Wed, Aug 30, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Beida to offer golf lessons

Peking University (Beida) plans to teach golf as part of its physical education program, the Beijing News reported yesterday. The university said permission would also be sought to build a driving range on its campus. Reaction to the news was mixed among students at the university. "Golf isn't a proletarian sport," one told the paper. "Most students wouldn't be able to afford it and the university should concentrate on providing better facilities for more popular sports." A business student, however, was more enthusiastic. "Golf is very popular among businessmen and white collar workers and the university has to keep up with the times."

■ China

Workplace deaths targeted

The government will spend nearly US$60 billion over the next five years to reduce the high death toll in its coal mines and other dangerous workplaces, state media reported yesterday. A government plan issued on Monday calls for reducing the overall industrial death rate from 3.85 per 100,000 workers last year to 2.8 in 2010, the Xinhua news agency and newspapers said. They said it was the first long-range safety plan of its kind. Industrial accidents killed more than 127,000 people last year, the reports said. The government will spend 467.4 billion yuan (US$58.6 billion) on nine major safety improvement measures through 2010, with mine safety receiving top priority, Xinhua said.

■ India

Men clamor for camel milk

Thousands of men in Rajasthan state have been clamoring to get their hands on camel milk after an 88-year-old man who fathered a child several weeks ago attributed his virility to the drink, the Times of India newspaper said yesterday. Since farmer Virmaram Jat revealed what he believes to be the secret of his sexual prowess, sales of camel milk have shot up and dealers have doubled their prices in the western state, the paper reported. One vendor, Samran Singh, told the paper he now charged 40 rupees (US$0.8) a liter, up from 20 rupees a few weeks ago. However, doctors and scientists in Rajasthan said it was unlikely the milk was responsible for his achievement.

■ China

`Heroes' not ready for public

A patriotic Internet game featuring heroic Chinese and designed to wean the young off their addiction to violent foreign games is still not ready for release a year after development begun, Xinhua said yesterday. In Chinese Heroes players "click on statues to learn about their experiences and carry out tasks like moving bricks," Xinhua said. "We hope the game will teach players about Chinese ethics," it quoted Kou Xiaowei, an official with the General Administration of Press and Publication, as saying. Some of the heroes will include Lei Feng (雷鋒), a Mao Zedong-era model soldier, and Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功), also known as Koxinga, who seized Taiwan from the Dutch in 1661.

■ Australia

Coffin handlers warned

Mourners were urged yesterday not to shoulder coffins because the obesity epidemic has increased the weight of the containers to dangerous levels. The Funeral Directors Association has advised members to insist on using heavy lifting gear to lower coffins into graves. "We're finding now that people are generally getting bigger and, obviously, so are the coffins to accommodate them," an official with the Anglican and Cemeteries Trust told the Age daily.

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