World News Quick Take


Tue, Aug 14, 2018 - Page 6


Lombok death toll rises

The death toll from the earthquake that rocked Lombok a week ago has passed 430 and the government is estimating economic losses will exceed several hundred million dollars. The national disaster agency yesterday said that the Aug. 5 quake killed 436 people, most of whom died in collapsing buildings. Damage to homes, infrastructure and other property is at least 5 trillion rupiah (US$342 million), calling that a temporary figure that will rise as more assessments are made, it said. The agency said rebuilding will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.


September summit planned

The Pyongyang and Seoul governments yesterday agreed to hold a summit in Pyongyang next month after two-hours of high-level talks in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula. In a three-sentence joint statement, the two sides did not mention an exact date for the summit and provided no details on how to implement past agreements. Ri Son-gwon, the head of the North’s delegation, told reporters that officials agreed on a specific date, but he refused to share it, saying he wanted to “keep reporters wondering.” Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said officials still had some work to do before agreeing on when exactly the summit would happen.


Ten months for secret snap

A woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison yesterday for secretly photographing a male nude model, in a case that sparked controversy over double standards. The woman in her 20s — also a nude model — was found guilty of taking a picture of her male counterpart at a Seoul art college and sharing it on the Internet in May. She was arrested days later and paraded in front of television cameras while police raided her home to search for evidence. “The whole response by the police to this rare case in which a victim is male is truly unprecedented,” said Seo Seung-hui, head of the Korea Cyber Sexual Violence civic group. “We rarely saw them act so quickly for countless cases in which victims were female.” State data show only 8.7 percent of high-tech peeping Toms are jailed on their first conviction, with most only fined or receiving suspended terms.


Fraud charges over rail line

A court yesterday charged two senior officials with fraud over land allocation for a new US$3 billion train line linking Nairobi with East Africa’s biggest port, Mombasa. The line is funded by China. National Land Commission Chairman Mohammed Abdalla Swazuri, Kenya Railways Corp managing director Atanas Kariuki Maina and 16 other businesspeople and companies pleaded not guilty to the charges. Court documents said fraud had led to loss of public funds amounting to 221.4 million shillings (US$2.20 million).


Push for recycled plastics

The government plans to introduce a penalty system next year that would increase the costs of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic, part of a pledge to use only recycled plastic nationwide by 2025, Secretary of State for Ecological Transition Brune Poirson said on Sunday. “Declaring war on plastic is not enough. We need to transform the French economy,” she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper. Under the plan, products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10 percent less, Poirson said.