Fri, May 25, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INDONESIA

Smugglers to be executed

Three Indonesians have been sentenced to death for trying to smuggle thousands of ecstasy tablets into the country, a sentencing judge said yesterday. The three were sentenced on Wednesday after being convicted of attempting to traffic almost 25,500 tablets from Malaysia to Indonesia's nearby Batam island, judge Haruno Patriadi said. "The three were found guilty of violating the anti-drug laws by illegally and in an organized way carrying, possessing and keeping psychotropic drugs," Patriadi said.

■ INDIA

Wall collapse kills 30

At least 30 people died on Wednesday when a wall collapsed onto a liquor store in southern India, officials said. Rescue workers said the victims were queuing to buy liquor from a state-run store in the state of Tamil Nadu when the wall fell on them. "We have so far recovered 25 bodies and are looking for more," local administrator Neeraj Mittal said. Mittal said five more victims had been taken to hospital with serious injuries. The wall collapsed onto the tin roof of the store after being weakened by heavy rain.

■ HONG KONG

Daily branded `indecent'

A Hong Kong newspaper has been branded "indecent" after it reprinted a local university's survey on sexual fantasies, including incest and bestiality, that authorities had declared obscene. The article in broadsheet newspaper Ming Pao Daily was classified as indecent by the Obscene Publications Tribunal following the reprinting of the 14 questions published in a Chinese University magazine. The survey, in CU Student Press, asked questions such as: "Do you fantasize about having sex with your parents or animals?" It was branded as a class II obscene article by the tribunal. The newspaper has vowed to appeal the decision.

■ CHINA

Lightning proves deadly

A fire started by a lightning strike killed seven students and injured 39 others at a primary school in southwestern China, an official said yesterday. The lightning hit a tree next to the school in Chongqing city on Wednesday, igniting a fire that spread quickly to two classrooms, killing seven children aged between 10 and 14 who had been sitting by the windows, said a Kaixian county education bureau official. The Xinye Village Primary School was made of brick with wooden beams and was located in a lightning-prone mountainous area, Chinese Central Television reported on its Web site. Chinese Central Television reported on its Web site that 95 children and teachers were in the building when it was hit.

■ JAPAN

Lesbian standing for office

The main opposition party is fielding an openly lesbian candidate for July's upper house elections, in an unprecedented move for the country's conservative political world. The Democratic Party has endorsed 32-year-old Kanako Otsuji, a former local assemblywoman and outspoken campaigner for gay and other minority rights, as a candidate for the upcoming national poll, an official at her office said yesterday. "This is the first time a national political party has officially fielded an openly gay person," the official said. Otsuji came out midway through her four years as a member of the local assembly in the western city of Osaka, writing a book about her experience and taking part in gay and lesbian rallies.

■ BAHRAIN

Boat owner gets 10 years

The owner of a boat that sank last year leaving 58 people dead was sentenced to 10 years in prison, his lawyer said on Tuesday. Abdullah al-Qubaisi, from the Al-Dana company that owned the vessel, and the wooden boat's Indian captain, who was sentenced to three years for manslaughter, were given "severe" maximum sentences, said Abdel Rahman Ghoneim, adding that he would appeal because the owner was innocent. "My client did have a contract with the passengers [of the boat] but with a company" that organized the boat trip in the Gulf on the day of the disaster, he added.

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