Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

INDONESIA

Freeport employees killed

Two employees of US mining giant Freeport have been killed after a company car caught fire in restive Papua Province. Company spokesman Ramdani Sirait says that police suggested to them that unidentified gunmen fired at the car. However, deputy chief of police Major Mada Indra Laksanta said yesterday it was too early to conclude that the car was shot at. Thursday’s incident came just one day after gunmen ambushed a Freeport van, injuring two employees. The mine has been a target of violence by separatists since production began in the 1970s.

SOUTH KOREA

Man cleared of espionage

An appeals court yesterday cleared an ethnic Korean living in Japan of espionage charges, saying his confession more than 26 years ago was made under torture by military investigators. Yoon Jeong-hun, 58, was arrested in 1984 on charges of collecting military secrets for North Korea while studying at a medical college in Seoul. Yoon, who was born to Korean parents in Osaka, Japan, was sentenced to seven years in jail in the same year. He was paroled in 1988.

SOUTH KOREA

Fees scrapped after suicides

The country’s top science and technology university has scrapped a controversial incentives system linking fees to academic achievement after a spate of student suicides. Four students have killed themselves since January, including two this week, sparking angry criticism of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The latest victim was a 19-year-old who apparently jumped to his death at his apartment in Incheon on Thursday, a day after he sent in a notice of absence from class to his faculty. “How could you expect someone to be creative under these circumstances? KAIST should be full of joy of learning and studying rather than extreme stress,” a student was quoted as saying this week by the Korea Herald. KAIST president Suh Nam-pyo decided in 2007 to link fees to academic performance in order to motivate students to work harder. Students with grade point averages under 3.0 out of 4.3 pay partial fees while those with less than 2.0 have to pay the full amount — 7.5 million won (US$6,800) per six-month semester.

INDIA

Hunger-striker rejects talks

A veteran social activist whose hunger strike against corruption is drawing growing support yesterday rejected an offer of talks saying the government was ignoring the wishes of the people. Thousands of people held demonstrations across the country for another day yesterday in support of Anna Hazare, who is demanding a tough anti-corruption law. Cabinet minister Kapil Sibal offered to meet protest leaders, but wanted them to withdraw a demand for their nominee to head a team to draft a new anti-graft law. Hazare rejected the offer.

MALAYSIA

Two arrested with heroin

Police have arrested two Pakistani men suspected of smuggling heroin worth 110 million ringgit (US$36 million) into the country. A federal police statement said authorities caught the men with 158kg of heroin packed together with clothes in boxes at a shop in Selangor state on Wednesday. The suspects face a mandatory penalty of death by hanging if convicted of drug trafficking. Yesterday’s police statement said the drugs were smuggled into the country by sea from Pakistan and could have been intended for sale in neighboring countries. Authorities raided the shop because of a tip from the public.

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