World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

Tue, Jul 20, 2010 - Page 5

■MALDIVES

Nations vow to cut carbon

Six countries seen as most threatened by rising sea levels have vowed to cut their carbon emissions as a gesture of their commitment to fight global warming, the government said yesterday. The countries, mostly low-lying nations, met over the weekend in the country ahead of a UN climate change meeting in Mexico and pledged to drastically cut their emissions while pressing others to follow suit. “Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Samoa all pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions and pursue green growth and development,” the government said in a statement. The nation is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2020.

■PAKISTAN

Bomber wounds eight

A suicide bomber ran past guards at a minority Shiite mosque in Sargodha city, Punjab Province, then blew himself up on Sunday, wounding eight worshipers, officials said. The attack appeared to be the latest in a string by Sunni extremists against other Muslims they consider infidels. Sargodha police chief Bashir Ahmad said eight people had been taken to the hospital, two of whom were in critical condition. The attacker apparently was not more than 17-years-old, he added.

■THAILAND

Suspected separatists kill

Suspected Islamic separatists shot dead three people, including one Malaysian, in the latest violence in the insurgency-plagued southern provinces, police said yesterday. The 57-year-old Malaysian was gunned down early on Sunday at his karaoke business in the border town of Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat Province. The same day in neighboring Pattani Province, a 50-year-old Buddhist teacher was shot dead at his home by suspected militants, while a 54-year-old Muslim man was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of a mosque, police said. The government last week extended emergency rule in three troubled southern provinces until October.

■AUSTRALIA

Nude man causes chaos

An armed man wearing nothing but a holster and standing on top of a billboard brought central Perth to a standstill during a lengthy altercation with police. The shaven-headed man, brandishing a small pistol, drew a tactical response team, a police helicopter, a fire truck, ambulances and crowds of onlookers as authorities shut down part of the city on Saturday. “He’s just ranting and raving at this stage, nothing that’s really ... making a great deal of sense,” inspector Neil Blair told reporters at the scene. “It’s not the actions of a rational person to be up there naked in the middle of Perth with what appears to be a handgun.” The man, who appeared on the billboard around lunchtime, finally put down his weapon and surrendered to police in the early evening.

■HONG KONG

Godfather of Cantopop dies

Tai Sze-chung (戴思聰), veteran vocal coach to Cantopop’s biggest stars, has died from heart disease. He was 69. Tai’s daughter Wancy told reporters her father passed away early on Sunday from complications from an acute coronary heart problem. The Apple Daily reported yesterday that Tai was hospitalized after fainting at his home early on Saturday. Tai was nicknamed “godfather of the music industry” for his star-studded list of students. Among those he tutored were late pop diva Anita Mui (梅艷芳), singer Faye Wong (王菲) and actor-singers Andy Lau (劉德華) and Leon Lai (黎明).

■GERMANY

Autobahn becomes table

The autobahns are renowned for average speeds well in excess of 130kph, but the average dropped to near zero on Sunday as tens of thousands of people sat at a 60km-long table for a cultural celebration titled, appropriately enough, “Still Life.” Cars were strictly forbidden. “Attention on the A40,” a radio traffic report warned. “There is a 60 kilometer closure between Duisburg and Dortmund due to the longest table in the world.” A festival spokesman said an estimated 3 million people turned out amid fine weather, 1 million of them with their bicycles, to celebrate on the highway between Dortmund and Bochum. Tens of thousands sat at the table, which was made up of 20,000 individual tables, spokesman Oliver Haenig, said. The highway, which crosses North Rhine-­Westphalia state, is normally one of Europe’s busiest.

■NIGERIA

Gunmen release journalists

Gunmen in the southeastern oil region released four local journalists and their driver unharmed on Sunday, after nearly a week in captivity. The kidnappers ambushed a convoy of cars carrying the journalists in the southern state of Akwa Ibom on Monday last week as it approached Aba, in neighboring Abia state. “Due to the pressure from various quarters, the kidnappers had to release us this morning,” Wahab Oba, chairman of the Lagos state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, told reporters shortly after being freed. Oba said no ransom was paid for their release. The gunmen had initially demanded 250 million naira (US$1.7 million).

■IRAN

Tehran to file complaint

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday Tehran would file a complaint to international bodies over the deadly mosque bombing by an insurgent group he said the US supported. The twin suicide bombings of a mosque in the southeast killed 28 people on Thursday last week in an attack claimed by the Jundallah insurgent group as revenge for the execution of its leader by Iranian authorities last month. Ahmadinejad did not specify if the complaint would be specifically against the US, but he did tell state TV that the US supported the bombings.

■UNITED STATES

Eight wounded in shooting

Police say eight people were wounded in a burst of gunfire in downtown Indianapolis during the Indiana Black Expo and two more in separate shootings that followed. Police spokesman Lieutenant Jeff Duhamell said early on Sunday that authorities made no immediate arrests directly tied to the shootings and were seeking those responsible. He said none of the injuries was life-threatening. Police said the victims were males ages 10 to 18.

■UNITED STATES

Holy Land ‘killer’ charged

Police in Connecticut charged a 19-year-old man with raping and killing a 16-year-old girl after the two walked together to a closed and decaying religious attraction. Francisco Cruz, of Waterbury, is charged with murder and sexual assault in the death of his friend Chloe Ottman. Her body was found near Holy Land USA on Saturday. Police say Cruz admitted that he killed Ottman on Thursday evening and led investigators to her body. The 7 hectare former religious attraction is on a hillside overlooking Waterbury. It featured a ­Hollywood-style Holy Land USA sign and replicas of Bethlehem and Jerusalem made from scrap wood, chicken wire, sheet-metal and other materials. It closed years ago, though its 15m cross is still illuminated at night.