- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 19, 2004

MALAYSIA

Deadly flu forces bird cull

KAMPUNG PASIR PEKAN — A strain of bird flu blamed for 27 deaths in Asia this year has been found in Malaysia, the government said yesterday, as hundreds of birds were gassed and their carcasses burned to contain the outbreak.

Two chickens that died in a northern village near the Thai border were found to be infected with the deadly strain in Malaysia’s first bird flu outbreak, said Abi Musa Asa’ari Mohamed Nor, secretary-general of the Agriculture Ministry.

In Geneva, the World Health Organization called the sudden outbreak of the virus strain in Malaysia “disconcerting” and said there was still the risk that it could move to humans, with pandemic potential.

JAPAN

Moscow, Tokyo agree on oil pipeline

TOKYO — Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, now in the Russian Far East, agreed yesterday with Khabarovsk Gov. Viktor Ishayev that Japan and Russia should cooperate on building an oil pipeline from eastern Siberia to the Pacific coast, said Japanese officials accompanying Mr. Nakagawa.

During their meeting, Mr. Nakagawa told Mr. Ishayev that a steady supply of energy to Japan from Russia will contribute to stable regional development.

PHILIPPINES

Soldier seeks to settle score with ex-captors

MANILA — A junior army officer held hostage for nearly a half-year by communist guerrillas in the Philippines has asked to be redeployed to the same area to settle scores with his former captors, a military spokesman said yesterday.

1st Lt. Ronaldo Fidelino made the formal request to his superiors within hours of his release from New People’s Army captivity in the Bicol region on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero said.

The 8,600-strong NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has been waging a Maoist rebellion since 1969.

JAPAN

Team to monitor food aid to N. Korea

TOKYO — The government has decided to send a team to North Korea in October to monitor whether food and medicines provided as part of Japan’s humanitarian aid are being distributed appropriately to North Koreans, government sources said yesterday.

North Korea accepted Japan’s request for the monitoring team at bilateral working-level talks in Beijing last week, the sources said.

It will be the first time since August 2000 that Japanese personnel will monitor the distribution of Japanese aid in North Korea.

CHINA

Corrupt officials flee abroad

BEIJING — About 4,000 corrupt Chinese officials have fled overseas in the past two decades, taking along $50 billion, official media reported yesterday.

Analysts said corrupt officials and some private firms were using companies registered in offshore finance centers such as the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas to illegally transfer funds.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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