Tue, Sep 27, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Japan
Masked man shoots at cars

A masked man traveling on an expressway in western Japan opened fire at two cars from his vehicle early yesterday and sped away. No one was injured. The attacker shot at a car carrying a young couple as they tried to overtake the assailant's vehicle in Wakayama prefecture at around 3am yesterday. Another car carrying a family of four was shot at from behind 15 minutes later by what appeared to be the same man, who fled south down the Hanwa Expressway. Bullets smashed windows on both cars but did not injure people inside.

■ South Korea

Island visit may rekindle row

A group of South Korean lawmakers plan to visit a chain of rocky islets off the country's east coast next week in a move that could rekindle a territorial row with Japan. The 18 members of the parliamentary defense committee will visit Dokdo, called Takeshima in Japan, on Oct. 5, in what an aide said was "just a symbolic move." Tempers flared earlier this year between Seoul and Tokyo over the ownership of the islets -- halfway between the countries -- after a Japanese local council designated a special day on its calendar to bolster Japan's ownership. Seoul has controlled the islets since after the Korean War.

■ Thailand

Man robbed of fake jeans

Two thieves robbed a man at knifepoint to steal his jeans and shoes, but they ended up with a pair of fake Levi's. Watcharaphong Khaewka, a 21-year-old office worker, filed a complaint with police saying that the two men put a knife to his neck and forced him to take off his jeans and sport shoes. "The attackers did not touch the money, watch and other valuables on the victim. They just took his jeans and sport shoes and let the victim walk home in his underwear," police said. "The victim fears that the thieves will come to hurt him when they find out that the jeans were fake ones that he bought from Chatuchak Market," police said.

■ Wallis island

Feud over island's throne

At stake is the throne of Wallis island, a tiny South Pacific outcrop with a population of 10,000 and a stone house for a royal palace. But trouble in the French territory, north of Fiji, started in January when 87-year-old King Tomasi Kulimoetoke's grandson was sentenced to 18 months in jail for killing a pedestrian in a drink-driving incident. He fled to the palace, from where the king threatened to expel French officials who tried to make an arrest, insisting tribal justice should take precedence over French law. The grandson surrendered after four months but the incident outraged a rival clan who want the French to stay. They set up their own "government" and said they would crown a new king on Sunday. Last week France, which dispatched 18 officers to bolster the local force, prepared to send in riot squad reinforcements from New Caledonia. In response, the king's supporters stormed the airport and prevented their arrival by blocking the runway with concrete blocks and coconut tree trunks.

■ Macau

Election turnout high

Nearly six out of 10 registered voters turned out to choose a new group of legislators in the former Portuguese colony. A total of 128,829 people -- 58.4 percent of the electorate cast their ballots to elect 12 new legislators on Sunday. Macau, which reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1999 after 450 years of Portuguese rule, has limited democracy under a "one country two systems" model.

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