Central bank can't spell
The central bank has misspelled the word "bank" on its new notes, officials said on Wednesday. The bank plans to put the misprinted notes -- worth 2,000 tenge (US$15) and 5,000 tenge -- into circulation next month and then gradually withdraw them to correct the spelling. The move has drawn the ire of politicians, who urged the bank to abandon the notes altogether. "The mistake ... is not just a spelling problem -- it has political undertones," a letter from members of parliament to President Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
■ Hong Kong
Parents jailed over killing
A Chinese man and his Japanese wife were jailed on Wednesday over the killing of their 10-year-old son, who suffocated after being locked in a suitcase for two hours. The child's mother, Koyo Takahashi, 34, and father, Chu Wing-hon, 49, admitted shutting the boy in a 1.2m by 0.6m suitcase as punishment for his "naughtiness." Chu received an 18-month sentence after admitting to manslaughter last month and Takahashi was jailed for two years. The court heard that despite the boy's complaints of feeling scared and sick while locked in the suitcase, his mother ignored him, believing he was lying. The boy slipped into a coma and died two days after he was unlocked from the case, the court heard.
Peaceful solution promised
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said he would use peaceful means to resolve the Muslim insurgency in the country's south -- a clear reversal of the previous government's iron-fisted strategy. Surayud said he would reach out to all minority Muslims to end the separatist insurgency, which has claimed more than 1,700 lives since January 2004. He also said that the kingdom plans to work more closely with Malaysia, which he visited for a day on Wednesday, to solve the problem. "We will try to talk to a lot of people," Surayud said. "I told the Malaysian prime minister that I would talk to the Muslim leaders in the south, to the kids in schools. That's the way I am trying to present myself -- by way of talking."
Four killed in pirate attack
Pirates attacked a group of armed fishermen in the south, triggering a gunbattle that left four dead, the military said yesterday. All of the dead were fishermen, and at least four pirates were wounded and managed to escape after the gunfight on Wednesday in Malabago Bay, about 790km southeast of Manila, said Brigadier General Raymundo Ferrer, a regional army commander. He said soldiers were sent to track down the attackers. The fishermen were members of a local militia that has been armed to fight off pirate attacks, which are common in the area, he said.
Miners died of suffocation
Four illegal hold miners in central Quang Nam Province suffocated in a shaft, probably killed by fumes from a diesel generator, an official said yesterday. The bodies of three brothers and another man, aged 25 to 42, were recovered on Tuesday from the 300m long tunnel in Tam Lanh Village, local official Pham Van Dung said. Fumes from the diesel-run generator used to run the drill may have caused the men to suffocate, he said, citing an initial police investigation. The tunnel was part of a 365-hectare mine the government already licensed to a joint venture between a local company and an Australian firm, Dung said.