Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ CHAIN

No sexual favors for firemen

Firemen have been banned from receiving sexual favors, bribes and other kickbacks as part of a new anti-corruption drive, the police ministry has announced. Receiving sexual favors is listed as one of the "non-material gains" that have been banned for anyone in the fire services department, the ministry notice said. Officials are also prevented from accepting cash, valuables and stocks and shares, while they and their relatives are banned from running fire service businesses and being contractors of related construction projects.

■ AUSTRALIA

Father sentenced to life

A man convicted of drowning his three sons during a Father's Day outing to spite his ex-wife was sentenced to life without parole yesterday. Robert Farquharson, 37, killed his sons Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and Bailey, 2, by driving his car into a dam near his home in Winchelsea,Victoria, on Sept. 4, 2005. Farquharson, 38, pleaded not guilty but was convicted last month after a jury rejected his defense that he had blacked out from a coughing fit while driving. Cummins said Farquharson told a friend months before the deaths that he resented his ex-wife's new life and had suggested his sons would die in an accident at a dam.

■ JAPAN

Bullying cases rise

The number of bullying cases reported in schools has risen sharply after the term's definition was broadened following a series of bullying-linked student suicides, the Education Ministry said on Thursday. A total of 124,898 cases of bullying were reported at elementary, junior high and high schools in the fiscal year ending in March, up from 20,143 cases a year earlier. An official attributed the sharp rise to the wider definition of bullying and to the inclusion of private and national government-run schools in the total. It found that five junior high schoolers and one high schooler killed themselves because of bullying in the past fiscal year, up from one a year earlier.

■ CHINA

Lottery addicts receive help

A help center for lottery addicts that offers counseling and legal assistance has opened, the Beijing Morning Post said yesterday. The service will be run by the lottery research center at Peking University. "Most people who buy lottery tickets in China are not mentally mature, and they still hold the belief that they can be rich overnight," the center's director said.

Agencies";

■ GERMANY

Minister cancels China trip

The finance minister has canceled a planned trip to Beijing as his Chinese counterpart would not have been available to meet him, the ministry said on Thursday. Peer Steinbruck's planned visit of several days next month was called off because of the "very busy schedule of the new Chinese finance minister," Xie Xuren (謝旭人), the ministry said. Der Spiegel magazine said the cancelation was a sign of the strained relations between the two countries since Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Dalai Lama last month.

■ SWEDEN

Man guilty of sex crimes

A 32-year-old British man was found guilty on Thursday of infecting two young women with HIV, putting 13 more at risk of infection, and having sex with minors. Christer Merrill Aggett. Solna District Court ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination before sentencing. He was charged last month for having sex with girls and women without telling them he was HIV-positive. Two of the women were infected. Six of the women who were not infected were under the age of 15 when the sexual encounters took place.

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