Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
82 struck down last month

Lightning strikes killed 82 people across China last month, a Chinese newspaper reported yesterday after several nights of violent storms in the capital, Beijing. The death toll was recorded across 20 provinces, with 22 people killed in the eastern Jiangsu Province alone, the International Business Daily said. It said the death toll marked an increase on June last year. "The main reasons for the deaths are the lack of lightning avoidance measures, equipment and knowledge," the International Business Daily said.

■ China

Fujian braces for Bilis

China evacuated some 256,000 people and canceled flights in the southeastern province of Fujian as Tropical Storm Bilis approached yesterday, state media said. Beginning on Thursday, Fujian officials called 42,000 ships back to port and canceled at least 14 flights to and from Changle International Airport in the provincial capital, Fuzhou, the official Xinhua news agency said.

■ Hong Kong

Chief charged with theft

The former head of a Chinese township has been arrested and will face trial on charges of gambling away millions of dollars of public money, newspapers reported yesterday. Authorities said Li Weimin used his position as chief of Tangxia Township in the southern province of Guangdong to embezzle more than 88.3 million yuan (US$11.04 million) and HK$2.9 million (US$372,900) from community coffers, the South China Morning Post and Wei Wen Po newspapers reported. Li, 43, also allegedly took bribes of 1.71 million yuan over a 10-year period, the reports said.

■ Kazakhstan
Chicken lays Allah egg

A chicken in a Kazakh village has laid an egg with the word Allah inscribed on its shell, state media reported yesterday. "Our mosque confirmed that it says `Allah' in Arabic," Bites Amantayeva, a farmer from the village of Stepnoi in eastern Kazakhstan, told state news agency Kazinform. "We'll keep this egg and we don't think it'll go bad." The news agency said the egg was laid just after a powerful hail storm hit the village. Kazakhstan is a large, thinly populated Central Asian state where Sunni Islam is a dominant religion.

■ Indonesia

Buffaloes spark rampage

Fighting buffaloes providing entertainment at a funeral charged at mourners, sparking a rampage that killed two people and injured 10 others, a media report said yesterday. The buffaloes broke away after battling in the Sulawesi village of Tana Toraja on Wednesday afternoon, sending thousands of spectators fleeing for safety, the Jakarta Post reported. Some pushed aside a minivan blocking their exit, crushing two people who later died of their injuries at a nearby hospital, Firdaus, a police official who goes by only one name, was quoted as saying. Ten others were hurt. Buffalo fights have been a traditional component of funerals in parts of Indonesia for generations.

■ Singapore

Scandal rocks confidence

A scandal at the nation's largest charity last year has shaken public confidence in charities and made donors more wary of how they give money, a newspaper reported yesterday. Citing surveys, the Straits Times newspaper said the proportion of people who donated money for causes last year fell to 89 percent from 97 percent in 2004. Total donations dropped from S$438 million (US$276 million) in 2004 to S$341 million in the past 12 months. Of 1,803 survey respondents, some 55 percent said they had a lot of confidence in charities before the controversy at the National Kidney Foundation, while only 28 percent did afterward.

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