Sun, Oct 07, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ NORTH KOREA

Kim snubs Internet proposal

Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has boasted of being an "Internet expert," reports said yesterday. The communist state keeps itself closed to the outside world to prevent so-called spiritual pollution from subverting its hardline socialist system. Kim told delegates at this week's historic inter-Korean summit his Internet expertise made him reluctant to allow further access to the Web in the communist state, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. Kim's comment came as he turned down South Korea's proposal that a joint industrial park in North Korea be connected to the Internet. "I am an Internet expert. Many problems would arise if the Internet is connected to other parts of the North," Yonhap quoted Kim as saying.

■ CHINA

Hu's handiwork on display

Poker-faced Chinese President Hu Jintao's(胡錦濤) prowess in decorative paper-cutting will soon go on display at an exhibition of the traditional art, local media reported yesterday. Hu is known to the outside world as the stern chief of China's ruling Communist Party who spurns the public singing and theatrics that were a hallmark of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin (江澤民). But that stiff image will be slightly dented when Hu's amateur effort at paper-cutting, titled "Returning to mother's home," is shown at a handicrafts exhibition in the central city of Wuhan in November, according to a Wuhan newspaper, the Changjiang Times. Cutting red paper into intricate images often displayed on home windows is a traditional Chinese craft still popular in many parts of the countryside.

■ CHINA

Vow addresses transplants

Chinese medical officials promised on Friday not to transplant organs from prisoners or other detainees, except into members of their immediate families. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the World Medical Association in Copenhagen. China has acknowledged that kidneys, livers, corneas and other organs are routinely removed from prisoners sentenced to death row. But officials insist that this only happens when consent is provided. Critics argue that death-row prisoners do not give consent. The news on Friday comes after several years of discussions.

■ JAPAN

Plane lands in wrong place

An All Nippon Airways plane landed on the wrong runway at Osaka's Itami airport on Friday, forcing another plane to delay take-off to avoid a collision, government and airport officials said. None of the 165 passengers and crew aboard the ANA plane was injured. The pilot of the ANA Airbus A320, arriving from Matsuyama in western Japan, misheard the air traffic controller's instructions and landed on the wrong runway just as a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane was preparing to enter the same runway to take off, they said. The pilot of the JAL plane halted after spotting the approaching ANA plane. The ministry is questioning the traffic controller for more details, he said.

■ MALAYSIA

Muslims get space guide

The government has come up with the world's first comprehensive guidebook for Muslims in space as its first astronaut prepares to go into orbit next week. The book, entitled Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites at the International Space Station, teaches the Muslim astronaut how to perform ablutions, determine the location of Mecca when praying, prayer times, and how to fast in space, the Star newspaper reported yesterday. The 18-page guidebook will be translated into English, Russian, Arabic and possibly other languages. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala Lumpur, will leave Earth from Kazakhstan's Baikonur launchpad for Russia's International Space Station on Wednesday.

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