Sun, Feb 03, 2008 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INDIA

Poison gas kills sailors

Five navy sailors died after inhaling poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas while carrying out maintenance aboard a ship in the south, a navy spokesman said yesterday. Another three sailors were hospitalized after Friday's accident on the INS Jalashva, an amphibious transport vessel, during a military exercise, Commander Neeraj Kumar Sinha said. The condition of one of the sailors was serious, he said. "The accident was the result of inadvertent inhalation of hydrogen sulfide gas by the repair party carrying out maintenance in one of the ship's compartments, and not due to fire or any other causes," Sinha said.

■ VIETNAM

Vatican calls end to vigils

The Vatican has asked Vietnamese Catholics to end mass prayer vigils for the return of seized church land, with Hanoi signaling it would return the property, a priest said on Friday. Catholic followers have held daily vigils since the middle of December demanding back the property that was the Vatican's embassy until the 1950s near Hanoi's St Joseph's Cathedral, with thousands taking part in a rally last week.

■ SINGAPORE

Lee pans population plan

Singapore's drive to increase its population should not leave the city-state as crowded as Hong Kong, former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) was quoted as saying in local media yesterday. Singapore said last year it wants to add another 2 million people to its 4.7 million over the next 40 to 50 years to drive economic growth in the city-state. "I have not quite been sold on the idea that we should have 6.5 million," Lee was quoted as saying in the Straits Times.

■ INDONESIA

Police and soldiers clash

At least one policeman died and three were seriously injured in a clash with soldiers in Indonesia, a police spokesman said yesterday. Rumors a soldier had been kidnapped by police provoked an attack on their headquarters in eastern Maluku Province, national police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto said. The incident reportedly took place on Friday. Violence between soldiers and police is not uncommon in Indonesia.

■ MALAYSIA

Monkey business shelved

Kuala Lumpur has dropped plans to capture macaque monkeys in urban areas and export them for food and scientific research, after discovering most of the animals are riddled with diseases, a Cabinet minister said yesterday. The government last year lifted a decades-old ban on the export of the long-tailed monkeys, saying it would help curb their booming population in cities where they attack people and raid food supplies. Wildlife officials have found that 80 percent of urban macaques carried diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and the HIV/AIDS virus, Environment Minister Azmi Khalid said.

■ MYANMAR

New Rambo movie banned

Police in Myanmar have given DVD hawkers strict orders not to stock the new Rambo movie, which features the Vietnam War veteran taking on the ruling military junta, a Yangon resident said on Friday. Despite the prohibition, pirated copies of the movie are widely available on the streets of the former capital, where it is fast becoming a talking point among a population eager to shake off 45 years of military rule. "People are going crazy with the quote `Live for nothing, die for something,'" one resident said, referring to the tagline of the fourth Rambo instalment, which opened in the US this week.

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