Wed, Aug 09, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Bar patrons invited to vent

Stressed-out people can now unleash pent-up anger at a bar that lets customers attack staff, smash glasses and generally make a ruckus, a Chinese newspaper reported yesterday. The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in Nanjing employs 20 muscled young men as "models" for customers to punch and scream at. "Customers can specify how they want the models to appear -- they can even appear as women -- and then they are free to give them a sound beating," the China Daily said. The bar charges from 50 yuan (US$6.25) to 300 yuan for the pleasure.

■ China

FMD outbreak reported

A new outbreak of foot and mouth disease that sickened 230 cattle in the far west has been reported, the Agriculture Ministry said. Cattle in Gaoshi Village in Gansu Province first started showing symptoms on July 31, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site late on Monday. Lab tests on Friday confirmed that it was the Asia 1 strain of the disease, it said.

■ China

Drug under investigation

The government is investigating four deaths for links to a banned antibiotic treatment, state media reported yesterday, adding that more than 80 patients in 10 provinces had complained of severe adverse reactions to the drug. Beijing last week banned the use of the Clindamycin Phosphate Glucose Injection, produced by a firm in Anhui Province for treatment of bacterial infections. Four fatalities possibly linked to the drug include a six-year-old girl in Heilongjiang and a 63-year-old woman from Shaanxi who suffered a severe adverse reaction, the official China Daily reported.

■ Australia
Politician pans pool

Politician Rob Hulls said only Melbourne would name a swimming pool after a man who drowned. It's true: the baths in suburban Malvern are named after former prime minister Harold Holt, who went missing while swimming alone in the surf in nearby Portsea in December 1967. It might also be said that only downunder could a massively ugly concrete structure be given a protection order as something of intrinsic architectural importance. "It's not everybody's aesthetic," admits Chris Gallagher, who keeps Victoria's Heritage Register. "But I'd have to say that aesthetics is not the sole test." The Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Pool was put on the register because it's a fine example of the 1960s Brutalist style of architecture.

■ Australia

Row over beer-drinking sow

Most tourists who visit Tasmania's Pub in the Paddock to watch a couple of pigs swill beer think it's a hoot. After all, the alternative to life as a tourist attraction for Priscilla and understudy Priscilla Babe is death in a slaughter house. But opposition to what goes on at the 126-year-old pub in Pyengana, near St Helens, is growing. Animal lovers are ashamed that the celebrity sows have appeared on television in the US glugging down bottles of beer for an appreciative audience. "There's absolutely no reason to go letting people feed beer to pigs just because they can," Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania spokeswoman Emma Haswell told national broadcaster ABC.

■ Singapore

Heartbreak doesn't cut it

A man's claim that he was so heartbroken by his wife's infidelity that he turned to drugs and alcohol generated no sympathy in a court where he was jailed for 18 months, news reports said yesterday. Oi Bee Kee, 48, was caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs when his car skidded and rammed into a truck on March 14, the Straits Times said. He was later found to have taken the party drugs Ecstacy and Ice. Oi, a contractor, was quoted as telling the court that he took the drugs because he "wanted the pain to go away." Deputy Prosecutor Leong Wing Tuck said with Oi on his way home were three lounge hostesses. The court heard on Monday that police found him unsteady and reeking of alcohol at the accident scene. He was banned from driving all vehicles for 15 years.

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