Thu, Nov 09, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ China
Baby switch cleared up

Two Chinese families are suing a hospital 15 years after they took home the wrong newborn babies, state media reported on Tuesday. A couple surnamed Lu, who gave birth at a hospital in Nanning in 1991, suspected that the boy was not their biological son. Testing confirmed the boy was not related to the Lus. The Lus told the court that as their "son" grew older, his appearance and personality were so different to their own as "to make people point," and eventually lead to their divorce.

■ China

Closing and reopening

Shanxi Province, where 19 miners died in a gas blast last Sunday, will close more coal mines by mid-2008 to raise safety conditions and protect the environment, Xinhua news agency said. In the first half of this year the province closed more than 1,000 coal mines. But in the rush for profits, safety regulations are often ignored and dangerous mines that have been shut down are reopened illegally. Around 3,630 miners died in over 2,000 accidents in the first 10 months of this year.

■ China

Mao condoms indecent

A condom seller has been ordered to shut his shop for displaying his wares without Chinese instructions and in "inappropriate packages," a state newspaper said. "Zhang printed China's national emblem on a condom called `lady-killers,' and on the packing of the box was the image of soldier Lei Feng (雷鋒) and ... Mao Zedong (毛澤東)," the newspaper said. Lei Feng was a probably fictional model soldier of the Mao era. Zhang defended himself, saying his condom packages were art.

■ Thailand
Military aircraft crashes

Seven air force personnel were killed when their aircraft crashed in the central part of the country yesterday, an air force spokesman said. Captain Monthon Suchakorn said the aircraft banked sharply shortly after take-off, hit the ground and exploded, shattering the plane into small pieces. All aboard were killed. "This is the biggest loss for the air force in recent years," Captain Monthon told reporters. The Learjet, which had been in service for 18 years, was on an aerial photography mission from an airfield in Nakhon Sawan, the spokesman said. An air force team will investigate the accident, he said.

■ Japan

Suicide suspected in deaths

Three small girls and two adults were found dead yesterday in a car in a forest in an apparent family murder-suicide using charcoal burners, police said. The bodies of a man and a woman in their 30s and three girls, who appeared to be younger than 10, were found in a vehicle parked on a forest path at the foot of Mount Fuji. An amateur photographer found the vehicle and reported it to police, said a spokesman at the Fuji Yoshida police station. "We are investigating the identity of the bodies. But it is highly likely that they are a family committing suicide," he said. Japan has one of the world's highest suicide rates.

■ Indonesia

Bush visit ruins gardens

Workers are digging up a patch of historic botanical gardens near Indonesia's capital to make a helipad for US President George W. Bush's arrival later this month, adding to anger at his planned trip. The chief of the vast garden, built in 1817, said he had initially rejected the plan to allow Bush to land there amid fears that wind generated by his chopper would damage the park's trees, plants and orchids. "At the very least, the branches and twigs will break," Sujati Budi Suseteyo told the Media Indonesia daily. Bush is tentatively scheduled to visit Indonesia on Nov. 20, upon his return from the APEC meeting in Vietnam.

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