Tue, Oct 25, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

VIETNAM

Customs seizes ivory

Customs officials yesterday said they had seized more than a tonne of ivory, believed to be from elephant tusks, being smuggled into the country. A total of 221 tusk portions were discovered hidden on an iron boat that was intercepted by authorities as it tried to cross a river on the northern frontier with China late on Saturday, an official from the Quang Ninh Provincial Customs Department said. Three people, including two Chinese, were arrested and are currently in police custody, said the official, who declined to be named.

AUSTRALIA

Man wrongly held: lawyer

An Indian man who came to the country to study for a masters in engineering ended up in immigration detention and was wrongly kept there for almost 18 months, his lawyer said yesterday. Prashant Cherkupalli was reportedly picked up by immigration officials after he was found to be working in a bakery without having the right visa to do so in November 2004. He spent the next 509 days in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre before his release in April 2006. Cherkupalli remains in the country, where he has since finished his masters degree, but he took his complaint to the national Human Rights Commission, which is yet to make its findings on the case public. His lawyer said that the commission had found that Cherkupalli should not have been detained.

HONG KONG

Feng shui master loses bid

The territory’s highest court has refused to reconsider a ruling that a will bequeathing a feng shui master the fortune of Asia’s once richest woman was forged. The decision by the Court of Final Appeal closes the door on Tony Chan’s (陳振聰) efforts to win control of Nina Wang’s (龔如心) private Chinachem Group fortune, estimated at HK$100 billion (US$12.8 billion). Chan was Wang’s lover. He contends that a will dating from 2006 bequeathing him Wang’s fortune is authentic. However, a three-judge panel yesterday found there was no grounds to reconsider a lower court’s April ruling that the will was a phony. Wang died in 2007.

INDIA

No polio found in months

Health officials say there has not been a case of polio in the country for nine months, the longest the nation has ever been polio-free. The health ministry says the country has never been closer to wiping out the debilitating disease since eradication efforts were launched here nearly two decades ago. India remains one of only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said yesterday the last new case was reported in January in West Bengal state and no cases were reported in the traditional polio reservoirs of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states. He said any fresh case of the virus would be declared a public health emergency.

CHINA

Officials jailed over leaks

Two officials have been jailed for leaking economic data to securities brokerages and four people who work in the financial industry are being investigated. The National Administration for Protection of State Secrets said the officials shared classified data numerous times, but it gave no details about the information or the impact of the leaks. The officials worked in the National Bureau of Statistics and the People’s Bank of China and were sentenced to five and six years in jail respectively.

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