Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Indonesia
Rights group wants justice

Indonesians deserve to know whether the country's powerful intelligence agency was involved in the murder of a top human-rights campaigner, a US-based rights group said yesterday after US lawmakers joined international calls for justice. Munir Said Thalib, an outspoken critic of the Indonesian military, was fatally poisoned on a flight to Amsterdam in September last year. President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono appointed a fact-finding team to investigate whether the armed forces or intelligence agency were involved. The team's report, which was completed six months ago, implicated top officials from the State Intelligence Agency.

■ China

Man sues over death row

A Chinese man is suing a regional court for sentencing him to death and putting him in jail for nearly 600 days for a murder he says that he was tortured into confessing. Zhou Rukou, 51, on Tuesday filed a suit against the Intermediate People's Court and the prosecutor's office of Yancheng City in eastern Jiangsu Province, after the murder and robbery charges that kept him in jail for 567 days were dropped in April, the China Daily reported. Zhou said he was tortured by 12 policemen into confessing.

■ China

Activist sues officials

A blind social activist who was put under house arrest and repeatedly beaten after exposing the forced sterilization of women in east China has filed a lawsuit against two local officials, his lawyer said yesterday. He filed a lawsuit on behalf of Chen, also a self-educated "barefoot" lawyer, at the Yinan County People's Court against the township's deputy head and another local official for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

■ Hong Kong
Potter fans appeal to author

Ten thousand Harry Potter fans in Hong Kong have signed a petition pleading with author J.K. Rowling to visit and give them a reading, a news report said yesterday. The appeal from pupils at schools across the city was sent through the organizers of the Hong Kong Book Festival which starts on Nov. 19, the South China Morning Post reported. Festival director Peter Lam told the newspaper: "Harry Potter books, both the ordinary English edition and the Chinese translation, have sold very well in Hong Kong. "Ms Rowling has never been to Asia. We are inviting her to come to the book festival."

■ Japan

Thief nets ¥2 from temple

A Japanese man has been arrested and charged with stealing from a Buddhist temple box. His booty: ¥2 (less than US$0.02). Shoji Kondo, 27, was nabbed on Oct. 24 after turning over the donations box in Kobe, police said yesterday. When he was caught, he had taken ¥2 from the box, but told police he thought they were ¥100 coins -- enough to buy a can of juice. Kondo was indicted for theft on Nov. 2, and police said he was charged because he had repeatedly stolen money from temple offertory boxes.

■ Singapore

Student's final wish granted

The final wish of a 12-year-old boy who lost his battle with cancer came true when the hearse carrying his coffin visited his primary school one last time, teachers said yesterday. At Leon Gomez's wake on Tuesday, many of the more than 50 students and teachers at Ang Mo Kio school were in tears and carried small bouquets that they placed next to his coffin. Leon's father, Leonard Gomez, 55, told the Straits Times that even when his son was very ill and in a lot of pain, the boy would smile when he talked about his teachers, classmates and lessons. "He loved school," Gomez was quoted as saying. "His dying wish was to be taken back one last time."

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