Thu, Jun 15, 2006 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Cambodia
Mouse short-circuits city

A tiny mouse the size of a human toe cut electric power to more than 40 percent of Phnom Penh, officials said on Tuesday. The mouse managed to short-circuit a 40-megawatt power plant south of the city, said Chea Sun-hel, director of the power company's distribution department. "The mouse was as big as a human toe, but it created a big problem," he said. Phnom Penh's 1.3 million residents often suffer power cuts that the government blames on technical problems.

■ Singapore

Zombie Jesus probed

Police are investigating allegations that a man published offensive caricatures of Jesus Christ on his Web site, reports and police said yesterday. The 21-year-old man started posting the cartoons in January -- the first one depicted Jesus as a zombie biting a boy's head, the Straits Times said in a report. He later published another three drawings, the report said. "I never thought anyone would complain to the police because the pictures were not insidious," the man was quoted as saying by the newspaper. His identity remains anonymous.

■ Cambodia

Hoe down

An elderly Cambodian man was in custody accused of hacking his brother to death with a hoe after he found out his daughter was pregnant and the girl blamed his nephew, police said yesterday. The police chief of Kirivong district in southern Takeo province said Chaeng Ken, 66, became enraged after discovering his 21-year-old deaf mute daughter was pregnant and the girl pointed to his nephew, Nget Sarom, 22, when he demanded to know who the father was. "He began to argue with his brother ... and blame him for the actions of his son," Sophoan said.

■ Belgium
Amnesty shuns kidnapping

Amnesty International urged European states on Wednesday to stop being "partners in crime" with the US over the alleged kidnapping of terrorism suspects and their transfer to countries that use torture. In a report and a letter addressed to EU leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, the human rights groups backed accusations that the US Central lntelligence Agency ran secret transfer flights and that European countries were aware of it. "There is irrefutable evidence of European complicity in the unlawful practice of renditions," Amnesty said in the letter. "The European Council must therefore put a resolute stop to the attitude of see no evil, hear no evil that has prevailed so far," Amnesty said, referring to the EU summit.

■ United States

Fear of flying kills drivers

Americans' fear of flying after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks led to more than 1,500 road fatalities because millions of Americans made long journeys by road instead of by air, German researchers said on Tuesday. The study compared the perceived risk of being killed in a hijacking with the much greater risk of dying in a highway crash. For months after the suicide-hijacks, which cost about 3,000 lives in all, US road tolls were much higher because of the increase in traffic. The study assessed the effect at 1,595 road deaths in all. "That's six times as many as the passengers on the four planes who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001," said Professor Gerd Gigerenzer. The four Boeing airliners had had a total of 265 people on board. Gigerenzer heads the Max Planck Institute for Education Research in Berlin and the study was published in the journal Risk Analysis.

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