Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MALAYSIA

Concert ban repealed

Kuala Lumpur reversed an earlier ban on Muslims attending a concert by US hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas, saying it had no right to restrict people from entertainment events. The concert on Sept. 25 is sponsored by Guinness as part of celebrations for the alcoholic brew’s 250th birthday. Guinness is owned by the world’s biggest spirits group Diageo. Information Minister Rais Yatim said it was up to the individual’s “better judgment” to decide whether he or she should attend events organized by an alcoholic beverage company. “We have no legal powers actually to bar people from attending functions,” the Star newspaper quoted Rais as saying on Wednesday.

■CHINA

Dog dates 16,000 years

Man’s best friend, the domestic dog, has been dated back to southern China 16,000 years ago, researchers from Sweden and China said on Wednesday. Using DNA analysis the team traced the link back to the region south of the Yangtze River, where people first tamed and domesticated several hundred wolves. The study offered “a detailed picture of the dog, with its birthplace, point in time and how many wolves were tamed,” said Peter Savolainen, a biologist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The findings were presented in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. The team studied the genetic makeup of 1,500 dogs in Asia, Africa and Europe and were able to trace back the geographical origin to southern China. Archeological findings also appeared to back up the findings, suggesting that the transition from hunters and gatherers to farmers took place some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago in the region.

■AUSTRALIA

Joint exercises welcome

Canberra was open to holding joint military exercises with China and the US, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said yesterday, amid growing concern about Beijing’s military build-up. “Australia has defense cooperation and contact with a range of countries ... there’s no reason that can’t be contemplated with China,” Smith told reporters in Perth. His comments came as the top US military commander in Asia said joint military exercises would increase regional stability and ease concerns in the US and Australia about Beijing’s military might, Fairfax newspapers reported. The report said US Admiral Timothy Keating and Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston met this week and agreed to put the proposal to China “at the earliest opportunity.” Keating said the proposed exercises would start with small-scale naval and land activities, followed by personnel exchanges.

■INDIA

Chopper crash kills minister

A powerful politician was killed in a helicopter crash in a densely forested area of Andhra Pradesh state, party officials said yesterday. The bodies of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, chief minister of the southeastern state, and four other victims were found more than 24 hours after their helicopter went missing. Congress party spokeswoman Jayanthi Natarajan confirmed Reddy’s death and said that “the Indian people and the Congress party had lost a great leader.” Reddy, 60, was a major powerbroker in politics and was pursuing tie-ups with international investors to turn his state into India’s second-largest software hub. Reddy was on a tour of Andhra Pradesh to visit drought-hit villages and inspect relief schemes addressing the weak monsoons.

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