Clinics shut over fetus leaks
Hebei Province has closed more than 200 clinics for telling women the sex of their fetuses so they can abort girls, a state newspaper said yesterday. China launched a one-child policy in the early 1980s to curb its population, now over 1.3 billion, but the restrictions have bolstered a traditional preference for baby boys. In rural areas of Hebei, there were 134 boys born for every 100 girls, the Shanghai Daily said. That compares with about 108 boys born in China for every 100 girls in the early 1980s, close to a current global demographic norm of 103 to 107 boys per 100 girls. The investigation involved 848 cases of illegal abortion and gender selection services, the report, said without giving a time frame.
Swiss man shot dead
A suspected hired gun fatally shot a 68-year-old Swiss national in the southern Philippines, police said yesterday. Karl Ochsenbein was shot at close range on Tuesday night inside his home on the resort island of Samal, 970km southeast of Manila, after an argument with his Filipina wife, Alma Cortina, said Chief Superintendent Ricardo Quinto, the regional police director. An investigation showed the couple had a heated argument, prompting Cortina to leave the family home, only to return later without locking the door behind her. The assailant, wearing a baseball cap, entered the couple's bedroom, shot the victim and flee on foot, Quinto said. "We have ruled out robbery as motive because no item was taken from the house or from the victim," said the island's police chief, Superintendent Joe Carumba. Carumba said they were focusing their probe on family members, including the widow, who allegedly told neighbors she wanted her husband dead.
Ex-dictator leaves hospital
Former dictator Suharto left hospital yesterday after 27 days of treatment following colon surgery to stem internal bleeding. Suharto, 84, appeared pale but smiled and waved weakly as he was wheeled on a gurney to an ambulance to be driven home. Pertamina Hospital Director Adji Suprajitno said the functioning of Suharto's kidneys and intestines as well as other vital signs had improved. "Suharto wanted to go home because he has been hospitalized for so long, and the team of doctors also believed that medical treatment for Suharto can be moved to his house," he said.
■ South Korea
Letter sheds light on killings
Authorities have requested more information from the US government about a 1950 letter in which the US ambassador to Seoul told the US State Department that soldiers would shoot refugees approaching their lines. The letter was dated the day of the US Army's mass killing of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri during the 1950-1953 Korean War. It is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all US forces in Korea, and the first evidence that the policy was known to upper ranks of the US government. "We're doing various checks about the report," a Foreign Ministry official said on customary condition of anonymity, adding that the government has asked Washington about the existence of the letter from Ambassador John Muccio to Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
Soccer fans riot for new TV
University students demanding a new television set to watch the World Cup ran amok on Tuesday, ransacking an administrator's office. About 100 students at Dhaka University smashed an old television and set fire to chairs which they said were broken and infested with bugs, Professor Anwarul Islam said to reporters. "The students ransacked the office, broke chairs and window panes," he said, adding that the protest was called off after university authorities agreed to purchase a new television set and chairs.