Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MALAYSIA

Senior politician dies at 92

Omar Ong Yoke Lin, a former senior politician and the last surviving member of the nation’s first independence Cabinet, died yesterday at 92, an aide said. Born on July 23, 1917, Ong was a prominent ethnic Chinese leader who played a key role in the country’s road to independence from Britain in 1957. Ong helped form the Alliance Party, which won the first nationwide legislative elections in 1955. Based on the success of the Alliance Party, Tunku led a delegation to London in 1955 to negotiate independence, which was granted two years later. Ong served in various Cabinet positions before being made ambassador to the UN.

■AFGHANISTAN

Taliban leader captured

NATO said Afghan and international forces have captured a Taliban district leader after a four-hour gunbattle in Helmand Province. A NATO statement said a “large number” of insurgents were killed in the Wednesday night fighting in the remote Baghran district in the northern part of Helmand. A number of insurgents were wounded and captured, including the Taliban district chief of Now Zad, a district southwest of the fighting. Now Zad was the scene of heavy fighting last year between the Taliban and US Marines, who say they have made progress in restoring security in the former insurgent stronghold.

■CHINA

Nine trapped in coal mine

Nine miners were trapped after a flood in Shanxi Province, China’s coal-producing heartland, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. Safety officials had made contact with eight of the group at the mine, an official told Xinhua, adding that they would be rescued “soon.” Twenty-three miners were around 1,400m underground at the time of the flood on Wednesday afternoon and 14 of them escaped to safety.

■CHINA

Test-takers turn to kung fu

Students in central China have found a way to get a leg up on their contemporaries at the all-important university entrance exam — paying huge sums of money for a kung fu master certification. Some students in Hunan Province who achieved top exam scores forked out around 20,000 yuan (US$3,000) for a martial arts course that all but guaranteed them extra points toward their overall mark, the official Global Times said. “During my first year in high school, my head teacher asked me if I wanted to sign up for a kung fu course, which he said would earn me 20 extra points for the college entrance exams,” an unidentified student was quoted as saying. “But the money is refundable if I don’t get the extra points.” The scheme is an example of the great lengths families will go to secure higher scores for their children at the highly competitive university exams.

■CHINA

Gay man sues blood center

A Chinese man is suing a Beijing Red Cross center after his blood donation was turned down because he is gay, in what the China Daily said yesterday was the first such case in the country. The man, an editor identified by his pen name Wang Zizheng, said he was gay in a health questionnaire filled out when he went to donate blood early last month, and was then told he could not be a donor, the China Daily said. Wang, who says he has been the victim of discrimination, filed the lawsuit in Beijing and is waiting for the court to accept the case, the report said. Huang Yizhi, Wang’s lawyer, said that the court’s acceptance of the case would be a major victory “because this is the first one in China.”

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