Sun, Jun 24, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

SPAIN

Catalans shun King Felipe VI

Catalonia’s pro-independence political leaders are snubbing the king in their latest public challenge to rule from Madrid. Catalan President Quim Torra said his regional government would not invite the monarchy to any official event, nor would it send representatives to any royal event, because King Felipe VI refuses to discuss the possibility of the wealthy northeastern region seceding. The monarch, like the Madrid-based national government, has rejected the unilateral declaration of independence passed by separatists in October. In an announcement in the Catalan capital, Barcelona, on Friday, Torra said: “We are not subjects, we are citizens.” Torra is due to meet with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on July 9.

JAPAN

Legislator heckles patient

A legislator apologized on Thursday for jeering a lung cancer patient testifying about the dangers of second-hand smoke, and said he had spoken out to prevent discrimination against smokers. The country lags behind many others in efforts to fight smoking, with attempts to tackle tobacco often stymied by pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco, which is one-third owned by the government.

VIETNAM

Soccer gambling ring bust

Police broke up an online soccer gambling ring worth about US$26 million, arresting four people as authorities look to stop illegal betting that surges during sporting events, such as FIFA World Cup. Gambling is illegal in the nation, apart from the state-run lottery and a few casinos that are only open to foreigners. Yet the law is widely flouted, especially during top-tier sports competitions when many punters head online or to illegal gambling dens to try their luck. The four were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, a report published in the police’s official Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper said. The suspects allegedly admitted to operating transactions through a Web site hosted in the Philippines.

SOUTH KOREA

Spy agency founder dead

Kim Jong-pil, founder of the nation’s once-infamous spy agency and former prime minister, died yesterday in Seoul, his aide said. He was 92 years old, and is believed to have died of natural causes. Kim’s political career took off in 1961 when he joined then-major general Park Chung-hee in staging a successful military coup. He helped Park consolidate his grip on power by establishing the notorious Korean Central Intelligence Agency, which wielded unlimited and unchecked power, arbitrarily arresting, torturing and persecuting Park’s political opponents.

UNITED STATES

Zoo’s last white tiger dies

The Cincinnati Zoo’s last white tiger has died. Zoo officials on Thursday said that Popsy has been euthanized due to age-related issues. The female tiger was 22. Zoo director of Animal Health Mark Campbell said Popsy had several health issues, and in the end it was determined that the zoo was unable to maintain her “good quality of life.” The tiger arrived in Cincinnati from Nashville in June 1996. Popsy and her sister Erica were named after the late Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conductor Erich “Prince of Pops” Kunzel. Popsy spent the last 10 years with a male companion named Akere, who died in December last year. The average white tiger lifespan is 15 to 20 years, the zoo said.

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