Category:January 17, 2005

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News briefs


Monday, January 17, 2005

Wikinews Staff Reports —The following stories made international headlines Monday

Catholic archbishop kidnapped in Iraq

A Catholic archbishop was kidnapped in Mosul, Iraq according to reports from the Vatican. The man, Basile Georges Casmoussa, is an archbishop of the Syrian Catholic Church, and was in Mosul — a city with tens of thousands of Christians that make up 3 percent of the country's population. The Vatican called the kidnapping a terrorist act.

Source: ABC

80 government officials convicted in Chinese bank swindle

After an investigation that lasted for more than a year the National Audit Office of China found 233 persons, including 80 government officials, guilty of having defrauded the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's largest commercial bank. The total amount involved in the swindle was 7.4 billion yuan (US$894 million). Most of the money appears to have been recovered, but more than 2 billion yuan are still missing and may have been transferred to overseas accounts.

Source: Xinhua

Bosnian Serb colonel convicted of genocide for Srebrenica massacre

The former commander of the Bratunac Brigade in Bosnia, Vidoje Blagojevic, was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment by the Hague Tribunal for "complicity in genocide". The Trial Chamber found that Blagojevic's brigade, by taking part in the forced transfer of Bosniaks from the Srebenica area, had aided and abetted a "murder operation" that led to the death of more than 7000 men and boys.

Blagojevic was the second person from former Yugoslavia to be found guilty of genocide by the Tribunal. The first was Radislav Krstic, the Bosnian Serb general who led the Srebrenica operation. Krstic was sentenced to 46 years' imprisonment on 2 August 2001.

Source: ICTY

Eight workers paralyzed from toxic chemical in S. Korean sweatshop

Eight Thai female workers, working for the South Korean company Donghwa Digital, were paralyzed from the waist down after being exposed to hexane, a chemical commonly used by the electronics industry to clean electronic components.

Workers at Donghwa used hexane to polish products in unventilated rooms, for up to 12 hours per day. They worked without protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and masks, for varying durations of time, between seven months and three years.

Of the eight women from Thailand, seven were illegal migrant workers who were afraid to seek outside help due to their fear of deportation. After a Seoul newspaper reported about the women on Friday, the South Korean Ministry of Labor initiated an investigation of Donghwa Digital.

The Seoul newspaper, Hankyoreh Sinmun, also reported on an earlier similar case involving three Chinese women who worked for another company making components for liquid crystal displays.

Source: JoongAng Daily