Wed, Apr 04, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INDIA
Dog death prompts suicides

An elderly couple were so devastated by the death of their dog that they committed suicide, police said on Monday. C.N. Madanraj, 66, and his wife Tara Bai, 63, were found hanging in their home in Hyderabad on Sunday after neighbors told police about a foul smell coming from their house, police officer V. Anantaiah said. The couple left behind a suicide note saying they were ending their lives after the death of "Puppy," their pet of 13 years, Anantaiah said. The note also requested that police inform their relatives about their deaths, and the couple left behind US$40 to pay for their funeral.

■ INDIA

Man tries to ransom himself

A man's plan to abduct and ransom himself to pay a blackmailer who threatened to reveal an illicit love affair came undone after he fell off a roof and broke his hip, police said. Ravindra Kumar of the lawless eastern Indian state of Bihar went missing on March 19, and his wife alerted police when she received a ransom demand of 10 million rupees (US$230,000). But the case took a twist on Monday after Kumar tumbled from a roof and was rushed to hospital by his blackmailer. He was quizzed by police and then charged with lodging a false case, said Anwar Hussain, police chief for Bihar's capital city Patna.

■ HONG KONG

Job-search etiquette lacking

Hong Kongers may be a hard-working bunch, but when it comes to gaining employment in the first place some leave a lot to be desired, a survey of questionable job-seeking techniques revealed on Monday. From one candidate who offered her would-be boss a bribe to another whose idea of looking for work was watching TV, the Chinese city's job-hunters can be woefully inept. "Despite the fact that salary increases are on the rise, job-search etiquette is not," said international finance sector recruitment company Robert Half, which conducted the survey of 508 employers.

■ INDONESIA

One of 107 wives beaten

A 74-year-old Indonesian with 107 wives has reportedly been jailed for beating one of them in front of three others -- because he suspected she had been unfaithful. The victim recounted the crime to police on Java, the Koran Tempo newspaper said. A local police chief was quoted as saying that the husband, Abdurahman, was guilty of torturing Tariah, his second wife. Islam permits up to four wives and polygamy is thought to be widespread in Indonesia. Only four of Abdurahman's wives were still living with him. He said he had 41 children and "countless grandchildren," according to the newspaper.

■ CHINA

Gay Web site to launch

A Web site will launch on Thursday what its producer describes as the country's first show to focus on gay issues and the first with an openly homosexual host. The weekly, hourlong Internet TV show Tongxing Xianglian, or "Connecting Homosexuals," will debut on Thursday on www.phoenixtv.com. The Web site is run by the same media company that runs the Phoenix satellite TV station. Clips from the online show will be aired by the broadcaster. The producer of the show said that while homosexuals have appeared on Chinese TV shows, this will be the first show to focus on gay issues and the first with an openly gay host, AIDS activist Didier Zheng.

■ UNITED KINGDOM
Minimum wage criticized

One in seven of London's full-time workers earns less than what the capital's mayor, Ken Livingstone, deems to be the minimum wage necessary to survive on in the city, he said on Monday. And almost half of part-time workers earn below the benchmark, he added. The mayor announced that his new "London Living Wage" figure was ?7.20 (US$14.25) per hour -- well above the ?5.35 national minimum wage for workers aged over 22. The mayor has no powers to compel employers to up their wages for employees.

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