Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Company wants Iran meeting

A media company said it wants to meet with Iran’s foreign minister in order to secure the release of its two detained journalists. Axel Springer AG said in a statement on Saturday its top executives or editors-in-chief are ready to meet with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi in Teheran or elsewhere to discuss all relevant questions to ensure the journalists’ release. The two journalists were detained in October last year while covering the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning. News weekly Der Spiegel on Saturday quoted Salehi as saying Axel Springer and the journalists’ newspaper Bild am Sonntag could speed up the case “if they would admit that they made a mistake.”

MALAYSIA

Transsexual wages ID fight

A transsexual has vowed to fight for her rights after a court refused to change the gender on her identity card to female. Her lawyer, Wong Kah Woh, said the High Court ruled on Friday that it was sympathetic but couldn’t declare his client a woman because it was not empowered to deal with the issue. Wong said the 35-year-old ethnic Chinese transsexual, who isn’t identified for security reasons, was born a male but underwent surgery to become a woman in Thailand in 2006. Wong said yesterday that his client would challenge the ruling in the Appeals Court.

DENMARK

Crown princess births twins

Crown Princess Mary has given birth to twins — a boy and a girl — the royal court announced on Saturday. The palace said Mary has become the proud mother of “two fine children” at the national Rigshospitalet hospital in Copenhagen. “Both mother and children are doing well,” the court said. The boy, weighing 2.7kg, was the first one born on Saturday morning, while his sister, weighing 2.6kg, was delivered 26 minutes later. The 38-year-old princess was admitted to hospital early on Saturday, accompanied by her husband Crown Prince Frederik.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Post-1989 minister dies

Jiri Dienstbier, a senator and Czechoslovakia’s first foreign minister after the end of communism, has died aged 73, news agency CTK reported on Saturday. The former journalist worked as a Czechoslovak Radio commentator until he lost his job and Communist Party membership because of his opposition to the 1968 Soviet invasion. After that, he worked in various jobs including as an archivist and night watchman while becoming more active as a dissident. He was one of the first signatories of Charter 77, a human rights movement in Czechoslovakia whose members, including playwright and later president Vaclav Havel, went on to be political leaders after the fall of communism. He became foreign minister in 1989 and photographs of him cutting border fences when the Iron Curtain fell became a symbol of the time.

GUATEMALA

Bus plunge kills 14

Fourteen ex-paramilitaries were killed on Saturday and more than 50 of their colleagues were injured when a bus plunged down a 50m deep ravine, local media reported. The accident took place in the predawn hours near western San Marcos, with rescue crews and survivors pointing to break failure as its likely cause. The former paramilitaries were being bused to San Marcos to collect their wages after taking part in a reforestation program in the area. From 1960 to 1996, the country suffered a civil war that killed as many as 200,000 people.

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