Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■Two-week traffic deaths: 224

Road crashes claimed 224 lives during recent Muslim festivities when millions of Malaysians drove out of cities to return to their hometowns, police said yesterday. The 15-day death toll -- mostly affecting motorcyclists -- came close to the 228 traffic fatalities during last year's Eid al-Fitr holiday season, despite a major safety campaign that flooded radio airwaves with reminders to drive carefully. More than 100,000 motorists were fined for traffic violations between Oct. 7 and Sunday, the period when Muslims traveled to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, according to police statistics. The total number of accidents nationwide exceeded 10,000.

■ THAILAND

Crocodile search continues

Shotgun-toting marksmen cruised rivers on Sunday hunting for 11 crocodiles that slithered away from a flooded farm. A total of 34 crocodiles escaped in the Non Sung district of Nakorn Ratchasima Province on Wednesday after floodwaters inundated a commercial farm which raises the reptiles for their meat and skins, said Suwira Phonkoh, an official in the province's special task force to help flood victims. Twenty-three crocodiles were later shot dead. The remaining 11 -- some as long as 6m -- were still at large on Sunday and authorities said capturing them was proving increasingly difficult.

■ CHINA

Shoe factory fire kills 36

A fire at an illegal shoe factory in southeastern China killed 36 people and injured at least 20, authorities said yesterday. The blaze broke out on Sunday night in a workshop making shoe uppers in the city of Putian in Fujian Province, the Xinhua news agency said. The factory was operating without a license, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its Web site. The agency said 36 people were killed and 20 injured, although the Xinhua report had put the death toll at 34, with 21 injured. A woman in the publicity department of Putian city's Public Security Bureau confirmed the blaze and said faulty electric wiring was likely to blame.

■ PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Magistrate stoned to death

A court magistrate in Papua New Guinea was stoned to death after his car crashed into a refugee camp in the capital Port Moresby, local media reported yesterday. The Post Courier newspaper said senior magistrate Ivo Cappo was killed on Saturday night when he lost control of his car, and ran into the camp on Ela Beach. None of the refugees were injured, but when Cappo got out of his car to inspect the crash, the refugees from the western part of New Guinea, which is under Indonesian rule, rushed him and stoned him to death, said the newspaper. "But whether it was willful or manslaughter is yet to be established," police chief Fed Yakasa told the National newspaper.

■ INDONESIA

March crash caused by pilot

The pilot of an Indonesian jetliner that crash-landed in March, killing 21 people, ignored repeated warnings that he was approaching the runway too fast and should circle around again, an investigation found. The Boeing 737-400 skidded off the runway at the Yogyakarta airport and plowed into a ricefield before bursting into flames. It was the fourth accident involving a commercial jetliner in Indonesia since 2005. Tatang Kurniadi, the chief of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the final probe concluded that pilot error was to blame.

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