Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■SINGAPORE

Mom charged after caning

A mother who allegedly stood by while her 10-year-old son was caned about 100 times by her husband has been charged, a newspaper reported yesterday. The 39-year-old is accused of handing two rattan canes to her husband, the boy’s stepfather, who beat the boy for two hours, the Straits Times said. It added that the boy was hospitalized for eight days after the beating, for which the stepfather was jailed for nine months. The boy has been placed in a home for abused and neglected children, the newspaper said.

■NEW ZEALAND

Four children die in fire

Four children died when a forgotten pan of potatoes burst into flames starting a blaze that gutted a house in an Auckland suburb yesterday morning, the Fire Service said. Three girls aged 15, 11 and 9, and an infant boy died of smoke inhalation. Two other children in the house survived and were taken to hospital while two other people sleeping in an outhouse at the back of the house were also reported safe. Two adults identified as Misi Sau and his wife Fetu were badly burned trying to rescue the children. Local fire chief Larry Cocker told reporters the blaze started when oil left in a pan on the stove ignited.

■AUSTRALIA

Parents gave baby ecstasy

A baby given half an ecstasy tablet by her parents went into cardiac arrest and needed to be put in a coma to save her life, a court was told yesterday. The couple, in their twenties, faced charges of grievous bodily harm and possession of a dangerous drug. Their two-month-old baby remains in a serious but stable condition in Cairns, Queensland.

■VIETNAM

Girl in hospital with bird flu

A five-year-old girl has been infected with bird flu, the first human case reported in the country this year, state-run television said yesterday. The patient from the northern province of Thanh Hoa was hospitalized after eating poultry, the Vietnam Television station said. Tests confirmed the girl had the H5N1 bird flu virus, it said.

■JAPAN

Taxi drivers killed

A string of taxi driver killings and other attacks in central Japan is being investigated by police. Two drivers were stabbed to death while three others were slashed and injured — all in the space of about a week in and around Osaka, police said. A 23-year-old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of wounding a taxi driver with a paper cutter, a police spokesman said. The other cases were still under investigation.

■CHINA

Axe murderer kills eight

Police have launched a manhunt for a love-lorn junk collector suspected in the axe murders of eight people, including a two-year-old boy, state media reported yesterday. The eight victims were found on Monday in the city of Suizhou in Hubei Province with head wounds that indicated an axe attack, Xinhua news agency said. Police have named Xiong Zhenlin, a local junk collector, as the suspect in the killings, a police spokesman was quoted saying. Xinhua quoted local residents as saying Xiong, 35, may have been upset after recently divorcing his wife to marry another woman, who ended up rejecting him. The dead included the woman and her young grandson, Xinhua said. The bodies of six other people were found at Xiong’s junkyard, it said. Xiong’s whereabouts were not known, according to Xinhua.

■GERMANY

Tots try to elope to Africa

After mulling over their options in secret, six-year-old Mika and his five-year-old sweetheart, Anna-Bell, packed their suitcases on New Year’s eve and set off from Hanover to tie the knot under the heat of the African sun. The children left their homes at dawn while their parents slept and took along Mika’s seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena, as a witness to the wedding. Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands and dragging a pink Lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys and a few provisions, they boarded a tram to Hanover train station and got as far as the express train for the airport before a station guard alerted police.

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