Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INDIA

Cyclone claims 31 lives

A cyclone demolished nearly 50,000 mud huts and uprooted trees in several villages in the east, killing at least 31 people, Civil Defense Minister Srikumar Mukherjee said yesterday. The official said the cyclone struck on Tuesday night in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal state, snapping telephone and electricity lines in the area. He added that hundreds of people suffered injuries in the region, about 500km northeast of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal state. The worst-hit villages were Hematabad, Raiganj and Kiran Dighi, where police and rescue workers have recovered 31 bodies, Mukherjee said.

■CHINA

Two nabbed in snake attack

Guangzhou City police said yesterday they had arrested two brothers suspected of releasing poisonous snakes to seek revenge in a dispute with a local leader. They said that brothers Guo Gongwei and Guo Gongtian bought the short-tail pit vipers at a market, where they are sold as food and medicine. Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper reported that 500 snakes were released near the home of the village leader, identified only by the surname Song, with whom the brothers were feuding. Police said the snakes didn’t hurt anyone.

■MALAYSIA

Anwar loses to accuser

An Islamic court yesterday threw out a bid by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to bring slander charges against his former aide who accused him of sodomy. The verdict marks a setback in Anwar’s efforts to discredit Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, who has accused the politician of forcing him to have anal sex. Sodomy is a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison. Anwar had filed an application in the Shariah High Court to have Saiful charged with making false allegations because he failed to produce four credible male witnesses to back his claim, as generally required by Islamic law for anyone who makes accusations of unlawful sex.

■INDONESIA

Demolition sparks clashes

Bloody clashes broke out in Jakarta yesterday between scores of demonstrators and security forces over the demolition of a cemetery, witnesses and officials said. Security forces used teargas and pepper bullets against protesters armed with machetes and sticks in more than two hours of clashes around the cemetery in Jakarta’s Koja area. Witnesses saw at least five demonstrators beaten severely with batons by police as they were being led to emergency vehicles. Twenty-nine members of the security forces were injured, nine of them seriously, Jakarta city spokesman Cucu Ahmad Kurnia said.

■ZIMBABWE

Hangman wanted

Chikurubi prison outside Harare has been trying to find a hangman for five years, but in vain, the Daily News of Zimbabwe reported. The absence of an executioner is a mixed blessing for 50 condemned men. It is a reprieve, but it is also an agonizing and indefinite wait on death row in a jail dubbed a “gulag” because of its inhumane conditions. The country’s last hangman quit in 2005. The job has since remained unfilled, despite unemployment hitting 94 percent last year. The Daily News said the requirements were: “Prison officials say the job of a hangman involves techniques and procedures that are very simple to learn. The candidate ... need not possess any previous experience, neither does he have to be literate. The hangman’s job is reserved only for men. The job demands strength and unwavering focus. It is not for the faint-hearted.”

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