Sun, Dec 21, 2008 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MACAU

HK politicians denied entry

Pro-democracy lawmakers said they have been barred from entering Macau to take part in a protest against a proposed national security bill. Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho (何俊仁) said immigration officials briefly detained him and seven other lawmakers yesterday upon their arrival in the former Portuguese colony. Ho said officials have cited internal security laws in rejecting their entry, but did not elaborate. Territory government spokeswoman Elena Au declined to comment. Ho said the lawmakers and a dozen activists planned to join a forum and demonstration against an imminent passage of a national security bill on the ninth anniversary of its reversion to Chinese rule.

■CHINA

Face transplant man dies

A man who received a rare face transplant in 2006 has died, his doctor and a government official confirmed yesterday, highlighting the risks of a recent groundbreaking US operation. Li Guoxing, 32, died in July at his rural home in the southwest after forsaking immune-system drugs in favor of herbal medicine, his surgeon Guo Shuzhong said. “His death was not caused by the surgery. Our operation was a success. But we cannot rule out a connection with the immune system drugs,” said Guo, a surgeon at Xijing Hospital in Xian who operated on Li in April 2006. Qiao Guangliang, chief of Li’s village in Yunnan Province, also confirmed the death.

■HONG KONG

Boy dies from methadone

Police yesterday were investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy who collapsed after apparently drinking methadone by accident on a visit to his aunt’s flat. The schoolboy fell into a coma and died after consuming the liquid heroin substitute on Friday while staying at the home of his 37-year-old aunt in the city’s Kwai Chung district. The aunt called police when the boy collapsed. An ambulance rushed him to hospital where he was declared dead an hour later, according to a police spokesman. Methadone is used to treat heroin addicts in strictly controlled conditions at government-run health clinics and should not be stored at addicts’ homes.

■CHINA

Boat sinks, 15 killed

Xinhua news agency said an overloaded fishing boat has sunk in an eastern river, killing 15. It said the boat was ferrying 44 people across the Sanjiang River in Jiangxi when it sank on Friday evening. The boat had a capacity to carry only 10 people. Twenty-nine onboard were rescued. Xinhua said all the passengers were employed by private businessmen to cross the river to pick up a type of water chestnut in a village. The businessmen have been detained by police.

■VANUATU

Politicians arrested

Police have arrested two politicians after prisoners torched the country’s main jail and staged a mass breakout, reports said yesterday. The two legislators are accused of harboring some of the prisoners after 26 escaped when the entire prison complex in the capital Port Vila was set on fire on Friday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said. The members of parliament, who were not named, claimed they were trying to negotiate the return of the prisoners, ABC said. The inmates had earlier released a statement complaining of widespread mistreatment and abuse at the prison in the South Pacific island country. Police said they had managed to recapture most of the escaped prisoners and were negotiating with the others to return to custody.

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