Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Zhou attends event

Former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang (周永康) was all smiles yesterday as he attended an alumni celebration at his former university, his first public appearance since overseas media reported that he was being investigated for corruption. Zhou, 70, one of the most powerful politicians of the past decade, attended an alumni celebration at the China University of Petroleum, according to photographs posted by the university on its Web site. He was seen beaming and shaking hands.

JAPAN

Yoshinoya helps farmers

Fast-food chain Yoshinoya yesterday said it would grow rice and vegetables in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Operator Yoshinoya Holdings said it had set up a joint venture with local farmers to grow rice, onions and cabbages in a 4.3 hectare field in Shirakawa, 80km from the plant. It will also build a facility to process vegetables for use in Yoshinoya restaurants, the firm said, adding strict radiation screening measures will be put in place. Farmers across Fukushima, a large area that was mainly unaffected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, have complained about plunging produce prices.

THAILAND

Flood fears voiced

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department says floods have killed more than 20 people and affected areas across the country in the past two weeks, while concern is growing there could be a repeat of the 2011 floods that killed more than 800 people and devastated wide swathes of the kingdom. The department says 32 out of 77 provinces have seen flooding since the middle of last month and 23 people have been killed.

THAILAND

Pro-royalist sentenced

A court yesterday sentenced the founder of a pro-royalist protest movement to two years in jail for insulting the monarchy by repeating comments deemed offensive made by a political rival. Businessman Sondhi Limthongkul led so-called “yellow shirt” protests from 2005 to 2008 that undermined two governments. “The accused had no reason to repeat comments made by a political rival in a public space as repeating them made those words known to an even wider audience,” a judge told a Bangkok court.

PHILIPPINES

Lawmaker proposes at work

A politician stunned his girlfriend and won new fans with a nationally televised wedding proposal in the House of Representatives. Francisco Ashley Acedillo, 36, got down on bended knee during a break in a budget debate on Friday last week. Acedillo yesterday said he lured his girlfriend of three years, Maria Paz Ocampo, 28, to Congress by telling her he was about to deliver an important speech. Acedillo said he was initially unsure of parliamentary protocol, but the House leadership gave him permission.

BANGLADESH

Lawmaker sentenced

An opposition member of parliament was sentenced to death yesterday for war crimes, becoming the first lawmaker to be convicted for offenses committed during the 1971 war of independence. Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was “found guilty of nine charges of war crimes, including genocide” and was sentenced to death, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said.

ITALY

Knox retrial to see new DNA

A judge presiding over the retrial of US student Amanda Knox on Monday ordered new DNA tests on the knife that prosecutors say was used to kill her British roommate in 2007. Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty in 2009 of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. They were acquitted on appeal in 2011, but the acquittal was later quashed by the Supreme Court. Neither appeared in court on Monday for the first hearing in the retrial. Knox, now back home in Seattle, has said she will not be returning to Italy. Judge Alessandro Nencini will also hear new testimony from jailed Naples mafia member Luciano Aviello, who previously said his brother killed Kercher. The new checks on the presumed murder weapon will examine a trace that was not tested because experts said it was too small to produce reliable results.

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