Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ AFGHANISTAN

Critical governor sacked

The government has sacked a provincial governor, accusing him of sowing discord, the Interior Ministry said yesterday, after he made a rare public criticism of President Hamid Karzai. The governor of Kapisa, Abdul Sattar Murad, was removed after repeated complaints from civilians that Sattar had been ineffective, created discord, bullied the public and persuaded coalition forces to carry out raids without justification, the ministry said. But Murad said he was sacked because he had publicly criticized Karzai in an interview published last week.

■ HONG KONG

Plastic bags to be taxed

Shoppers are to be made to pay a tax on every plastic bag they take home in an effort to cut down on environmental pollution, officials said yesterday. The government is to impose a charge of HK$0.50 (US$0.06) on plastic bags given out by supermarkets and retail chain stores after a successful trial in the city's supermarkets. The new tax, which will raise money for environmental projects in the territory, follows the success of a monthly "no plastic bag day."

■ HONG KONG

Sharks cause scare

A shark alert was stepped up at a popular swimming beach yesterday after a 1m-long predator was spotted close to the coast. Two sharks were seen in waters off Hoi Ha Wan marine park over the weekend, prompting officials to warn swimmers to stay out of the water. The sightings follow a spate of shark spottings around Hoi Ha Wan over the past fortnight and the discovery of a dead shark in nets off another popular beach at Stanley.

■ NEPAL

Rebel explosives destroyed

Experts have begun destroying explosives that were once used by communist rebels to fight government troops and bomb government targets, a senior UN official said yesterday. Ian Martin, the chief UN official in the country, said the process of destroying the explosives was a "limited test" but that it would continue. Explosives used by the Maoists are being kept in safe storage near the camps where thousands of ex-combatants have been confined as part of a peace process that ended a decade-old insurgency. Maoists joined a peace process last year ending their armed revolt. They joined the parliament and government this year. As part of the peace deal, their fighters have been confined in camps and weapons locked in containers under UN supervision.

■ CHINA

Safety doors cause death

A man who became trapped between a subway train and safety doors installed to prevent accidents fell to the tracks and was killed, Xinhua news agency reported. The man was struggling to enter the packed train at the Shanghai Indoor Stadium station on Sunday afternoon when the platform doors closed behind him, leaving him unable to either get on the train or return to the platform, Xinhua said. The man fell to the tracks, and was crushed by the train, Xinhua said. Paramedics were called, but the man died on his way to a hospital, it said. The accident was believed to be the first death blamed on the safety doors, which Shanghai is installing at all of its stations.

■ MYLASIA

Rescuers search for chopper

More than 1,000 soldiers, police and other rescue personnel scoured dense rain forest yesterday for a helicopter that went missing with six air force personnel, officials said. The Royal Malaysian Air Force's Sikorsky S-61 helicopter disappeared during bad weather over hilly, jungle-clad terrain on Friday while transporting crew from Kuala Lumpur to a military base in Pahang. Skies were relatively clear yesterday, but fog and rain had hampered the search over the weekend.

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