Thu, Oct 04, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ JAPAN

TB doctor triggers scare

About 400 people will be tested for tuberculosis after their doctor was diagnosed with the disease, the local government in Gifu, 270km west of Tokyo, said on Tuesday. The doctor had been coughing and breathing heavily since January but was not diagnosed until last month. The local government has sent check-up requests to 415 of the doctor's patients, including babies and elderly people who run the highest risk of infection. The doctor has treated 1,695 patients since January, but the local government said it was unlikely that any would have been infected as the doctor would only have spent a brief time seeing each patient.

■ CHINA

Group slams detentions

Four Tibetan teenagers have been detained for more than a month on suspicion of scribbling graffiti calling for Tibet's independence and the return of the Dalai Lama, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet said yesterday. A fifth boy was hospitalized with injuries stemming from beatings he suffered during detention, the Washington-based group said. The students were initially detained early last month after the graffiti appeared on walls of a school and a police station in Xiahe County in Gansu Province. A man who answered the phone at the Xiahe county government office called the report "nonsense and rumor."

■ INDIA

Police shoot protester

A man was killed and dozens of people injured in West Bengal yesterday after hundreds of people clashed with police, accusing officials of hoarding food stocks meant for the poor. At least 100 people, including dozens of policemen, have been injured in clashes this week during protests against what locals say is widespread graft in the government's public distribution system. Poor villagers say that subsidized food grains and sugar meant for them were being diverted to regular markets and sold at huge premiums by corrupt officials. Witnesses said one protester was killed when police opened fire to disperse a mob but police said they were still investigating how he died.

■ PHILIPPINES

Customs get surprise

The package from Hong Kong looked innocent enough, marked "personal clothing." But when customs officials opened it, they were stunned to see about 300 live scorpions and spiders. The creatures were packed in nets, bottles and transparent plastic boxes, concealed under clothes, newspapers reported yesterday. "The scorpions almost bit the examiner," Nelson Ebio, a port collector at the Central Mail Exchange Center, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The Philippine Star daily quoted Ebio as saying the package arrived on Monday, but it was not clear who sent it.

■ CHINA

Court reprieves torturer

A man who was sentenced to death for torturing and trying to kill his ex-girlfriend has been given a two-year reprieve, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. The Shaanxi Provincial Higher People's Court ruled that if Cai Chao shows good behavior over the next two years, his death sentence will be commuted to life in prison. Xinhua said Cai had appealed the death sentence given to him by a lower court. He had tied up the woman, burned her with cigarettes, poured boiling water on her and then stabbed her in the chest and abdomen before stabbing himself. The higher court said that Cai had shown remorse for his actions and that leniency should be shown.

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