Tue, Jul 31, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INDIA

Prisoner makes HIV threat

An HIV-positive prisoner has threatened to infect inmates and officials if he is not given special privileges, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported yesterday. The 24-year-old man -- charged with attempted murder, robbery and assault -- has been threatening to injure himself and touch jailers if they do not serve him better food, give him cigarettes and allow him more time outside his cell, it said. "This is his usual modus operandi. Officials fear going near him," said Sunil Gupta, an official at New Delhi's Tihar jail, the largest prison in Asia.

■ MALAYSIA

Body found in refrigerator

A man who bought a luxury apartment in an upper class suburb found a dead body chopped into 11 pieces in the refrigerator, reports said yesterday. Police said the owner, in his 30s, made the gruesome discovery on Sunday when he went to the apartment in Mont Kiara, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur, after receiving the keys last week. "When he [the owner] opened the door he suspected something amiss when he smelled a strong stench and immediately called the security guard," said Ku Chin Wah, the criminal investigation department chief. "They found the body in a refrigerator which was sealed with masking tape."

■ VIETNAM

Dengue up 40.5 percent

Dengue fever has killed 35 people so far this year and nearly 33,000 others have been infected with the mosquito-borne disease, officials and state media said yesterday. The number of cases increased 40.5 percent in the period from January to this month, as compared with the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said. The GSO did not give a death toll, but the deputy head of the country's preventive healthcare department, Nguyen Van Binh, told the Nhan Dan newspaper that 35 people had died. The illness has spread rapidly in Vietnam's central and southern Mekong Delta provinces, Binh said.

■ NORTH KOREA

North Koreans vote

North Korea reported yesterday a 99.8 percent turnout for nationwide local elections, with 100 percent of the electors choosing the candidates on offer. The official Korean central news agency said Sunday's local polls "marked an important occasion in reinforcing as firm as a rock the revolutionary government of the DPRK [North Korea] led by Kim Jong-il." The agency, quoting the Central Election Guidance Committee, said 99.82 percent of all registered voters turned out to elect deputies to provincial, city and county people's assemblies.

■ FRANCE

`La Cage' actor dies

Actor Michel Serrault, whose hit performance as a transvestite in La Cage aux Folles catapulted him to international stardom, has died, his priest said yesterday. He was 79. Serrault died on Sunday of cancer in his home in the northwestern city of Honfleur, Reverend Alain Maillard de La Morandais said. Serrault appeared in more than 130 films during a career that spanned half a century. After debuting as a comic actor, Serrault became one of France's most versatile stars, playing a serial killer, a grizzled farmer and a crooked banker. "I'm against those who only want to entertain," Serrault said in 2002.

■ ITALY

Kissing gay men arrested

Gay activists said on Sunday they would organize a sit-in "with collective kissing" at the Colosseum to protest against the arrest of two men, for what police described as an "oral relationship." They risk being tried for public indecency, punishable by up to two years in jail. Government politicians deplored the arrests as exemplifying a rising tide of harassment of gay people. But a Carabinieri spokesman insisted the officers had merely applied the law. The equal opportunities minister in Prime Minister Romano Prodi's center-left government warned of a growing number of "homophobic acts," some organized by the far right.

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