Mon, Apr 23, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ CHINA

Croc killed after eating boy

A show crocodile in an amusement park has been shot to death after it dragged a nine-year-old schoolboy into its pond and devoured him. Several youths had climbed over the fence at the Yintan resort in Beihai and were hitting animals with sticks and rocks when one croc took hold of the boy's clothes and pulled him into the water, the Beijing Morning Post said yesterday. A swarm of up to 11 crocodiles then ate the boy, the report said. The crocodiles are still being bred even though their performances at the park were halted several years ago, it said.

■ JAPAN

Abe: `We feel responsible'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said Tokyo feels "responsible" for forcing women to work in brothels during World War II, Newsweek magazine has reported. Abe's remark appears to be an effort to deflect US criticism over comments he made last month that there was no proof the government or the military had forced the women, mostly Asian and many Korean, to serve soldiers in the brothels. "We feel responsible for having forced these women to go through that hardship and pain as comfort women under the circumstances at the time," Abe was quoted as saying in the interview.

■ JAPAN

Businessman faces verdict

Former property developer Joji Obara, charged with serial rape and killing two foreign women, including Briton Lucie Blackman in 2000, faces a court verdict tomorrow in a case experts call the worst sex crime in the country's history. Obara, 54, is charged with total of 10 cases of rape, including drugging, raping and killing Blackman, a 21-year-old former British Airways flight attendant who was working at a hostess bar in Tokyo when she disappeared seven years ago. Obara also faces the same charge in the death of an Australian woman in 1992, and has been indicted for drugging and raping eight other women. Obara has denied all the charges, while the prosecutors are demanding a life sentence.

■ PAKISTAN

Video, CD shops blown up

A homemade bomb blew up three video and music shops in a market in the northwest where hardliners believe the businesses are un-Islamic, police said yesterday. The blast happened late on Saturday in Swabi, about 100km northeast of Peshawar, the capital of the deeply conservative North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, they said. "It destroyed one shop and partially damaged two others, but there were no casualties as the market was closed," local police chief Fazal Elahi Badshah said. The blast occurred in the Gulzada Market which has some 80 shops of CDs, DVDs and tape recorders.

■ MALAYSIA

Tribe sets up blockades

A struggling tribe in the rural countryside has set up blockades in a desperate attempt to protect its ancestral land on Borneo from logging. The Penan tribe in Sarawak state have used tree branches and wooden poles to build the blockades in what they say is a bid to save forests from being completely wiped out. "If we do not defend our rights today, after logging ends our forests will be set to be destroyed by plantation schemes," the chairman of the Sarawak Penan Association, Ajang Kiew, said in a statement. Ajang said Sarawak had failed to recognize Penans' native rights over the land.

■ UNITED KINGDOM

Arrest warrants to be issued

British detectives are set to issue arrest warrants for three Russians they suspect killed former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, the Mail on Sunday newspaper said. Police have told sources close to Litvinenko's widow Marina that they intend to charge the trio with murder and poisoning, the weekly said on its front page. Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitry Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko, all wealthy businessmen and ex-agents in the former Soviet KGB spying service, met Litvinenko three weeks before his agonizing death from radiation poisoning in London last year. They deny any wrongdoing.

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