Sat, Nov 19, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Singapore
Man gets five years for hit

A man was sentenced to five years' jail and six strokes of the cane for hiring three teenagers in an unsuccessful plot to murder his former lover, court officials said yesterday. Chua Beng Hin, 42, was found guilty on Thursday of paying the boys a total of US$294 in August to gouge out the eyes of his ex-girlfriend with a screwdriver and then kill her. The married father-of-three wanted Loy Say Lee dead after she called off their 18-month relationship in July and was consumed with jealousy after finding she had a new boyfriend.

■ China

Trapped miner drinks urine

A miner survived 11 days trapped underground by drinking his own urine, state media reported yesterday. Three neighboring gypsum mines in northern Hebei Province collapsed on Nov. 6, killing at least 33 people. Rescuers had been searching for five missing miners. Yuan Shenglin's rescue began on Wednesday when miners, about 200m underground, heard his voice, the China Daily said. They inserted a plastic tube through a 5m heap of collapsed rubble and pumped in food and water to the other side.

■ China

Panda population booming

Endangered pandas are having a baby boom. The country's breeding centers reported a record-high 25 births this year through artificial insemination, and 21 of the cubs survived, news reports said yesterday. There are believed to be 1,590 giant pandas living in the wild, with another 161 in zoos worldwide, the government says. Scientists have tried since the 1960s to increase their numbers through captive breeding and artificial insemination.

■ Japan
Bad hair day costs salon

A hair salon was ordered to pay ¥240,000 (US$2,000) in compensation this week after a customer sued the hairdresser for cutting her hair too short and dying it the wrong color. A Tokyo court agreed with the 27-year-old cabaret club hostess' claim that the unflattering hairstyle had affected her ability to do her job. "Hairstyles are a major influence on appearance," Judge Yuki Mizuno said in the ruling. "A hairstyle is a selling point for a hostess and there was a period when her self-confidence was affected when she waited on customers."

■ Indonesia

Model sentenced for drugs

A court in Bali on Friday found an Australian model guilty of illegally receiving ecstasy pills and sentenced her to three months in jail, but she will be freed within days because of time spent in custody. Michelle Leslie was detained by police before an outdoor party on Aug. 20, which means the 24-year-old woman should be free by tomorrow. "[The court] declares the defendant guilty of committing the crime ... of receiving pyschoactive drugs," presiding judge Made Sudia said. "Thank you Mr. Judge," Leslie said in Indonesian, as she shook hands with him at the conclusion of the trial.

■ Thailand

Exotic animals off the menu

Conservationists have forced a minister to reconsider plans to put exotic Kenyan animals on the menu of a zoo restaurant. Conservationists say the daily buffet of zebra, giraffe and crocodile would send the message that Thailand condones the trafficking and consumption of endangered animals. "There is a restaurant in Nairobi which serves meat from commercially raised animals, so I thought we could import it to make the restaurant different," Environment Vice Minister Plodprasop said. The move follows criticism from conservationists in Thailand and Kenya, which agreed last week to give Thailand 175 wild animals and birds to stock the Chiang Mai Night Safari, where the Vareekunchorn restaurant will be located. Kenyan officials said none of the animals to be sent to Chiang Mai were endangered.

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