Tue, Jun 19, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ AUSTRALIA

Golden gun on display

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was truly the man with the golden gun. And to prove it, the Australian military handed over a golden Tabuk rifle to the Australian War Memorial yesterday. The military had received the rifle from US troops in thanks for taking part in the Iraq war. The rifle was found by US soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division while clearing buildings around Kirkuk, Iraq. The museum put the rifle on display.

■ SOUTH KOREA

Tycoon testifies in court

One of the nation's richest businessmen told a court yesterday he beat karaoke bar workers in the head in retaliation for a suspected attack on his son, and his bodyguards continued the assault when he got tired of punching. Prosecutors have said Hanwha Group chairman Kim Seung-youn and several bodyguards stormed into an upscale Seoul karaoke bar seeking those who had supposedly beat up his son in an early March incident. He then seized several workers, shuttled them off to a remote mountain area and forced them to their knees while he beat them, they said.

■ JAPAN

Passenger shirks order

Police arrested a suspected gangster on Sunday after he ignored an aircraft captain's order to turn off his five mobile phones as the plane was taking off, police said. Naoyuki Shimoda, a 34-year-old DVD sales clerk, was arrested for violating the Aviation Law for ignoring the captain's order when he was on board an aircraft taking off from Tokyo's Haneda airport, a spokeswoman from the police said. Following the captain's order, Shimoda said "Shut up! Why don't you call police," while continuing to use his mobile phones.

■CHINA

Needles found in boy

Doctors in Guangzhou City were planning to perform surgery on a one-year-old boy whose parents took him to a hospital because he had been unusually fussy and learned he had six sewing needles in his body, newspapers reported yesterday. The child's parents, who are migrant workers, said they had no idea how the needles ended up in their son, nicknamed Xiao Yu. The parents said they took Xiao Yu to a hospital on June 2 after he cried for three or four nights in a row and ate less than usual. X-rays revealed two needles inside the boy's chest, two in his scrotum, one embedded in his head and another in his abdomen. The parents said no strangers have come into contact with the boy.

■ JAPAN

Manta ray makes history

An aquarium in Okinawa is celebrating a special new arrival this week -- a giant manta ray keepers say is the world's first ever born in captivity. Video footage shows the 1.9m baby being squeezed out of her mother's body rolled up like a carpet, before unfurling her fins and flitting gracefully across the tank at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. "My heart was heavy at first because I thought it had been still-born, but we were so relieved when she finally started swimming around," the aquarium's manta ray breeder, Minoru Toda said. The birth on Saturday followed a pregnancy of more than a year after the 4.2m mother ray mated with a male manta also kept at the aquarium. Aquarium workers will use their intuition when caring for the new baby, because scientific knowledge about their development is limited, Toda said.

■ ITALY

`Architect of fashion' dies

Designer Gianfranco Ferre, known as the "architect of fashion" for his structured, sculpted shapes and for his groundbreaking tenure at Christian Dior, died on Sunday, a hospital said. He was 62. Ferre was taken to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan on Friday after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage. The hospital, in a statement authorized by Ferre's family, said he died at 9pm on Sunday. Ferre started his career as an accessories and jewelry designer and then moved on to clothes. His unofficial title as the country's architect of fashion came thanks to the degree in architecture he obtained in 1969 from Milan's Polytechnic Institute that inspired his designs.

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