Fri, Oct 29, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

HONG KONG

Wild driver sentenced

A 23-year-old man with dual US and Australian citizenship has been found guilty of manslaughter in the bizarre death of a taxi driver, according to court documents. Hong Kong-born Kelsey Mudd was convicted by a jury late on Wednesday following a trial in which he had pleaded not guilty to being responsible for the death of Wong Chi-ming in June last year. Mudd was accused of commandeering Wong’s cab and then embarking on a wild driving spree before smashing into a metal fence in the city’s financial district, killing the 58-year-old. The case grabbed headlines after video footage of the incident emerged showing Mudd inside the taxi with blood splattered on his face. Jurors also found Mudd — a student at California State University who was in the territory volunteering for a charity at the time of the accident — guilty of taking a vehicle without authority, dangerous driving and drunk driving.

CHINA

City pays for cigarette butts

A northern city has come up with an innovative way to encourage residents to keep the streets clean — it is paying 5 fen (just under US$0.01) for every used cigarette butt they pick up. Authorities in Xianyang city, Shaanxi Province, launched the campaign in September and so far enthusiastic residents have handed over 7 million butts, the China Daily said. In return, the local government has paid out 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) for 2 million of the butts and still owes for the remaining 5 million. One person reportedly handed over 7,500 cigarette butts all at once — worth 375 yuan. However, some people are cheating by rooting around Internet cafes, restaurants and even dustbins to collect butts and get a reward, according to some media reports.

MALDIVES

Swiss mockers shock nation

The government expressed “shock and disgust” on Wednesday after a video surfaced of a Swiss couple being mocked and insulted by a celebrant during their marriage ceremony at a luxury hotel. In the video, posted on YouTube several days ago, a couple can be seen seated opposite the celebrant as they renew their wedding vows at the Vilu Reef hotel, which charges US$400 a night for the use of its honeymoon suite. Speaking in the local Dhivehi language, the celebrant calls the couple “swine” amid a host of other insults during a hateful profanity-laced tirade littered with often bizarre personal and religious-tinged taunts. Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed said he was “horrified” to see the video. “I could not see the entire video because my children were around and I didn’t want them to hear the bad language that was used,” Shaheed told reporters when contacted in the capital of the atoll nation, Male. Vilu Reef general manager Mohamed Rasheed said the hotel had apologized to the couple who had the ceremony on Oct. 11 and had taken disciplinary action against those involved.

CHINA

Twelve miners drowned

Twelve workers were killed and one injured in a flood in a colliery in the southwest, state media said yesterday, in the latest accident to hit the nation’s notoriously dangerous mining industry. The incident happened on Wednesday in Machang town, Guizhou province, when 50 miners were working underground, the Xinhua news agency quoted a spokesman for the provincial coal mine safety bureau as saying. A total of 38 workers managed to escape, the report said, adding that the mine managers had fled after the accident, but were caught yesterday.

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