Sat, Jul 07, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ HONG KONG

Hotels targeted in attacks

Anti-triad police are investigating a series of attacks on buildings, including a Marriott hotel, linked to one of the territory's biggest property developers. Attackers rammed a car into the front entrance of the JW Marriott hotel in the city center early on Thursday morning, shattering the door and scattering glass over the lobby, the Standard newspaper reported. Minutes later, a car crashed into the headquarters of the New World Group, which is run by billionaire Cheng Yu-tung (鄭裕彤) and has links to Marriott International. Earlier in the week, more than a dozen mobile phone shops run by a New World subsidiary were daubed with paint and attackers drove a car into a Renaissance hotel.

■ CHINA

Nightclub blast investigated

An illegal stash of mining explosives was probably to blame for a nightclub blast that killed at least 25 people, media reports said yesterday. The explosion ripped through the Liaoning Province club, killing at least 25 and injuring 41. "The explosion was so powerful that there must have been about one tonne of explosives," the Beijing News quoted an investigator as saying. The owner of the club, who was killed in the blast, had stored the explosives in a vault, the newspaper quoted local residents as saying. "The boss of the club was quite rich and ran a coal mine as well," a resident surnamed Liu said.

■ CHINA

No clouds allowed

The weather forecast for Beijing's Olympics Games in August next year will be fine and sunny. Next month, the city plans to fine-tune "rain prevention" techniques to ensure good weather prevails during the Games, state media reported yesterday. The project is still in the experimental stage according to an official from the capital's artificial rain prevention program, the China Daily reported. China's Olympic hosts fear the capital's stormy August weather could put a damper on the Games, and worry that an untimely deluge could ruin the opening ceremony at the uncovered National Stadium.

■ MALAYSIA

Woman refuses to revert

Revathi Masoosai, 29, an ethnic Indian, was released from an Islamic rehabilitation center on Thursday after being detained for six months. The Islamic Religious Department detained Revathi in January and sent her for religious counseling after officials discovered she had married a Hindu man despite being born to a Muslim family. Malaysians who are born as Muslims are legally barred from changing religion. Revathi appeared in a High Court yesterday in an attempt to have her detention declared illegal. Revathi claimed officials at the center tried to make her pray as a Muslim, wear a head scarf and eat beef, but she refused.

■ SWIZERLAND

Seven wonders poll closes

The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome and Peru's Machu Picchu are leading contenders to be among the new seven wonders of the world, as a massive poll draws to a close with votes already cast by more than 90 million people, organizers said. As yesterday's midnight voting deadline approached, also in the top 10 were Greece's Acropolis, Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island, Brazil's Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Taj Mahal and Jordan's Petra. The winners will be announced today in Lisbon. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders, are assured of staying on the list.

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