Sat, Mar 10, 2012 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Penguin search widened

Keepers looking for a runaway penguin widened their search yesterday, asking birdwatchers on Tokyo’s rivers for help in tracking down the escapee, five days after it broke out of an aquarium. Staff at Tokyo Sea Life Park said they believed the penguin was alive and well and somewhere in the capital after receiving reports it had successfully fed itself. “We haven’t given up hope,” Satoshi Toda of the park said. “We have received information that indicates the penguin caught some fish and ate them, so we are hopeful that the bird is still alive.” Keepers believe the 60cm bird made its break for freedom after being startled into climbing over a rock twice its size, in an escape that has been compared to the exploits of animals in the animated film Madagascar.

JAPAN

Whale catch below target

The country ended this season’s whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean having caught less than one-third of its original target, the Fisheries Agency said yesterday. Whalers killed 266 minke whales and one fin whale, the agency said, well below the approximately 900 they had been aiming for when they left the country in December last year. The whalers had left the southern waters by Thursday “as scheduled,” the agency said. It made no reference to the frequent high-seas confrontations with anti-whaling activists.

PHILIPPINES

Quakes strike the northwest

Officials said two moderately strong earthquakes hit the northwest with no damage reported so far. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the magnitude 5.3 quake before dawn yesterday was centered 17km southwest of Looc township on Lubang island in Mindoro Occidental province. It was felt in Manila, about 130km northeast. Hours earlier, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the same area, causing no damage.

AUSTRALIA

Rinehart spat spills out

Lawyers for mining magnate Gina Rinehart, one of the world’s wealthiest people, told her estranged children yesterday to “go out and earn for themselves” after she lost a legal challenge to keep details of a family dispute out of the media. Rinehart, identified by Forbes magazine the world’s 29th-richest person with a fortune of US$18 billion, has been battling her three eldest children, who want her ousted as trustee of the multibillion-dollar family trust. The children want to be appointed trustees in her place and they have made allegations of “serious misconduct.” “The plaintiff’s children have seen fit not to follow sound advice from family friends that if they are not happy they should go out and earn for themselves,” Rinehart’s law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth said in a statement.

CHINA

N Koreans repatriated

Beijing has repatriated all 31 North Korean refugees it arrested last month despite international pressure against the move, activists said yesterday, warning they could face severe punishment. Campaigners fear the refugees could suffer abuse or even face execution for fleeing the country during the mourning period for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who died late last year. Do Hee-yun, head of the Citizens’ Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, said the group of 31 people had been in three separate groups and were arrested in different places in China. “They were returned to the North clandestinely over the past two weeks,” Do said.

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