Sun, Apr 01, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ JAPAN
Captain caught with clams

Japanese authorities formally arrested a Chinese ship captain yesterday for transporting clams from North Korea in violation of a ban on all imports from the country, an official said. The captain, 58-year-old Liu Mingguo, is suspected of trying to bring 55 tonnes of clams from North Korea to the southern port of Shimonoseki on board a Chinese-flagged cargo ship in February, Coast Guard official Yukitoshi Masaki said. The case is the first known violation of Tokyo's total ban on imports from North Korea following its nuclear test in October, Kyodo News agency reported.

■ JAPAN

Longest concert ends

Japanese musicians overcame fatigue and a strong earthquake to set the record for the world's longest concert yesterday, playing nonstop for 184 hours in a program that ranged from Beethoven to the Beatles. More than 900 musicians aged six to 89 took turns performing in the nine-day marathon -- with breaks of no more than five minutes between acts -- at a small railway station in Hikone city in western Japan, according to organizer Kuniko Teramura. An official from the Guinness Book of World Records was on standby to certify the record at 10am yesterday, she said.

■ MALAYSIA

Anti-graft official ousted

Malaysia's top anti-corruption official, who is facing a police investigation into graft allegations against him, will not have his contract renewed, a report said yesterday. Zulkipli Mat Noor's contract to head the Anti-Corruption Agency expired yesterday, according to the official Bernama News Agency, which said the prime minister's department announced just before midnight on Friday that it would not be extended. No reason was given, Bernama said. Zulkipli, 57, has refuted the graft allegations, saying that accusations of unaccounted wealth were "baseless."

■ CHINA

Rat poison sickens 57

Fifty-seven people were hospitalized after eating food laced with rat poison at a restaurant in eastern China, state media said on Friday. Customers who ate breakfast on Thursday morning at the restaurant in Zhejiang Province's Yongkang City fell ill and were admitted to hospital, the official Xinhua news agency said. Tests confirmed they had ingested rat poison, it said. Police are investigating the incident and suspect that someone deliberately poisoned the food, it said. All the patients, including children from two local primary schools and a kindergarten, were in stable conditions, it said. China has suffered hundreds of deaths from poisonings in recent years.

■ INDIA

Sex education ruled out

India's Maharashtra state has refused to introduce sex education in schools, with politicians saying it can corrupt young minds, a news report said yesterday. The western state's government also banned books that instruct teachers on how to present sex education in the schools, following opposition from lawmakers, the Indian Express newspaper reported. The decision was recently announced by Hasan Mushrif, junior state minister for school education, in the state legislature. Maharashtra is considered India's richest state and its capital, Mumbai, is the country's financial and entertainment hub. Although India is making economic strides, most people remain conservative about sex and even talking about it is still considered taboo. Engaging in homosexual acts is a crime.

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