Mon, Apr 19, 2010 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MALAYSIA

Three Iranians arrested

Police said yesterday they had arrested an Iranian policeman and two sportsmen caught smuggling methamphetamines into the country. Central Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the three were arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday morning after they were found behaving suspiciously when having their bags screened by customs. “The three Iranians are a policeman from the country’s sports division, a volleyball player and a martial arts exponent,” he said. “When police inspected their bags, they found the metal handles of their trolley bags filled with methamphetamines.” The haul has a street value of about 1 million ringgit (US$313,000).

■SOUTH KOREA

Missing man ‘taken by North’

The head of an anti-North Korean radio station in Seoul says his missing correspondent in the Chinese border city of Dandong has been taken by North Korean security officials. Kim Seong-min said on Saturday night that the 50-year-old defector was taken near the Yalu River on Feb. 19 while waiting to meet his wife and son from North Korea. Kim, who is also a defector, said he recently received the information from a contact inside North Korea. Kim said he believes the defector is one of four South Koreans who North Korea’s state media has said illegally entered the North.

■PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Quake strikes east coast

An earthquake struck the east coast of Papua New Guinea yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties, officials said. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.3 quake occurred at about 9:15am in the Pacific island nation and that the epicenter was 29km east of the city of Lae.

■JAPAN

China top military concern

Tokyo is boosting its intelligence resources devoted to China’s growing military, which it considers the top national security concern, the business daily Nikkei reported yesterday. The defense ministry-­affiliated National Institute for Defense Studies has established a task force of six researchers to examine China’s national security strategy, the daily said. It will study the strategic thinking guiding the People’s Liberation Army, the purpose of its recent military buildup and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, the daily said. The team will be expanded into a fuller unit in two or three years, Nikkei said. China’s military budget has risen steadily in recent years, but much remains unknown about the size of its military forces and the equipment they use.

■NEW ZEALAND

Canoes to retrace migration

Nearly 1,000 years after the last of the great Polynesian migration journeys across the Pacific, a group of descendants set sail in a fleet of replica canoes yesterday to relive the voyages. Four double-hulled canoes with crews of up to 16 people each departed from Auckland to sail 4,000km to the French Polynesian island of Raiatea. Raiatea is believed to have been the departure point for the last great Polynesian migrations to New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island about 700 to 1,000 years ago. The crews from New Zealand, Fiji, the Cook Islands and a multi-national crew from Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga expect it will take 20 to 25 days before they reach land. They will then be joined by a Tahitian crew for a 1,200km voyage to the Cook Islands before returning to their home ports.

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