Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ CHINA

Electric bike explodes

Police were investigating a bike explosion that killed one person and injured five others, state media said yesterday. The blast occurred on Wednesday evening on a downtown street in Hunan Province's Zhuzhou City when an electric bike suddenly exploded, Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua said initial investigations showed that the blast was caused by a cache of explosives on the electric bike. It did not say if police believe the material was being transported or was detonated by the bike's 35-year-old rider, who was killed in the blast.

■ JAPAN

`Shoplifter' beaten to death

Police arrested the manager of a supermarket on Wednesday on suspicion of beating a man to death for stealing two cans of beer. The 40-year-old supermarket manager is thought to have dragged the man to a storage area at the back of the shop in Chiba Prefecture on Tuesday and beaten him around the stomach and face before leaving him in the road, Kyodo news agency said. A passer-by called an ambulance, but the man later died in hospital, Kyodo said. "I never thought he would die," Kyodo quoted the manager as telling police. Police said they were trying to confirm the identity of the victim, who appeared to be in his 50s or 60s.

■ NEPAL

Prince suffers heart attack

Crown Prince Paras suffered a major heart attack and was admitted to the Norvic hospital in Kathmandu yesterday, doctors said. The prince, 35, was in stable condition, Dr. Bharat Rawal said. "He had his right artery blocked and we were able to treat that on time," Rawal said. "He is out of danger and fully conscious." Paras will have to stay at the hospital for at least five days, first two days in intensive care unit, he said. Paras remains an unpopular prince, dogged by allegations of involvement in two vehicular homicides and frequent drunken brawls in nightclubs and discos.

■ MALAYSIA

Pig cull called off

The government has called off a cull of 50,000 pigs amid concerns it could stoke racial tensions between Chinese pig farmers and their Muslim neighbors. Authorities in Malacca state abandoned the cull on Tuesday night after dozens of farmers formed a human barricade around their farms. Riot police were called in to keep them at bay. Officials had said they ordered the cull following complaints from residents about the smell and water pollution from the pig farms. The government denied on Wednesday the cull had been called off because of fears of racial tensions and said farmers had now agreed to reduce their herds. But an opposition party said the racial dimension had forced authorities to back down.

■ CHINA

Sandwich not cause of death

Tainted food was not to blame for the death of Whang Joung-il, a South Korean diplomat in Beijing, even though the man became ill after eating a tuna sandwich, Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu (陳竺) said on Wednesday. Whang suffered severe stomach pains and vomiting after having the sandwich from a nearby eatery on the night of July 28. He checked himself into a health clinic the next morning and died two hours later. An investigation determined the sandwich was not to blame for the death of 52-year-old Whang, Chen said. Whang's family has said the ministry told the embassy on Aug. 5 that it had reached a tentative conclusion that Whang died of "acute myocardial infraction," a kind of heart attack.

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