Mon, Mar 30, 2009 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■HONG KONG

Homemade bomb explodes

Three teenagers were arrested after a 13-year-old boy was injured when a homemade bomb exploded, a media report said yesterday. The three, including the injured boy, were held by police for possessing explosives favored by terrorists, the South China Morning Post said. Police suspect the classmates of a Kowloon Tong district school learned how to make the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) powder on the Internet. The same powder was used in the London terrorist blasts in July 2005 and TATP was one of the explosives used by US “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, the report said. The teenager sustained injuries to his face, an eye and two fingers after igniting a fuse attached to two plastic bottles containing the explosive shortly after midnight yesterday.

■SOUTH KOREA

Education spending up

The country spent nearly US$30 billion on education last year, more than in any previous year, despite the deepening economic downturn, official figures showed yesterday. The increase, due largely to a rise in spending on private teaching including English-­language learning, showed the country was reluctant to cut back on education despite a dramatic economic slowdown. Household spending on education reached an all-time high of 39.8 trillion won (US$29.5 billion) last year, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier, Yonhap news agency said, citing Bank of Korea figures.

■MALAYSIA

‘Clenched fist’ banned

The socialist party, which recently won a decade-long battle for recognition, faces a new hurdle after authorities rejected its “clenched fist” symbol as too violent. The Socialist Party of Malaysia has used the symbol — an iconic image for the political left around the world — since 1998 when it first applied for registration. “The Election Commission has rejected our fist symbol. In a letter in February they said the symbol is morally not suitable and demonstrates violence,” party secretary-general S. Arutchelvan said. “Now we can’t stand for an election since the logo is not approved. We are angry. The ban comes as a surprise to us,” he said.

■NEW ZEALAND

Facebook helps government

The government’s welfare agency has confirmed it examines Internet social network sites like Facebook to catch benefit fraudsters, a newspaper reported yesterday. Mother Lauren Kaney, 22, of Mount Maunganui, was convicted in court last week of getting three times the weekly benefit she was entitled to, after claiming she lived on her own with her two-year-old-son. In fact, her Bebo and Facebook pages revealed she was living with the boy’s father, the Herald on Sunday reported. Kaney admitted receiving NZ$17,500 (US$10,000) more than her entitlement and was sentenced to four months’ home detention and 200 hours of community service.

■SRI LANKA

Dozens of rebels killed

Government troops killed at least 46 rebels during weekend battles in the northeast of the island where they have cornered the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defense ministry said yesterday. The Tiger fighters were shot dead in two days of fighting in and around the town of Puthukkudiriruppu, the ministry said in a statement. Military officials said the rebels have been pushed back into a narrow strip of jungle coastline and will be wiped out by next month.

■EGYPT

Police free student blogger

Police have released a pro-Palestinian student and blogger who had been arrested outside his home early last month, a human rights group said on Saturday. Diaeddin Gad was released on Friday after spending almost seven weeks in jail, said Gamal Eid, executive director for the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Eid accused police of beating Gad in detention. Gad, 22, who was arrested on Feb. 6, ran the soutgadeb.blogspot.com blog, which criticized Egypt’s policies during Israel’s 22-day war on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in December and January.

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