Wed, Jan 05, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

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JAPAN

Comedian returns home

After sailing and running around the planet for the past two years, comedian Kanpei Hazama, 61, set foot on native soil again yesterday, proclaiming that “the Earth really is round.” Thousands of well-wishers greeted the television personality as he sailed from China to dock at the southwestern Fukuoka harbor in cold rain, completing the last maritime stage of his “Earth Marathon.” “Thank you!” Hazama told his fans, wiping tears away with his sleeve, before hugging his wife and grandchildren and saying: “I’ve made it!” The final leg will see Hazama run another 620km to finish his epic journey at a concert at Osaka castle on Jan. 21. The comedian set off in December 2008, first sailing across the Pacific then running across North America, sailing across the Atlantic, and putting on his running shoes again to traverse the Eurasian continent. A year ago in Turkey he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, forcing him to temporarily suspend the journey, but after receiving medical treatment in the US he was back on the road in June.

CHINA

Uighur sentenced to death

A news report says a 19-year-old Uighur woman has been handed a suspended death sentence for taking part in deadly ethnic riots in western China in 2009. It says she is the second woman to receive the death penalty for the unrest. US-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia says Pezilet Ekber was working as a saleswoman at a shop in Urumqi when the July 5, 2009, riots broke out. The report cites a letter from a classmate of the woman as saying Ekber was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. Such punishments are usually commuted to life in prison.

PAKISTAN

No push for vote: opposition

The main opposition group will not push for a no--confidence vote against Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani because to demand such a vote would exacerbate instability, the party said yesterday. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) believes a vote would “damage the whole country,” party chairman Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said. The PML-N’s decision means Gilani’s fragile government could survive after a key partner withdrew on Sunday.

AFGHANISTAN

Bomb kills police officer

A bomb exploded in central Kabul early yesterday, killing one police officer and wounding three other people, a government official said, on the one-year anniversary of the country’s Constitution. The blast, a rarity in Kabul, served as a grim reminder of the insurgents’ ability to strike at will across the country.

ARGENTINA

Tunneling thieves rob bank

Thieves dug a 30m-long ventilated and lit tunnel from a neighboring building into a bank and emptied the contents of up to 140 safety deposit boxes, officials said on Monday. Authorities said three thieves entered a Banco Provincia branch in the Buenos Aires District of Belgrano on New Year’s Eve when it was closed and spent the weekend opening and emptying between 130 and 140 of the branch’s 1,408 boxes. The robbery was not discovered until the bank opened on Monday. Bank executives were unable to say how much the thieves stole because clients are not obliged to tell authorities what was in their safety deposit boxes.

UNITED STATES

Murderer receives windfall

A man imprisoned for killing his mother-in-law can look forward to a life of ease thanks to a tidy inheritance — from his victim, a report said on Monday. Brandon Palladino, a 24-year-old heroin addict, is doing 25 years minus time served after killing his in-law during an attempted jewelry theft, the New York Post reported. However, in a twist of fate, he stands to enjoy at least US$250,000 in assets that the victim left to Palladino’s wife, who has also since died, leaving everything to her imprisoned husband.

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