Watchdog pans government
An international media watchdog condemned Malaysia's police on Thursday for trying to stifle coverage of the murder of a Mongolian woman. Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said police had put pressure on journalists over the murder, which officers are suspected of being involved in. "Police have been summoning and putting pressure on journalists while the head of police has told the press that it was speculating dangerously," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. Malaysia's top police chief on Monday defended a move to haul in five journalists for their report on the gruesome murder of Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28.
Brawl over land kills 14
Two families clashed with guns and knives yesterday over land ownership in a northern Indian town, killing 14 people and injuring three others, police said. The clash among neighbors occurred in Sitapur, 80km southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. The three hurt have been hospitalized, said Surendra Srivastava, a police spokesman. "Home-made guns and knives were used in the bloody tussle," Srivastava said. "The heads of both families have died." Possession over land has caused tension for years between the neighbors, and a brawl left one person dead in 1998.
Woman put on abduction list
Police said yesterday that a woman missing for nearly 30 years was the 17th Japanese victim of a program started by North Korea in the 1970s to abduct Japanese citizens, a news report said yesterday. Investigators suspect that Kyoko Matsumoto, who disappeared from western Japan in 1977, was kidnapped by North Korean agents and taken by boat to the communist state, according to the report. Matsumoto, then 29, was added yesterday to a list of abduction victims identified by the Japanese police, according to a National Police Agency official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Missing plane carrying 12
A small plane carrying 12 people was reported missing yesterday in a remote area of Papua Province, an airport official and police said. The Trigana Air plane left the town of Mulia at 7:50am for nearby Ilaga, but had not shown up more than four hours after it was scheduled to land, an airport official said. The Twin Otter was carrying nine passengers -- many believed to be local government officials -- and three crew, Papua police spokesman Colonel Kartono Wangsadisatra said.
■ South Korea
Nuclear reactor planned
An international consortium including South Korea will next week sign a formal agreement to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France by 2015, officials said yesterday. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) consortium will finalize the deal on Tuesday in Paris after nearly 10 years of informal and preparatory talks by South Korea, Russia, China, the EU, the US, India and Japan, the Ministry of Science and Technology said. ITER, a fusion energy project worth US$12.8 billion and expected to run over 30 years, will be built at Cadarache in southern France. It aims to provide a clean source of energy that can replace fossil fuel. South Korea joined the project in June 2003 and is expected to pay about 9 percent of the US$5 billion construction cost, Yonhap said.
■ United Kingdom
Police hunt Tiger traders