Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

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■ China
Beijing to enforce manners

No spitting and get in line. That's the message Beijing city officials are trying to get across 18 months before the Olympics open in China's capital. "Everyone will be fined for spitting," read the headline in yesterday's Beijing Daily Messenger. In a chaotic city of 15 million, jumping ahead in line is common. So is spitting and littering, which officials hope to restrain in an effort to improve the city's image. Officials have announced a range of measures including "punishment and reward" programs to improve conduct.

■ China

Crowded truck drives off cliff

An overcrowded passenger vehicle returning from a wedding party plunged off a cliff in Hubei Province, killing the groom and 15 other members of his extended family, state media reported yesterday. Another 16 people were injured -- six of them seriously -- when the small truck packed with 32 wedding guests "veered off the road and over a cliff," the official Xinhua news agency reported. Liu Xiangdong, deputy head of the provincial safety office, blamed bad weather and overloading of the truck for Wednesday's accident. "The truck was only allowed to carry four people, but the actual passenger number was eight times more," Liu was quoted as saying.

■ Malaysia

Colleges to teach cleaning

It's never too late for toilet training. Some colleges may soon offer courses on how to keep public restrooms clean, the national news agency reported yesterday. The effort is meant to help public lavatories become as hygienic as those in countries such as Britain and Singapore, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Robert Lau was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency. "Clean toilets cannot merely be judged by the eyes," Lau was quoted as saying. Courses would involve managing washrooms by the highest standards in design and sanitation technology, said Lau. The government recently said it wanted to start a "toilet revolution" in a country where public restrooms have long nauseated citizens and tourists.

■ Philippines

Mayor shuts down police

A Philippine mayor closed all police stations in his town and seized patrol cars to protest a plan to revamp local law enforcement, officials said yesterday. Mayor Jessie Castillo of Cavite Province's Bacoor town, south of Manila, ordered the main police station and about five other detachments padlocked late on Wednesday to prevent the alleged changes, which he claimed were orchestrated by a rival politician intruding into his town's affairs. National government officials condemned Castillo's action and warned he could face criminal charges if the police stations were not reopened.

■ Japan

Smoke detected on subway

Smoke was detected on a Tokyo subway line yesterday, forcing operators to stop the trains, but there were no injuries, the subway operator and police said. A conductor on the Marunouchi subway line saw smoke coming from a track, but it was not clear whether he saw any fire, said Jiro Umegaki of Tokyo Metro Co Ltd. Police and firefighters rushed to the scene but there was no fire, and investigators found no sign of a possible crime, said Nobutaka Furusawa, deputy chief of the nearby Nakano Police Department.

■ United Kingdom
Graffiti sells for ?102,000

A work by an elusive British graffiti artist who began his career spray-painting bridges, walls and underpasses sold at auction on Wednesday for ?102,000 (US$200,000). Bombing Middle England, a work in acrylic and spray paint by the artist "Banksy" depicting well-heeled lawn bowlers tossing bombs, sold for double its pre-sale estimate at Sotheby's auction house. The price is a record for the artist, whose work has gained increasing cachet in recent years.

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