeoning her with a wine bottle. Judge Choo Han Teck said, "It appeared that [Juminem's] mind, constantly disturbed by loneliness and despair, became fragile, and overly sensitive to the comments and physical contact [by her employer]."

■ Russia
Putin picks new navy chief

Russian President Vladimir Putin shuffled the Russian navy's command on Sunday, a move expected after the latest submarine accident last month in which seven sailors aboard a mini-submarine were saved with the help of other countries. Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, the chief of the Russian navy, was retired and replaced by Admiral Vladimir Masorin. Critics say the Russian fleet is plagued by severe financial difficulties and low morale. Kuroyedov was also in charge of the fleet in 2000, when the Kursk nuclear submarine sank, killing 118 crewmen. Russia refused offers of foreign help to rescue the Kursk and the navy command initially concealed the extent of the disaster.

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