Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Tattoos earn death sentence

A man in northeast Jilin Province was sentenced to death for tattooing insulting and obscene words on the bodies of three women against their will, state press said yesterday. Zhou Jingzhi, 42, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve by an intermediate court on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. Zhou was convicted of kidnapping a former lover in 2004 and using threats to tattoo more than 100 characters on her body, the report said. Zhou was arrested in January last year, after which his former wife and a third woman came forward to accuse Zhou of tattooing them.

■ China

Flood toll climbs to 170

Storms across the south of the country have killed 170 people in the past month and forced 1.6 million people to flee their homes, the China Daily said yesterday. Since late last month, continuous torrential rain has triggered floods and mudslides in Fujian, Guangdong and all the way inland to Hunan and Sichuan. Fujian and Guizhou provinces have suffered the highest number of deaths, with 98 people killed, the newspaper said, citing a disaster relief official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs. In the Guangxi region, two rainstorms in the past three weeks have killed 21 people, the paper said. Some 195,500 people were evacuated because of mud-flows and landslides, it said.

■ Hong Kong

Smuggled cigarettes seized

Customs officers said yesterday they had seized 1.57 million cigarettes worth nearly US$300,000 that were being smuggled in from China. A truck was stopped as it crossed the land border at Lo Wu on Wednesday, and the smuggled cigarettes were found hidden in secret compartments.

■ Singapore
Toilet cleaners `upgraded'

Singapore, famous for its spotless streets, is stepping up its campaign against filth in the rest room with a training program to boost the status and skills of the city-state's toilet cleaners, a newspaper reported yesterday. More than 50 toilet cleaners will be promoted to "rest room specialist" upon completing the three-day pilot course taught by Japanese experts in the latest toilet technology, the Straits Times reported. The program -- sponsored by the city-state's National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore-based World Toilet College -- aims to boost the image and wages of professional toilet cleaners by training them to do more on the job, the Straits Times reported.

■ Thailand

Aussie tourist dies

A 26-year-old Australian tourist has died after spending four days in a coma following a drive-by shooting at a Thai bar, an Australian embassy official said yesterday. Pamela Fitzpatrick was shot on Monday in the back of the neck at the bar in Kanchanaburi, 100km west of Bangkok, and had been fighting for her life in hospital. "We can confirm that she died last night. She passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the shooting incident on June 19," the embassy official said. "Thai police are investigating the shooting," he added. Fitzpatrick arrived in Thailand with her sister last weekend and was travelling in Kanchanaburi.

■ Hong Kong

Smoking ban mooted

Hong Kong may ban smoking on beaches and in parks as part of a crackdown aimed at making the territory of 6.8 million people a smoke-free city, officials said yesterday. Smoking may also be banned at public transport interchanges, legislators were told at a hearing into the extent of the smoking ban to be introduced in Hong Kong next year. From the beginning of next year, smoking will be banned in all offices, restaurants and pubs although there will be exemptions for nightclubs and mahjong parlors. Some legislators at yesterday's debate said extending the ban to beaches was impractical and unenforceable and represented too great a restriction on people's freedom.

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