Sun, Jan 17, 2010 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■JAPAN

Commuters list complaints

Taking the train and want to avoid annoying fellow passengers? Keep conversation to a whisper, turn down your iPod and put your cellphone on vibration mode, a recent survey by the railway association showed. Many foreigners who ride on the country’s vast network of subways and commuter trains complain about the pushing and shoving that accompanies getting into the train and the reluctance to give up seats for senior citizens and pregnant women. But for Japanese commuters, noise is the biggest issue, with loud conversation and music from headphones the top two offenders and cellphone ringtones in fourth place, a survey by the Association of Japanese Private Railways showed.

■MALAYSIA

Hotel tip unmasks fraudster

Police arrested a Lebanese man allegedly carrying fake currency with a face value of US$66 million after he tipped hotel staff with a US$500 note, an official said on Friday. The largest US note currently in wide circulation is a US$100 bill. But police found bundles of US$1 million, US$100,000 and US$500 notes in the man’s hotel room in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said Izany Abdul Ghany, head of the city’s commercial crime unit. Hotel staff alerted police after a housekeeper received a US$500 note tip and found out it was fake when she tried to convert it to local currency at a money changer, Izany said.

■NEW ZEALAND

Police get odd calls

Police are getting hot under the collar over emergency calls including a woman whose husband didn’t spray air freshener after using the toilet and another complaining of pressure to attend a family wedding. The Dominion Post newspaper reported yesterday that police in the North Island town of Wairoa responded to an emergency call from a 51-year-old woman who hung up after police answered the phone. When police arrived at her house, she complained her husband had forgotten to spray the toilet with air freshener after a visit, police said. The police restored harmony in the household and did not lay charges over the call.

■MARIANA ISLANDS

Inmate called in for massage

The governor of the US-administered islands is feeling the heat after ordering the temporary release of a jailed suspect to give him a massage. Benigno Fitial, the most senior politician in the western Pacific territory, demanded that Chinese masseuse Qing Mei-cheng be set free on Jan. 8 to treat him for back pain. The masseuse was taken from the local prison, where she was being held on people smuggling charges, to the governor’s mansion before being returned to jail. “I made this request because this was an unusual situation where I needed to address the extraordinary pain I was experiencing,” Fitial said in a statement received yesterday.

■CANADA

‘Chinese’ Buffett broke

A man who dubbed himself a “Chinese Warren Buffett” and who allegedly defrauded investors of millions of dollars is now broke and will need legal aid to defend his fraud charges, his lawyer said on Thursday. Tang Weizhen (唐煒臻), 51, made a brief court appearance on Thursday, but his lawyer said he would not be representing Tang for long since his client did not have the funds to pay him. Tang was taken into police custody late on Wednesday after returning to Toronto from China. Toronto police had issued an arrest warrant for Tang, who had made arrangements to surrender to authorities last month, but did not show up.

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