Thu, Aug 06, 2009 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■CHINA

Hospitals sell placentas

Hospitals are engaging in a thriving trade in fresh human placentas, seen as a source of nutrition, despite a government ban, state media reported yesterday. A recent investigation showed that placentas sell for up to 250 yuan (US$36) each, the Global Times said. They “are rich in nutrition and good for human health,” said a doctor surnamed Kong who retired in 2006 from a hospital in Heilongjiang Province. “I have eaten them several times,” she told the paper. A reporter at East Asia Economic and Trade News posed as a placenta buyer and found that the Jilin Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital in Jilin Province was a prolific supplier. Some Chinese believe that placentas increase the body’s resistance to disease.

■CHINA

Top nuclear official probed

A top official in charge of civilian and military nuclear programs has been placed under investigation, state media said yesterday, in what appeared to be another case of high-level graft. Kang Rixin (康日新), Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary and general manager of China National Nuclear Corp, is being probed for possible involvement in “grave violations of discipline,” Xinhua news agency said. Kang was elected a member of the CCP’s top anti-corruption body, in 2002.

■HONG KONG

Top gang member killed

A senior gang member was knocked down by a car and hacked to death by three men outside a five-star hotel, police and reports said yesterday. The 41-year-old was attacked outside the Shangri-La hotel in Kowloon at 4am on Tuesday. The victim, named in reports as senior triad boss Lee Tai-lung (李泰龍), was hit by the car as he stepped out of his Mercedes after parking it, the South China Morning Post said. “Another vehicle arrived, then several men got out of it and attacked the man with knives,” chief inspector Glenn O’Neill of the police anti-triad unit told the Post. Both cars and the attackers fled the scene immediately. Lee was a senior member of the Sun Yee On triad.

■AUSTRALIA

Howard defends Hanson

Former prime minister John Howard has defended controversial right-wing politician Pauline Hanson, claiming she was misunderstood. Howard said media had focused unfairly on the anti-immigration stance of Hanson, who famously warned Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians.” “I think the media trivialized and therefore did a disservice to our long-term national interest in suggesting that Pauline Hanson was all about racism and nothing else,” Howard said in a university lecture on Tuesday.

■NEPAL

Protesters, police clash

About 2,000 protesters angry over the deaths of six people in a hit-and-run accident shut down central Kathmandu yesterday and clashed with police. A police statement said a car driving the wrong way down a one-way street mowed down six people — all migrant workers from India — as they walked on the sidewalk just after midnight on Tuesday. The victims were taken to a nearby hospital, but all died. Traffic violators often get off by bribing authorities and the protesters accused the police of not pursuing the culprit. They marched into the center of the capital and ordered shopkeepers out of their stores, burning tires in the streets to block traffic. Police used bamboo batons to push back the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing stones.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Woman fined at crematorium

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