Thu, Oct 13, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

AUSTRALIA

Nurse in coma after drink

A nurse suffered brain damage and kidney failure after drinking a cocktail called jungle juice in Lombok, Indonesia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday. Jamie Johnston, 25, was flown to the Royal Darwin Hospital from Bali in a coma after ordering a jug of arak — a rice wine popular throughout Southeast Asia — mixed with fruit juice to share with her mother. The daily said the batch was contaminated with methanol, a toxic chemical often used as an anti-freeze or in paint, which was linked to the deaths of four foreign tourists in 2009 in Bali. Johnston’s mother, Lyn, who was not affected, told the newspaper that test results had shown her daughter suffered methanol poisoning after drinking the cocktail on Sept. 20 at the Happy Cafe restaurant.

AUSTRALIA

House passes carbon tax

The House of Representatives has narrowly passed legislation that would introduce an unpopular carbon tax on major polluters. The legislation scraped through the parliament’s lower chamber yesterday with a 74-72 vote. Its passage through the Senate next month is guaranteed by an alliance between the ruling Labor Party and the environmentally focused Greens party, ensuring that the tax starts on July 1. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended introducing the new tax in a volatile global economic environment, saying that any delay would increase the cost of reducing the nation’s carbon gas emissions.

PHILIPPINES

HRW accuses army of lying

A US-based human rights group is accusing the Philippine army of fabricating stories that some children it has taken into custody are communist “child warriors.” The military says 215 New People’s Army child soldiers have surrendered, 121 have been captured and 12 have been killed between January 1999 and January this year. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that at least 12 children have been falsely labeled child soldiers by the military. It says the army made the claims to score propaganda points against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, its armed wing. The group yesterday urged the government to immediately end the military’s harassment of the children and their families. The army has denied the group’s report.

PHILIPPINES

Arroyo may face charges

President Benigno Aquino III says his administration will be filing major corruption charges against his predecessor next month. Aquino yesterday refused to provide details of the complaints the government is preparing against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Arroyo won a seat in the powerful House of Representatives after her stormy nine-year term ended last year. She has been implicated in corruption scandals, but steadfastly denies any wrongdoing. Aquino suggested the government wanted to protect witnesses by not divulging details of the complaints.

VIETNAM

Flood death toll rises to 34

The death toll from the worst seasonal flooding in more than a decade has climbed to 34 people, mostly children, the government said yesterday. The worst floods since 2000 have also submerged more than 60,000 homes and caused US$45 million in damage to crops and infrastructure along the southern Mekong Delta since late August. In the worst hit-province of Dong Thap, six people — including five children — have drowned over the past two weeks, bringing the death toll there to 13.

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