Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AUSTRALIA

Police probe attack on crops

Police yesterday were investigating a mass poisoning of crops, which is expected to send prices soaring. Detectives probed whether vandals or a competitor with a grudge had put herbicide in sprinklers at a nursery near the city of Cairns, wiping out 16 million tonnes of produce, mostly tomatoes. “It could be a grudge, it could be competition-based ... or it could be an act of vandalism by a couple of young hoons [vandals] — we can’t rule that out either,” Townsville detective Dave Miles said.

■CHINA

Man starts swim to Expo

An 56-year-old man has begun a bid to swim 1,200km down the Yangtze River to visit the World Expo in Shanghai, state media reported yesterday. China Telecom employee Bao Zhengbing began realizing what he said was a childhood dream to swim from his home in Wuhan to Shanghai on Wednesday, the Xinmin Evening News reported on its Web site. “Now at last, I’ll swim all the way to Shanghai, to fulfil my own dream and to see the World Expo,” Bao was quoted as saying in the Shanghai Daily before starting his journey. “When I was 12, I traveled to Shanghai by ship. The beautiful landscapes along the way impressed me so much that I wished one day I could swim along the route and stop wherever I chose,” he said. Bao may however find the river has changed since he was a boy. Experts have warned it is considered “cancerous,” state media said.

■THAILAND

Pianist has left: reports

Acclaimed pianist and conductor Mikhail Vasillievich Pletnev may have left the country days after he was charged with raping a teenage boy, his housekeeper and news reports said yesterday. Pletnev, who was arrested on Monday, left Thailand aboard an Aeroflot flight, Russisan state news agency RIA Novosti said. Another news agency said he was flying to Moscow on an Emirates airliner. His housekeeper in Pattaya said Pletnev left on Wednesday night and was headed for Moscow. Pletnev was released on 300,000 baht (US$9,000) bail following a court appearance on Tuesday and ordered to report to the court every 12 days.

■SOUTH KOREA

Computer virus strikes again

Government and private Web sites have come under cyber-attack a year after a major attack crippled sites domestically and in the US, officials said yesterday. Five Web sites including those of the presidential Blue House and the foreign ministry were attacked on Wednesday but little damage was done, the Korea Communications Commission said. On July 7, last year, the so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks shut down 25 Internet sites for hours. South Korea’s spy chief has reportedly blamed North Korea for last year’s attacks, although US officials reached no conclusion.

■CHINA

Online game ads under fire

Authorities have ordered online game companies to stop promoting their products in ways that Beijing deems “vulgar.” The order from the culture ministry came after several companies featured scantily clad models in their ads, state media said. Auat

thorities at all levels are required to step up inspections in order to make sure Web sites delete unwanted “vulgar” game ads, the ministry said in a notice published on Wednesday on its Web site. Officials must “discover and stop in a timely manner any practice that tramples on the moral bottom line,” it said.

■TURKEY

September referendum set

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