Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ CHINA

Viral disease infects children

At least 121 children and one adult have been infected by hand, foot and mouth disease in the past two weeks in Inner Mongolia in northern China, state media reported. Xinhua news agency, quoting Health Ministry figures, said late on Thursday that by late last month 5,459 cases of the disease had been reported around China, a jump of 120 percent compared with the same period last year. The viral disease, which is common in children, has infected students at kindergartens, primary schools and in private homes in Erdos city in central Inner Mongolia, Xinhua said. All have been quarantined and are in stable condition, it said.

■ INDIA

Old man fails exams again

This year, like the past 39 years, Shivcharan Jatav tried to pass his 10th grade high school exams -- and failed again. The 73-year-old from western India was undeterred, vowing yesterday to try again next year, in the hope that an education would improve his job and marriage prospects. Jatav, a farmer from the desert state of Rajasthan, who had no formal education as a child, said he had being trying to pass the exams since 1969, when an army recruiter told him it would improve his chances of being accepted into the military. Jatav passed only one subject, the ancient language of Sanskrit, and scored just 103 out of a total of 600 in the examinations, he said.

■ CHINA

`Feudal' products banned

Chinese health foods will no longer be allowed to make exaggerated claims about their effects or have names that are too long, too confusing or "feudal," new government rules stipulate. The use of foreign languages and romanization of Chinese are banned and health foods cannot be named after human organs, the State Food and Drug Administration said. "You cannot use words tainted with vulgarity, feudalism or superstition," the watchdog said in rules posted on its Web site. "You cannot use false, exaggerated or absolute language, such as `the most effective, fastest acting, latest generation,'" it added.

■ AUSTRALIA

Three-leg dog saves family

A three-legged dog has saved a family from their burning home, police said yesterday. The dog's persistent barking woke the family, allowing them to escape from a fire that destroyed their timber home in Dalby, a town west of Brisbane in Queensland state, police said. They said the property's owner and her two children, aged four and two, escaped with their savior Jack, a blue heeler-cross who lost his front left leg in a car accident five years ago. The fire is believed to have been sparked by a faulty heater.

■ BELGIUM

EU orders cash declaration

Travelers in and out of the EU must declare cash amounts of 10,000 euros (US$13,300) or more under new European rules which went into effect yesterday to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. "The new rules will make it more difficult for terrorists to enter or leave the Community with the cash required to finance their illegal actions," European Taxation and Customs Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs said. Under the new rules customs officials are empowered to search people and their luggage. Penalties will be up to member states to decide but should have "a deterrent effect."

■ RUSSIA

FSB probes spy allegation

Russia's security agency said yesterday it had opened an espionage case in connection with claims made by Andrei Lugovoi, the suspect named by Britain in the radiation poisoning death of former agent Alexander Litvinenko in London last year. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, did not name any suspects. Last month, Lugovoi claimed that both Litvinenko and his associate, Boris Berezovsky, had contacts with Britain's foreign intelligence agency, and that Berezovsky had given British intelligence sensitive information about Russia.

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