Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■JAPAN

Cherry blossom in bloom

It’s officially cherry blossom season again in Tokyo. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said yesterday that the country’s capital was officially in bloom, a closely watched announcement that marks the start of the yearly cherry blossom viewing season. The annual rite of spring goes back hundreds of years and involves sitting under sakura trees and taking in the fluffy pink flowers, which drop off about a week after they appear. In Tokyo, residents flock to parks to lay down tarps and claim the best spots, then host elaborate picnics and long drinking sessions. Japan designates certain trees for monitoring and considers a region to be in bloom when at least five or six flowers can be counted on the trees.

■SOUTH KOREA

Sex offenders deported

Seoul has revised its immigration rules to impose a lifetime ban on convicted foreign sex offenders and has already deported two people accordingly, a news report said on Sunday. The justice ministry revised the rules last month so as to deport foreigners who have committed sex offenses in the country or elsewhere, Yonhap news agency said, citing a ministry official. “A foreigner convicted of a sex offense here or in any other countries will immediately be deported and will never be allowed to come back to South Korea,” the official said, adding that two people had been deported as a result.

■BANGLADESH

Laborer killed, head burned

A laborer was murdered by brick-field workers who burned his head in a kiln in the belief this would redden their bricks, police said on Sunday. Four suspects were arrested for beheading the 26-year-old bricklayer in a remote town in the north on the instructions of the brick-field’s owners, local police chief Golam Sarwar Bhuiyan said. “They said the owners were unhappy as the brick-field was not producing reddish bricks despite enough heating. A fortune teller then suggested that the brick-field needed a human sacrifice,” he said. Police were searching for the owners and the fortune teller, he said.

■PAKISTAN

US drones kill four people

Suspected US drones fired missiles at a house and a car in a militant-dominated tribal region near the Afghan border, killing at least four people. The attack on Sunday occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, two intelligence officials said. The identities of those killed were not known, though the region is dominated by the Taliban’s Haqqani network, which is blamed for launching attacks across the border against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

■RUSSIA

Airplane crash lands

An airplane with nine crew on board made a crash landing not far from Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, news agencies reported yesterday, quoting airport officials. The Tu-204 aircraft, flying from Egypt, “had nine people on board, all crew members were alive, but two were hospitalized in serious condition,” Domodedovo’s spokeswoman Elena Galanova said as quoted by Interfax said. The emergency situations ministry said that four crew were injured. The airplane, which landed in a forest 1km away from the airport, caused no damage, they said.

■GERMANY

Poker heist suspect nabbed

Police say a fourth man accused of taking part in a brazen daylight raid on a poker tournament in Berlin has been arrested. Berlin police spokeswoman Claudia Schwaiger said on Sunday that the 19-year-old suspect was arrested at Tegel airport on Saturday night after his lawyer told police he was there. Authorities had been hunting for four suspects who they said were armed with a revolver and a machete when they stormed the tournament on March 6 at a downtown Berlin hotel and made off with 242,000 euros (US$$327,860) in jackpot money. Images of the masked men had been captured on surveillance cameras. Two other suspects were arrested last week.

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