Mon, Jun 25, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ AUSTRALIA

Aboriginal musician dies

A pioneer of Aboriginal rock music, who inspired the unofficial national anthem My Island Home that closed the Sydney 2000 Olympics, will be buried this week on his own island home off Australia's northern wilderness. George Burarrawanga, 50, the lead singer of the seminal indigenous Warumpi Band, died of cancer in his family home surrounded by his Gumatj clan on June 10. His humor and ego remained healthy to the end, according to the media statement he left for his managers to release. "The King of Rock `n' Roll is gone, the leader of the Warumpi Band has died today," it said.

■ CHINA

Russian beaten to death

A Russian man was beaten to death and his companion injured when four Chinese youths allegedly attacked them outside a Beijing bar, state press reported yesterday. The killing took place early on Saturday morning outside the city's trendy Banana Club, the Beijing News said. Witnesses said the two Russian men ran out of the club chased by the four youths, the paper said. The Russian embassy has identified the man, but did not release his name. Police are currently investigating the incident.

■ VIETNAM

Two arrested over cables

Two more people have been arrested after fishermen dragged up seafloor fiber-optic cables, threatening to sever the country's global telecommunication links, a news report said yesterday. Police on Saturday arrested Nguyen Thi Bich Phuong, the owner of a small fishing fleet, and a second suspect, for "destroying important equipment and means of national security," the Communist Party's newspaper Nhan Dan reported. Ten people are now being held for dragging the cables, in the mistaken belief they were old copper lines that could be sold for scrap, the report said. It will cost at least US$5.8 million to repair the active sections of high-tech cable that have been destroyed.

■ CHINA

Slave labor investigated

Six officials and police officers in Shanxi Province are being investigated for allegedly shirking their duties in connection with a growing slave labor scandal that has shocked the country, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The six in Hongtong Country include policemen, officials from the local land and resources office and the local industry and commerce office, Xinhua said. Hundreds of children and adults were forced to work long hours in grueling conditions without pay in 15 separate cases of slavery at brick kilns.

■ ITALY

Police arrest Mafia bosses

Police on Saturday arrested nine suspected Mafia bosses, who authorities feared were plotting to kill small-time thieves poaching on their territory in Sicily, local media reported. Among those captured in the morning raids by paramilitary Carabinieri police was Tommaso Cannella, the reputed clan boss in the town of Prizzi, near Corleone, ANSA and state TV reported from Palermo. Intercepted phone conversations indicated the suspects were angered that criminals outside the Mafia were carrying out thefts on local businesses, TV news reports said, citing investigators.

■ Gaza Strip

Kidnappers fear Hamas

The kidnappers of British reporter Alan Johnston fear they will be harmed if they release him now that Hamas is in control of Gaza, despite assurances otherwise, a senior Hamas official said. Mahmoud Zahar, a hardline Hamas leader, has been overseeing negotiations with the Army of Islam, which claims to hold the BBC correspondent. Johnston was snatched from a Gaza City street on March 12. "The kidnappers are afraid, afraid," Zahar said in a lecture at a Gaza mosque on Saturday.

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