Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■SOUTH KOREA

Roh’s jail term reduced

An appeals court yesterday reduced the jail sentence of the brother of the late president Roh Moo-hyun, saying he had been punished excessively because of the relationship. The Seoul High Court had sentenced Roh Gun-pyeong, elder brother of the former president who committed suicide in May, to two-and-a-half years in prison for taking a bribe. The sentence was reduced from a four-year term passed by a lower court on May 14, just nine days before Roh Moo-hyun killed himself. The fine was reduced to 300 million won (US$250,000) from the lower court’s 570 million won. Roh Gun-pyeong was charged with taking 2.3 billion won in bribes in return for using his influence in a business deal, which involved the state-run National Agricultural Cooperative Federation taking over an ailing brokerage in 2006.

■INDONESIA

Hundreds killed in exodus

More than 300 people have been killed in road accidents during an exodus to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, a police spokesman said yesterday. “The latest number of road accidents nationwide is 893, in which 312 people were killed,” national police spokesman I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana said, using data collected since Sept. 13. “Most of those killed were riding motorcycles,” he said. More than 27 million people left major cities and towns across the archipelago to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Yoga Ana said that the number of people killed was expected to increase as millions of people returned to big cities this week after the holidays.

■AUSTRALIA

‘Nude’ cops suspended

Five elite policemen accused of drunkenly running naked round an unmarked van at a series of city traffic lights were suspended yesterday pending an investigation, officials said. The men, members of Queensland’s explosives and hostage negotiation squad, will be probed by an ethical standards committee over the incident in Brisbane during a stag party on Sunday afternoon. “The investigation relates to officers allegedly running naked around a police vehicle whilst stopped at several sets of traffic lights in Brisbane,” police said. The men, using an unmarked police van to travel from a stag party event, stopped at least four times at traffic lights to run naked around the bus in a prank known as “Chinese fire drill.” At least one of the officers was on duty. The sergeant, acting sergeant and three senior constables involved have been removed from operational duties and will “probably” be disciplined, Commissioner Bob Atkinson said. Criminal charges of wilful exposure, public nuisance and unlawful use of a motor vehicle were also possible, he said.

■INDIA

Workers kill boss: report

Police have arrested 12 workers who are suspected of killing their boss during a labor dispute at a struggling auto parts firm in southern India, the Times of India reported yesterday. Roy George, a human resources manager, was assaulted on Monday while trying to talk with employees who had been dismissed for lack of discipline in Coimbatore, a textile and engineering hub in Tamil Nadu state, the report said. George, who suffered multiple head injuries after being hit with iron bars and wooden sticks, died in hospital on Tuesday.

■SOUTH AFRICA

Murder down, rape up

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the country’s murder rate has declined but that more rapes and house robberies were reported. The government has been desperate to show crime is dropping ahead of next year’s World Cup. Mthethwa said progress has been made to bring the crime rate down but that more needs to be done. Statistics released on Tuesday show that murders decreased by 3.4 percent. But 18,000 people are still being killed each year — about 50 per day. There was a 10.1 percent increase in sexual offenses and house robberies increased by 27.33 percent from February last year to March this year.

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