Fri, Sep 16, 2005 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take


■ China
Blast toll rises by one

The death toll from a massive chemical explosion in Mile County, Yunnan Province, on Monday rose by one to 12. Forty-three people were injured in the blast, while two others are still listed as missing. Truck driver Li Hongwen parked his cargo truck, laden with 16.3 tonnes of nitramine, a highly volatile chemical used for detonators in explosives, near his home on Monday instead of delivering it to a chemical warehouse as he was expected to do. What caused Li's truck to explode is still under investigation.

■ Japan

Mistress complains of scam

A woman who hired a "hitman" over the Internet to murder her lover's pregnant wife has been arrested -- after she complained to police that he never carried out the killing despite being paid US$136,000. Police arrested Eriko Kawaguchi, a 32-year-old rescuer at Tokyo Fire Department, as well as 40-year-old Koji Tabe, a self-proclaimed detective who allegedly promised to kill the woman with a deadly chemical. Kawaguchi found Tabe's phone number on "contract murder" Web sites in January and asked him to kill her lover's wife after learning the woman was pregnant. She paid Tabe but then went to the police in July to complain about being scammed because Tabe had not yet carried out the killing.

■ Philippines

Police rescue grocer

A woman grocer held captive by a gang of kidnappers for more than a year has been rescued by security forces after a firefight in the southern Philippines. Police clashed with the gang of about 30 kidnappers near the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Mindanao island on Tuesday leading to the rescue of 53 year-old Zuela Kansi. Kansi was unhurt and there were no immediate reports of casualties on either side, a police report said, adding that the suspects escaped.

■ Hong Kong

Woman sues over Rolex rash

A woman has sued Rolex, alleging that a watch she bought caused her psychological trauma because she had to wear long sleeves to cover up an itchy, unsightly skin allergy triggered by a label on the underside of the luxury timepiece. Lee Ka-wai filed her claim in the Small Claims Tribunal, seeking HK$46,900 (US$6,044) in damages. She purchased the HK$30,000 Rolex Oyster Perpetual in August last year. Lee said the skin allergy -- scratchy red dots -- was caused by a removable label on the back of the watch. She didn't remove the label because she was afraid she would lose Rolex's worldwide guarantee or sacrifice proof of the watch's authenticity. "Rolex should have mentioned it in the manual or asked its agent to remind customers to remove the label," Lee said.

■ Hong Kong

Bruce Lee fans want help

Bruce Lee fans yesterday urged the Hong Kong government to help pay for a bronze statue to mark the martial arts movie legend's 65th birthday in November. The Bruce Lee Club has the government's approval to erect a 2.5m statue on the Avenue of Stars -- a tourist attraction that honors the territory's film stars -- along the city's harbor front, said a member of the club's committee, adding that the club has only raised half of the US$155,000 needed for the statue's construction, installation, insurance and publicity launch. The club appealed to the government to donate some money, but said officials had declined so far.

■ South Africa
Beached whale blown up

Marine biologists used explosives to kill an 11-ton whale helplessly beached on Mnandi Beach on Cape Town's False Bay coast, after several attempts to move it failed. Mike Meyer of Marine and Coastal Management told reporters that the two-year-old whale had become stranded in shallow water after an apparent "navigational error ... In this case the animal made a mistake ... it wasn't a sick animal, it went too close to shore and got caught out." It is whale breeding season along the Cape coast at the moment.

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