Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■SOUTH KOREA

Euthanasia case approved

The Seoul High Court yesterday confirmed a lower court verdict allowing ending life-prolonging measures for a 76-year-old coma patient, making it the first time mercy killing has been formally permitted in the country. In November, a court ruled in favor of ending life-prolonging measures for the woman at the request of her family but without the patient’s consent. The woman, identified only by her family name, Kim, fell into a coma last year following cerebral damage, Yonhap news agency reported.

■HONG KONG

Third body washes ashore

The badly decomposed remains of a third suspected immigrant have washed up in Hong Kong, police said yesterday. Marine police officers pulled the man from the sea on Monday, hours after the discovery of another body on a beach in the northeast of the territory. Police had received a report from a fisherman earlier on Monday of another body found on a beach. On Saturday the body of a man with a mainland identity card was found washed ashore, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.

■SOUTH KOREA

Cash tops Valentine’s list

Cash is the unromantic but preferred Valentine’s Day gift this year as the economic downturn bites, a report said yesterday. In contrast to other societies, women traditionally give single men gifts to mark Feb. 14. The Korea Herald, citing a survey by a local matchmaking company, said 27 percent of 256 men who were interviewed opted for cash while 13 percent chose travel-related presents. Twelve percent wanted a wallet, rather than something to fill it with, but only 7 percent desired chocolate — the most popular gift in previous years.

■SOUTH KOREA

Guru jailed for sex crimes

A South Korean cult leader who told followers to have sex with him to purge their sins was yesterday jailed for 10 years. Jeong Myeong-seok — whose JMS sect stands for both “Jesus Morning Star” and his initials — was convicted of raping or sexually assaulting four women between 2001 and 2006. An appeals court added four years to a lower court’s sentence of six years. The court was crowded with about 70 of Jeong’s followers, some sighing and others shedding tears at the sentence, media reports said. Jeong, now in his early 60s, fled South Korea in 1999, one day after rape allegations against him were broadcast on national television. He was formally charged in absentia with rape in 2001. The cult leader was arrested in Hong Kong in 2003 for visa violations but later fled an extradition hearing. China extradited him to Seoul in February last year.

■GERMANY

Circus zebras on the run

These fugitives were wearing stripes even before they were caught. Police in the city of Augsburg said they had to chase four circus zebras through the streets after they escaped from their handlers. Police spokesman Robert Goeppel said one of the escapees gave itself up to by passers-by as it wandered the city streets. The other three were eventually corralled in a paddock on the outskirts of town. Goeppel says there were no injuries, either to humans or zebras, during Monday’s chase.

■NETHERLANDS

Super deal on gasoline

Nighttime was the right time to get tanked on Friday in the town of Genderen. An unmanned gas station began offering customers gas for 1 euro cent (US$0.13) per liter — a discount of more than 99 percent — due to a glitch that occurred at about midnight. “Most people were home in bed, so it could have been worse,” Piet-Hein Bogaers, director of the company that operates the station, Vollenhoven Olie BV, said on Monday. As word of the deal spread, business boomed at the station, 100km southeast of Amsterdam. Bogaers said that, by the time the mistake was fixed on Saturday morning, customers were lined up to buy gas. Many had even called to alert the company.

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