Tue, Mar 26, 2013 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Mister Donut serves bleach

At least five people who were served bleach-laced water at a Mister Donut store had to be treated by medics, the operator said yesterday. Duskin Co, a Japanese cleaning company that also operates the US fast food franchise in the country, said one of its stores in Osaka served a diluted solution of bleach as drinking water on Friday. The mishap occurred after a worker poured the solution into a pot used for drinking water as part of the cleaning procedure at closing time the previous day, the company said in a statement. On Friday, another worker who thought it had been properly cleaned poured the water out for customers. About 12 people complained about an “unpleasant sensation,” the company said. “Two people were taken to hospital directly from the store, and three others saw doctors on their own,” said a Duskin spokesman, adding none of them was in a serous condition.

CHINA

Land generates big profits

Authorities have earned almost US$5 trillion in profit by selling land obtained from farmers to developers over the years, a top economist said according to state media. As the country undergoes a huge urbanization process rural land confiscations have led to numerous protests, worrying the Chinese Communist Party, which sees corruption and social unrest as threats to its power. By law, officials may provide compensation worth up to 30 times the value of the land’s output, but in practice they have skimped on payments or foregone them altogether — then sold the land to developers at much higher rates. Wu Jinglian (吳敬璉), an economist at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said: “Some [government] agencies have earned around 30 trillion yuan [US$4.8 trillion], by conservative estimates, from land price spreads in the urbanization campaign over the past decades.” Wu made the remarks at an economic forum at the weekend, Xinhua news agency said.

NEW ZEALAND

No prostitution for students

International students studying in the country, where prostitution is legal, have been told they are to be barred from working in the sex trade. A government immigration Web site, www.nzstudywork.com, said yesterday that overseas students have the same workplace rights as all citizens, but lists jobs they cannot do. Foreign students “can’t provide commercial sexual services. In other words, they can’t work as a prostitute, act as an operator of a New Zealand prostitution business or invest in a prostitution business,” the Web site said. Immigration New Zealand general manager Stephen Dunstan said legislation did not preclude students from working as massage therapists.

INDIA

Firm sorry for Berlusconi ad

The local unit of Ford Motor Co has apologized for an advertisement depicting former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with a trio of bound women in the trunk of a car. The image appeared over the weekend on a Web site showcasing creative ads. Featuring Ford’s logo, it showed three women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo with Berlusconi smiling from the driver’s seat alongside the slogan “Leave your worries behind.” Never used commercially, the ad was reportedly posted online by its creators at an ad agency hired by Ford. The company yesterday said that it regrets the incident, calling the images “contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford.”

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