Thu, Oct 11, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ SINGAPORE

Bible thief sentenced

A judge sentenced a man to four months in jail for stealing a bible, admonishing him with scripture before hauling him off to prison, the Straits Times reported yesterday. District Judge Bala Reddy also gave a new bible to the 26-year-old thief, who said he had tried to steal the book from a bookshop last month because he wanted to replace his old, tattered copy. At the Tuesday sentencing, the judge told the defendant -- who has previous convictions for theft -- to open his gift. "You will see at page 65 that it says `Thou shalt not steal,'" Reddy said.

■ SRI LANKA

Defense spending climbs

Colombo will hike overall defense spending by 20 percent to a record US$1.48 billion amid a rise in fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels, a bill tabled in parliament said yesterday. Defense spending next year would total 166.44 billion rupees (US$1.48 billion), up from an estimate of 139.4 billion rupees this year, the appropriation bill showed. The defense spending amounts to nearly a fifth of total government expenditure estimated at 925 billion rupees next year, the figures tabled in parliament showed. The government is due to unveil new revenue proposals on Nov. 7.

■ AFGHANISTAN

Two killed in mosque

Gunmen armed with machine guns opened fire on people praying at a mosque, killing two people and wounding 12, officials said yesterday. The assailants, numbering more than five, starting shooting inside the mosque in the Dashte Toop area of Wardak Province late on Tuesday, provincial police chief Eiwaz Khan Mazllum said. A local teacher was among those killed. Police were searching for the attackers, who fled after the attack, he said. Authorities were trying to determine the motive behind the shooting, said Muhibullah, the chief of criminal investigations in the province.

■ NEPAL

Everest concert planned

Mount Everest will host what organizers said yesterday will be the world's highest ever musical concert, planned by a group of cancer survivors and their supporters to help raise awareness of the disease. A group of 38, including seven cancer survivors, plans to leave Kathmandu Saturday and trek to the 5.5km-high Kalapathar hill for the Oct. 21 concert, said James Chippendale of the Denver, Colorado-based Love Hope Strength foundation. "The concert signifies our climb back from cancer and inspire others to climb back from cancer," Chippendale said in Kathmandu. "We are taking the battle against cancer to new heights."

■ SOUTH KOREA

Row emerges over defectors

Seoul lodged a protest with China yesterday after security officials scuffled with its diplomats in Beijing trying to help a group of North Koreans defect, a government official said. Four people believed to be North Korean refugees were arrested by Chinese security officials on Tuesday as they were seeking refuge inside a South Korean-run school in Beijing, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said. "We'll be summoning the Chinese side to express regret and ask for an explanation over the incident," a South Korean official said, requesting anonymity. The four entered the school and then were chased to the roof by security personnel.

■ AUSTRALIA

Vodka drip saves Italian

Doctors were forced to use an intravenous drip of vodka to keep a 24-year-old Italian tourist alive after he consumed large quantities of ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can kill. Doctors at Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland administered pure alcohol, the conventional antidote, but exhausted the hospital's supply. Desperate to continue the treatment the doctors bought vodka and hooked it up to the drip. "The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," Dr Todd Fraser said in a statement yesterday. "Fortunately for him he was in a medically induced coma for a good portion of that. By the time he woke up I think his hangover would have well and truly gone," Fraser said. "The ... administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka."

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