Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ INDIA

Monkey god heads school

He’s a monkey, he’s a god, and now he’s a business school chairman. Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god revered for his strength and valor, has been named chairman of the recently opened Sardar Bhagat Singh College of Technology and Management in Lucknow, a school official said yesterday. The position comes with an incense-filled office, a desk and laptop computer. Four chairs will be placed facing the empty seat reserved for the holy chairman, said Vivek Kangdi, the school’s vice chairman. “When we were looking for a chairman for our institution, we scanned many big names in the field of technology and management. Ultimately, we settled for Lord Hanuman, as none was bigger than him,” Kangdi said.

■PHILIPPINES

Anwar wants troops’ return

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Friday urged his government to return its peacekeepers to the southern Philippines to prevent renewed clashes between Filipino troops and Muslim separatist rebels. Malaysia, which brokered peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has been disappointed with the slow pace of negotiations and decided to withdraw its peacekeepers from an international team that monitors a 2003 ceasefire. Anwar told a forum in Manila that “the proven and successful engagement” between warring sides is an imperative to peace.” He said Kuala Lumpur could present its “strong views” about the talks’ progress to Manila, “but nothing short of participating effectively in any multilateral effort to reduce skirmishes and violence in the region.” He said the international monitoring team “has helped ease the situation and it is unfortunate if we resort to ignore that importance and therefore withdraw.”

■ JAPAN

Deal reached on ‘ice’ energy

Tokyo and Washington yesterday agreed to cooperate on research into methane hydrate, known as the “ice that burns,” which is seen as a promising future energy source. Energy ministers from the world’s two largest economies signed the cooperation agreement at a meeting in northern Japan that comes amid mounting concern about record-high oil prices. Methane hydrate, or methane gas trapped in frozen water, looks like ice but burns. Its deposits can be found in permafrost regions and seabeds.

■INDIA

Widow throws huge feast

A rich 80-year-old Indian widow has spent thousands of dollars on a feast for 100,000 people in the hope it will please the gods and open the doors of heaven for her, local officials said. People from surrounding villages and towns were fed lunch over two consecutive days by Phuljharia Kunwar, who lives in the eastern state of Bihar and has no family or relatives. Kunwar spent US$37,500 on the feast. Local officials said she spent lavishly on the meal because she had no one to whom she could bequeath her property. “She was worried that no one would care about throwing a feast after her death,” said Ajay Kumar Bulganin, a local lawmaker who attended the feast, held over Wednesday and Thursday.

■AUSTRALIA

Sacked teacher back at work

A Sydney primary school teacher has kept her promise to regain her job after being sacked for appearing nude with her husband in a women’s magazine. Lynne Tziolas was dismissed last month after a parent complained about a spread in Cleo magazine that had couples talking about their sex lives. The Australian newspaper reported yesterday that Tzolias, 24, had been reinstated after a campaign by other parents with children in the school. Tziolas had rejected an offer from the Department of Education in which she would have been given non-teaching work. She demanded to be given a job as a teacher and the government relented.

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