Sun, Jun 25, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Japan

Russia seizes fishing boat

A Japanese fishing boat has been seized by Russian authorities in disputed waters on suspicion of fishing without a permit, Japan's Coast Guard said yesterday. The 13-tonne vessel was seized on Thursday morning about 250km east of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island -- in waters controlled by Russia but also claimed by Japan, according to Coast Guard official Takashi Sato. The boat and its six Japanese crew have been escorted to Korsakov in Sakhalin for questioning over allegedly fishing in the area without a permit, Sato said. Russian authorities notified Tokyo of the seizure on Friday afternoon, and said the crew members were in good health, according to Sato. The Russians told the Coast Guard they found almost 10 tonnes of salmon on the boat. A string of islands northeast of Hokkaido were occupied by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II. A bilateral pact allows some Japanese fishing boats to enter the surrounding waters while the two sides negotiate rights in the area.

■ China

Treacherous roads claim 32

At least 32 people, including two traffic police and three ambulance workers, were reported dead yesterday in a series of major accidents on China's roads. The two police and three rescuers were struck and killed by a truck as they were responding to a hit-and-run accident in Urumqi, the regional capital of western China's Xinjiang region, on Friday, the Beijing Morning Post reported. One other ambulance worker was injured when the truck plowed into two police mini-vans and an ambulance that had arrived to attend the hit-and-run accident which also left two pedestrians dead, the report said. In separate mishaps that also occurred on Friday, at least 13 people were killed when their mini-bus plunged off a mountainous road in southwestern China's Chongqing municipality, the Chongqing Evening News reported. Twelve people remain in hospital after the wreck.

■ Japan

Student torches his home

A Japanese boy in Tokyo burned down his home, killing his stepmother and two younger siblings, for fear his parents would find out he had lied about his score on an English test. The 16-year-old, whose name has not been released, is thought to have set fire to the house in Nara, western Japan, and left his stepmother to die along with his seven-year-old brother and five-year-old sister, domestic media reports said on Saturday. The boy's parents had been scheduled to attend a meeting with teachers about his exam results that same day, reports said. The teenager told police his father, a doctor, had put him under extreme pressure over his academic performance, Kyodo news agency said.

■ China

Leaping robbers grounded

Beijing police have detained a gang of thieves who pulled off a high-speed highway heist straight out of a Hollywood action movie. Police patrolling a Beijing freeway saw several people "surfing" on top of a van as it pulled alongside a truck loaded with cargo, the Beijing News said on Friday. "The men leapt from the van onto the truck's trailer and started throwing back bags of a white-colored substance" into the moving van, the paper said. After several kilometers, the men leapt back on to the van and sped away. Police later intercepted the van, the thieves and a 1 tonne cache of polyethylene, used originally in making hula hoops, worth more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,250).

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