Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

MYANMAR

WWII bomb kills seven

Seven people died when a bomb from World War II exploded in the west of the country, officials said yesterday. “They were killed accidentally in the blast while trying to remove a bomb that appeared at the sea shore near their village. They seemed to have no idea what it was,” said a government official who asked not to be named. The accident took place on Wednesday near the port town of Sittwe. The victims were all men. “We think the old bomb was left over from World War II. We have no idea how many of them are left buried around the country,” a second official said.

JAPAN

Nation drills for quake

The country yesterday conducted its first national earthquake drill since the March 11 disasters that left 20,000 dead or missing and triggered a nuclear crisis. Police supervised traffic at about 100 points in central Tokyo while passengers were guided to safe zones from train stations in a simulation of a post-quake scenario in which all rail and subway services are suspended. Disaster Prevention Day is an annual drill to train for a potentially deadly magnitude 7.3 earthquake scenario in Tokyo and is held to commemorate the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 140,000. Throughout Japan, about 517,000 people were scheduled to take part in disaster drills yesterday. However, many areas hit by the March disaster, including Fukushima, canceled their participation with residents still struggling to recover from the March calamity.

PHILIPPINES

Aquino’s love life like Coke

The bachelor president is lamenting that his love life is like Coke — it’s gone from regular to zero. Fifty-one-year-old President Benigno Aquino III poked fun at himself while addressing members of the Philippine community in Beijing during his state visit to China. Like a standup comedian, he opened up by broaching one of the most mundane questions people often ask him. Aquino said on Wednesday: “Someone asked me: ‘How is your love life?’ So I said: ‘It’s like Coca-Cola ... Before, it was regular, then it became light, now it’s zero.’” The audience then burst into laughter. Since taking office last year, Aquino has broken up with several women, often blaming journalists’ prying eyes for ruining his romances.

CHINA

Carrier passes sea trial

The country says its first aircraft carrier attained all its set objectives in its initial sea trial last month. According to yesterday’s official Global Times newspaper, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun (楊宇軍) says the refurbished ex-Soviet carrier will continue to undergo testing. He gave no further details. The government says the ship is intended for research and training, pointing to plans to build up to three additional clones of the carrier.

SOUTH KOREA

Sterilizer blamed for deaths

A sterilizing agent for home humidifiers probably caused the mysterious deaths of four pregnant women, an official with a health agency said yesterday. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating after 28 cases of lung disease with unknown causes were reported since 2004, many of them this year and involving pregnant women. Four of the pregnant patients died earlier this year. The agency said tests showed that a harmful substance in a sterilizer — used by all the patients in their humidifiers — could seriously damage lung cells.

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