Thu, Apr 30, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■CHINA

Two detained over rapes

A former village head and his business partner have been detained in eastern China for the alleged rape of teenage girls who were forced into a prostitution ring, state press said yesterday. Investigators said at least 10 girls were raped in Zhejiang Province but locals said dozens of teenagers may have been violated by the attackers, who included businessmen, officials and civil servants, the China Daily said. Former village head He Guobing (何國兵) and the 40-year-old owner of a karaoke bar in Zhejiang’s Lishui prefecture, Chen Weijun (陳偉軍), have been detained and are awaiting trial, while more arrests are expected, the paper said. A 15-year-old girl, who allegedly accepted 5,000 yuan (US$730) to arrange the rapes of her classmates, has been detained and may face charges, it said. One girl was reportedly forced into a car and taken to be raped. The Lishui case came to light after a 13-year-old girl told her teacher she had been raped.

■MYANMAR

Comedian falls ill in jail

A popular comedian jailed by the military government for his political activism was briefly taken to hospital for examination after relatives said he was ill and being denied medical care. The sister-in-law of Zarganar, who is serving a 35-year sentence in Myitkyina prison in northernmost Kachin State, said yesterday he was taken to Myitkyina General Hospital late on Monday and had a medical checkup lasting about two hours that included an ultrasound, X-ray and EKG.. Like many people in Myanmar, Zarganar uses only one name. “The EKG results showed an enlarged heart, and he needs proper medical care,” said his sister-in-law Htway Htway, whose elder sister Ma Nyein spoke with doctors at the hospital in Myitkyina. Htway Htway said that Zarganar had fainted in his cell and remained unconscious for two hours on April 16 and had been denied a medical exam. She said yesterday she suspected he had suffered a heart attack.

■INDIA

Train accident kills four

Four people were killed and 11 injured yesterday in a bizarre train accident in southern India when unknown persons drove an empty train out of a station leading to a collision with a goods train, officials said. “The empty rake which was waiting at a suburban terminal near Chennai was removed by some unauthorized miscreants onto the sector track and it collided with a goods train coming from the opposite direction,” Southern Railways chief public relations officer Meenu Ittyerah said. The accident took place at the Vyasarpadi Jeeva station in the northwestern suburbs of Chennai. Ittyerah said four persons had been killed and 11, including two railway staff, were injured.

■SOUTH KOREA

Medical tourist law relaxed

Hospitals will be allowed to directly seek foreign patients from next month as part of South Korea’s efforts to become Asia’s new medical tourism hub, officials said on Tuesday. “We expect about 300 billion won [US$221 million] in revenue this year in this sector, which will grow fast thanks to our aggressive overseas marketing to be legalized this week,” said Lee Young-ho, a marketing director of the Global Healthcare Business Center. The center, which is controlled by the health ministry, is forming a network of hospitals and travel agencies that will be officially allowed to seek patients abroad under a law that takes effect tomorrow. Lee forecast that about 50,000 foreigners would visit the country for treatment this year compared with 27,480 last year.

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