Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Citizen workers go on strike

About 2,000 workers at a factory that manufactures parts for Japanese watchmaker Citizen Holdings Co have been on strike since Monday last week over work conditions and overtime pay, Hong Kong media reported. The strike, the latest of a series that have hit the country’s southern manufacturing hub in the past year, brings low pay, runaway inflation and difficult work conditions in the region into focus. Workers at the Shenzhen factory also complained about having their salaries docked for taking washroom breaks, which they said has been a policy since 2005, according to reports in the Chinese--language Sing Tao Daily and Ming Pao newspapers. Sing Tao Daily also cited factory workers as saying that some of them were beaten and had their salaries withheld after they started going on strike. Officials from Citizen Holdings in Japan were not immediately available for comment.


Treaty with France signed

The government signed a treaty with France calling for more information-sharing on security and terrorism, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said yesterday after meeting French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in Tokyo. Separately, the two countries will work together to improve nuclear safety following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, the leaders said in a joint statement. The countries will form a committee to promote collaboration on nuclear energy security, the statement said. The meeting between Noda and Fillon took place ahead of a G20 meeting hosted by French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Cannes next week, which Noda will attend. After Fillon, German President Christian Wulff will visit Noda today and British Prime Minister David Cameron tomorrow.


Karzai would back Pakistan

If the US and Pakistan ever went to war, President Hamid Karzai said his country would back Pakistan. Karzai made the comment to the private GEO television station in Pakistan in an interview broadcast on Saturday. It is a surprising remark given Karzai’s recent criticism of Pakistan and his show of alliance with the US during US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to Kabul last week. Both Clinton and Karzai vocally accused the Pakistan government of providing sanctuary to terrorist groups launching attacks in Afghanistan. A military conflict between the US and Pakistan is not likely, but Karzai says that if Pakistan were attacked and asked for his country’s help, they would support the Pakistanis.


Bridge collapse toll rises

Officials say the death toll has risen to 31 after a wooden bridge collapsed in the northeastern district of Darjeeling. The 30m bridge gave way as more than 150 mountain villagers gathered on it on Saturday night to hear speeches by local officials in Bijanbari, about 30km from the hill town of Darjeeling. The bridge was built in 1942 and was weakened by an earthquake last month. Authorities say some who fell about 30m into the swirling Rangeet Khola River were likely swept away in the rapids. Rescuers searched yesterday in areas down river. West Bengal state police official Surajit Kar Purakayastha says more than 100 people who were injured in the collapse have been found.


Suspected rebels kill five

Suspected Muslim rebels killed five rubber plantation workers yesterday in the latest eruption of violence in the south of the country, the military said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on Basilan Island, which came just days after Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels launched deadly attacks that left 27 government forces dead. “Five were killed in this morning’s ambush,” regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said. He said the motive for the attack as well as those behind it were not immediately clear. However, he said MILF rebels were known to operate in the forested area where the ambush took place and the attack could have been meant to divert military attention from an ongoing offensive against comrades responsible for earlier attacks.

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