Fri, Feb 15, 2008 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

■ THAILAND

"Police target teen sex

Alarmed by polls showing one in four teens will celebrate St Valentine's Day by having sex, police planned to swoop on motels, malls and parks to ensure youths behaved themselves. The annual campaign to ensure good behavior on Valentine's Day involved city officials turning on all lights at public parks in Bangkok, while parents were urged to make sure their teenagers came home early. Police and "student inspectors" from the Education Ministry were to check discrete "curtain" motels to make sure youths under the legal age of 18 were not using them for amorous interludes.

■ INDONESIA

Quake sparks tsunami alert

A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern province of Maluku early yesterday, prompting a tsunami alert that was later lifted, the meteorology and geophysics office said here. The earthquake, which struck at 2:58am, was centered 275km southwest of Maluku, some 10km under the seabed, the office said. "There is the potential for a tsunami," it said. One hour later the alert was lifted. Tsunami warnings are routinely issued in Indonesia for strong quakes occurring at a depth of 10km or less. Equipment is not currently in place to measure a change in water depth commensurate with a tsunami forming off a coast.

■ AUSTRALIA

Dozens rescued from yacht

Thirty-seven people were airlifted from a stricken yacht off the Great Barrier Reef on Tuesday in the second dramatic rescue from wild seas in two days, police said. Two helicopters were used to winch the passengers and crew from the 18m yacht stranded in the Whitsunday Islands in the northeastern state of Queensland, they said. Heavy rain, strong winds and large seas forced rescuers to abandon plans to use boats or ropes to bring the passengers to shore. Overnight police pulled a family of six, including four children, to safety after their yacht slipped its moorings in gale-force winds and smashed into rocks at nearby Airlie Beach.

■ SOUTH KOREA

Space kimchi ready to go

A specially engineered version of kimchi, the beloved pickle dish, has been cleared for a historic space mission this year, officials said on Wednesday. The bacteria-free kimchi, developed by top scientists, will blast off along with the country's first astronaut after being approved by Russian space authorities, they said. Instant noodles, cinnamon tea and uncooked organic food, all developed by the state-run food research body, have also been approved for the mission in April.

■ JAPAN

Film director passes on

Kon Ichikawa, the film director whose versatility ranged beyond well-known anti-war dramas like The Burmese Harp and Fires on the Plain to comedies and documentaries, died on Wednesday in Tokyo at the age of 92. The cause was pneumonia, said a spokeswoman for Toho, which released many of Ichikawa's more than 80 films and announced his death. Ichikawa's career reached what many consider its high point when US viewers were streaming to art-cinema houses in the 1950s and 1960s to see movies by emerging masters like Ingmar Bergman. In those years critics rated Ichikawa on a level with Akira Kurosawa. He was "once hailed as one of the world's greatest directors," Olaf Moeller wrote in 2001 in Film Comment.

■ ARMENIA

Ten hurt in plane crash

A plane carrying 21 people crashed on takeoff from the capital Yerevan early yesterday, injuring at least 10 people, the head of the civil aviation authority said.

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