Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Kazakhstan

Parrot smuggler arrested

Kazakh border guards arrested a man trying to smuggle 500 parrots in his car from neighboring Uzbekistan, media reported on Tuesday. "Border guards discovered a live cargo of 500 parrots in his car," Kazakhstan Today news agency quoted a KNB security service official as saying. It was unclear how the parrots were made to fit into the Kazakh man's Audi. Trade in wild parrots is banned around the world, according to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

■ Vietnam

Snakes and turtles seized

Police in the north confiscated nearly 8 tonnes of snakes and turtles destined for restaurants in neighboring China, an official said yesterday. The animals were smuggled from Thailand across Laos into Vietnam and were discovered in the back of a truck in the northern port city of Haiphong, where they were to be loaded onto a China-bound ship, said Pham Van Long, an official with the city's Forest Control Bureau. Long said two-thirds of the animals had already died, and the bureau was asking the government what to do with the remaining snakes and turtles.

■ Papua New Guinea

Women killed for witchcraft

Four women, believed by fellow villagers to have used sorcery to cause a fatal road crash, were tortured with hot metal rods to confess, then murdered and buried standing up in a pit, said police. The National newspaper said yesterday that police had only just uncovered the grisly murders, which occurred last October near the town of Goroka in the jungle-clad highlands, 400km north of Port Moresby. Black magic is widespread in the South Pacific nation where most of the 5.1 million population live subsistent lives. Women suspected of being witches are often hung or burnt to death. Local police commander Chief Inspector David Seine told the newspaper that people in the village of Kamex accused the four women of sorcery after a road crash killed three prison officers.

■ China

Mine rescue abandoned

Rescue workers have abandoned efforts to find 29 miners trapped for a week in a flooded mine in the north because of safety concerns, state media said yesterday. The water level in the mine has risen despite efforts to pump it out, and experts believe there is little chance that any of the trapped miners are still alive, Xinhua news agency said. The flood occurred Jan. 17 at the Haolaigou Iron Ore Mine near Baotou, the biggest industrial city in Inner Mongolia, when 46 miners were changing shifts. Eleven miners escaped right away and six more were rescued the next day, Xinhua said.

■ Australia

Man's life sold on eBay

An Australian man who agreed to sell his "life" on eBay for A$7,500 (US$5,875) said yesterday he was prepared to go through with the deal if the buyer pays cash. Earlier this month, 24-year-old Nicael Holt posted his life for sale on the Internet auction site, saying the deal included his name, phone number and all of his belongings. "New life for sale!!" Holt's entry on eBay read. He said he would also introduce the buyer to all his friends and "potential lovers [around eight which I have been flirting with]." The buyer would also "have access to a cruisy job in March delivering fruit." Also part of the sale was a repertoire of six jokes, a fractured relationship with an ex-girlfriend and a training course in becoming Holt.

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