Mon, Oct 12, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■CAMBODIA

Overloaded ferry sinks

At least 17 people were missing and presumed drowned after an overloaded ferry sank in the Mekong River, officials said yesterday. The 14 women and three men were traveling to a local Buddhist temple to watch a performance in Kratie Province, about 200km from Phnom Penh, when their ferry sank in a tributary late on Saturday in strong currents.

■NEW ZEALAND

Greenpeace paints slogan

Seven Greenpeace members were arrested yesterday after painting a protest slogan on the side of an Indonesian ship unloading palm-kernel animal feed at New Plymouth. Greenpeace says indigenous rain forests in Indonesia are being cleared to plant palms, whose kernel is used as a food supplement for cows supplying milk to New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative, the world’s biggest dairy exporter. The activists painted the 3m high words: “Fonterra climate crime” on the Ikan Juana. Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner Simon Boxer said clearing rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia to plant palm plantations is causing “massive carbon emissions.”

■CHINA

Hepatitis B tests stopped

The government will stop mandatory hepatitis B tests for employees joining new companies and students enrolling in schools, state media said yesterday after a court ruled the tests were illegal discrimination. Deng Haihua (鄧海華), deputy director of the health ministry’s general office, said the government would soon issue instructions to drop the required tests, Xinhua news agency reported. “A hepatitis B disease carrier does no harm to others’ health,” Deng was quoted as telling a news conference on Saturday.

■ITALY

Daughter defends Berlusconi

After a dreadful week for Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister’s eldest daughter has claimed a “manhunt” is under way to overthrow him and subvert democracy. Marina Berlusconi, 43, leaped to her father’s defense in the wake of the decision by the constitutional court to remove his immunity from prosecution while in office. “In dictatorships they send tanks into the piazzas,” she told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. “In a democracy like ours that someone is aiming to besiege, you jab and you use subtle means that are officially legal and therefore even more insidious. The aim is the same, to overturn the verdict of the electorate.”

■RUSSIA

Moscow, Beijing to ink deals

Moscow and Beijing will sign a range of agreements when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits China this week, including one on missile launches, the government said yesterday. Other agreements in the works include business deals and a memorandum of understanding on the “organization and development of fast and high-speed train travel on Russian territory,” it said. Putin is due to visit China from today to Wednesday, during which he is scheduled to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao (溫家寶). On Wednesday he is to attend a heads of government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security group dominated by China and Russia that has been touted as a counterweight to Western-led institutions.

■ISRAEL

Military exercise canceled

The military says Ankara has canceled an annual air force drill in Turkey this week because of Israeli participation. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated sharply since the winter war in Gaza. Muslim Turkey was especially vocal in denouncing Tel Aviv conduct during the war. The military said in a statement that the drill was delayed “indefinitely” because of Turkey’s decision ... “not to allow the Israeli air force to take part.” The military said the exercise was to have also included US, Italian and NATO forces.

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