Thu, Jul 26, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ CHINA

Caution urged for kissers

Beijing couples intent on stealing a kiss in public are being warned they could be caught on closed-circuit television -- and suspected of committing a crime, a state news agency reported yesterday. Xinhua news agency said "intimate acts of lovers may be initially categorized as `kidnapping' or `robbery' by the computers, which are programmed to be sensitive to violations of safe distances." But police officers monitoring the cameras will decide if the situation really is dangerous.

■ INDONESIA

Four foreigners missing

Four foreigners -- an Italian, a Japanese, a Singaporean and an American -- were reported missing after opening a Berlitz language school, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday. "Police do not know yet if they were kidnapped, are missing or on the road," said Kristiarto Legowo, adding that they were last known to have been in Surabaya on Java island on Tuesday. In Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki was quoted as saying that Indonesian police had informed consular officials about the disappearance.

■ INDIA

Chickens tested for bird flu

Authorities were testing chickens at a small poultry farm in India's remote northeast for bird flu after a number of birds died suddenly, a senior official said on yesterday. The "unusual mortality" this month left 133 chickens dead out of 144 at the farm in Manipur State, said Upma Chawdhry, Joint Secretary of the Animal Husbandry Department. "The mortality was sudden, just in the space of a few days," she said. The government expects the test results this week. India has reported no outbreak of bird flu in its multibillion dollar poultry industry or among backyard poultry this year, despite nearly a dozen alerts.

■ INDIA

Child abuse investigated

The Indian federal government has launched an investigation into the case of a 10-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused daily for three months by a teacher and two employees at his New Delhi school, a newspaper reported yesterday. The inquiry marks the first time the federal government has overseen a child abuse investigation. It was launched by the Ministry for Women and Child Development. A study in April that found more than 53 percent of children in India are sexually abused. Chowdhury said the boy was sodomized daily for three months last year, the Hindustan Times reported. Two of the men have been arrested, with police searching for the third.

■ FRANCE

Four die on Mont Blanc

Four mountain climbers died of cold and exhaustion after losing their way on snowcapped Mont Blanc in the Alps, French police said on Tuesday. The victims -- women from New Zealand, France and Chile, as well as a man from Britain -- were found at an altitude of approximately 4,000m, police said. "The group had no tent and failed to dig a hole to protect themselves from 120kph winds and falling snow," said Olivier Kim, of the regional police force. The victims' identities were not immediately released.

■ UNITED KINGDOM

Four students found guilty

A jury on Tuesday found four British students guilty of collecting extremist material that prosecutors argued was intended to encourage others to die as terrorist martyrs. Three students from Bradford University and London schoolboy Mohammed Irfan Raja were caught after Raja left a note for his parents saying he was going to fight abroad. Raja, 18, had been communicating and exchanging material with the others -- Aitzaz Zafar, 20, Usman Ahmed Malik, 21, and Akbar Butt, 20 -- on the Internet and went to stay with them in northern England in February. He returned home three days later after a tearful conversation with his parents. They took him to the police.

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