Sat, Sep 02, 2006 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Australia
Terror suspects to face trial

A magistrate yesterday ordered 11 men accused of being members of an alleged terrorist cell in Australia to stand trial. Magistrate Paul Smith said at a court hearing in the southern city of Melbourne that he was satisfied prosecutors had enough evidence to justify sending the men to trial. A decision on whether to send two other men with the group to trial would come later, the magistrate said. The 11 suspects sent to trial pleaded innocent at the hearing to charges that they were members of a terrorist organization. Some face additional charges of funding a terrorist organization.

■ Australia

Drone plane test announced

Australia announced plans yesterday that it would test unmanned drones in the fight against illegal fishing, drug running and human trafficking. The defense department said it was testing the ability of a US-made drone to conduct patrols along the the Northwest Shelf, off the coast of western Australia, an area it described as having "vital strategic and economic importance." Liberal Party Senator Sandy Macdonald, the parliamentary secretary to the minister for defense, said the unmanned aircraft would work in tandem with a naval patrol boat throughout this month. He said the drone would record the movements of vessels passing through Australian water.

■ Japan

Three die in likely suicide

Three young women were found dead in an apparent group suicide in a parked car in Tokyo, police said. A police officer on patrol discovered the bodies of the women, all believed to be in their twenties, inside the vehicle in a deserted parking lot in western Tokyo, according to a local police official who gave only his last name, Yasuda. There was no sign that any of the women struggled and investigators suspect they committed suicide, Yasuda said. Three still-smoking charcoal stoves were found in the sealed car and the women likely died of asphyxiation, Yasuda said. Charcoal stoves emit fumes that cause asphyxia. Police have yet to identify the bodies.

■ Australia

Attack kills over 40 seals

Police on Friday were investigating a shooting attack on a colony of rare seals on a remote southern island that killed more than 40 of the animals. Fishing industry officials denied accusations by animal welfare activists that the attack was probably carried out by fishermen as an illegal cull of seals living in lucrative fishing grounds. A group of university students who were studying seals on Kanowna Island witnessed the attack on Wednesday, police said. Police on Thursday detained two fishermen and found two high-powered rifles aboard their boat, but the men were released without charge. The investigation is continuing.

■ Russia

Japanese fishing was legal

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the entry of 39 Japanese vessels into Russian waters, which it had previously protested, actually had been done legally, Interfax reported. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Japanese ambassador on Monday to protest a violation of its waters. However, ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said on Thursday that the vessels' presence was legal under a 1981 agreement, Interfax said.. "It looks like emotions played a role here," Kamynin said. That apparently was a reference to the tensions that have soared after the Russian seizure of a Japanese trawler during which one Japanese fisherman died from gunshot.

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