Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AUSTRALIA

Thief trapped in vehicle

A bungling car thief was nabbed after accidentally locking himself in the vehicle he was trying to steal, police said on Wednesday. Police were called to a house in Adelaide after two thieves were heard trying to steal a car. On arrival the officers were surprised to find a 53-year-old man hiding inside the vehicle.

■AUSTRALIA

Flooding likely in northwest

The Bureau of Meteorology said yesterday it anticipated “significant flooding” in the country’s mineral-rich northwest as a developing tropical cyclone made landfall. The system had already prompted two oil field operators, Apache Energy and Santos Ltd, to shut production from some fields, while other operators in Australia’s “cyclone alley” were on alert. “Widespread heavy rain is likely in the Pilbara … as the system approaches the Pilbara coast, and significant flooding may result,” the bureau said in a statement posted on its Web site yesterday.

■PHILIPPINES

Hostage makes contact

One of three Red Cross workers being held by militants in the south has re-established contact more than a week after the group was last heard from, a report said yesterday. Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, 37, said life in captivity was tough for her and colleagues Eugenio Vagni of Italy and Andreas Notter of Switzerland and called on government negotiators to step up efforts to secure their release. The three have been held in captivity in the jungle on southern Jolo island for 44 days. They were seized by al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Jan. 15 while on a humanitarian mission. “Please tell them, if possible, if they can, to quicken the process,” Lacaba told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, referring to negotiators. “It has become very hard and truly painful. Physically and emotionally, it’s really very, very hard.” The Inquirer said Lacaba’s voice was “low and trembling” when she was allowed by her captors to speak with one of their reporters on Thursday. She said she and Vagni, 62, were also having bouts of diarrhea. The kidnappers have not publicly demanded ransom in exchange for the release of the three hostages but have made certain political demands known, a crisis team on Jolo said. Previous abductions by the Abu Sayyaf have, however, involved millions of dollars in ransom payments. International Committee of the Red Cross head of operations for Asia Alain Aeschlimann on Friday said the organization made contact with the hostages the previous week and was concerned about their health.

■THAILAND

ASEAN anthem debuts

Southeast Asia now has an official anthem and its own cartoon characters. The 60-second anthem titled The ASEAN Way was to make its debut at the opening ceremony of the 10-nation ASEAN summit yesterday, the summit’s Web site said. A choir, accompanied by the Royal Thai Navy Symphony Orchestra, were to sing the song for Southeast Asian leaders gathered for the first summit since the group signed a landmark charter in December. Composed by Thai musicians, the tune beat 99 other entries from the region to become ASEAN’s first official song in its 42-year history. “Together for ASEAN, we dare to dream; We care to share, for it’s the ASEAN way,” the lyrics state. The animated book, ASEAN Discovery is available in Thailand, which holds the bloc’s rotating membership. Sponsored by the Thai Foreign Ministry, the book’s main character is an alien named Blue who has 10 friends from each of the ASEAN countries, the Bangkok Post reported.

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