Wed, Dec 07, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Two jailed for bad baby food

Two factory officials have been jailed for producing a baby formula so low in nutrition that it killed one baby and left others dangerously malnourished, state media reported yesterday. The men were found to have knowingly produced the substandard formula marketed under the brand name Lezichun, which caused the death of a baby girl in the eastern province of Anhui and sickened others last year, the official Xinhua news agency said. The girl was one of more than 200 infants who suffered malnutrition after drinking phony formula in Anhui, where investigators found the sale of counterfeit milk powder was widespread.

■ China

Eight killed in mine blasts

Eight people were killed in a northern iron ore mine after rival workers intent on sabotage set off explosions in the mine pit, state press reported yesterday. In an apparent attempt to force a work stoppage at the Baota No. 4 mine in Shanxi Province, workers from a neighboring mine set off explosives in the Baota pit last Thursday, the Beijing Times said.

■ New Zealand

Boy charged with murder

A 14-year-old boy was ordered yesterday to stand trial for murder for allegedly tossing a concrete block from an overpass that hit a car on the highway below, killing the driver. The 8kg slab smashed into the car, driven by Chris Currie, 20, killing him instantly on Aug. 19. Three passengers suffered minor injuries after the car crashed. The boy, who under the law cannot be named, said he would plead guilty if prosecutors filed a lesser charge of manslaughter. He is one of the youngest people to face a murder charge.

■ Australia
Arsonist torches himself

A bungling arsonist who allegedly tried to torch a hairdressing salon ended up setting himself ablaze, a court in Brisbane heard yesterday. Shane Long was allegedly hired to set fire to the salon by neighboring shop owner Erich Sorger. Prosecutor Kate Youngson told Brisbane District Court that Sorger set fire to his TV repair shop in March last year and then hired Long to set fire to the hairdressing salon, in a possible attempt to throw police off the scent. But Long, who allegedly was paid A$400 (US$300) failed on three separate occasions and ended up torching his own clothes with a gasoline bomb, Youngson said. He was not injured. Long has been charged with being an accessory to the arson.

■ Singapore

Wives told of HIV cases

The Health Ministry has started informing spouses of HIV-positive patients directly about their partners' disease in order to curb the spread of AIDS, the ministry said. "Previously, some wives were not aware of their spouse's HIV status and so they were at risk of the HIV infection. Since July this year, we have informed the wife when the infected husband had not informed her of his positive HIV status," said Senior Minister of State for Health Balaji Sadasivan's in his speech on Monday, which was posted on the ministry's Web site. The letters, which had been hand-delivered to 41, advised spouses to get screened for HIV and give them information about counselling services.

■ Vanuatu

Major eruption feared

Authorities are evacuating thousands of villagers from homes near a volcano spewing ash and steam on the island of Ambae amid fears of a major eruption, officials said yesterday. Mount Manaro began tossing out ash and a plume of steam on Nov. 27. Local volcanologist Douglas Charlie said the volcano "is one of the most dangerous in the world as it's situated below a lake." Lake Vui, which lies in the crater of Mount Manaro, is being forced up toward the rim, sparking fears of a mud flow if the lake wall bursts, which could drown the villages that surround the mountain.

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