Asian news in brief

HONG KONG: The authorities rushed to wrap up trees and sculptures in the tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday as part of attempts to foil vandalism during New Year's Eve celebrations. 

Workers were seen wrapping up palm trees and sculptures in plastic sheets near the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, as well as setting up barriers around walls to prevent a repeat of events of last week where youths sprayed paint on the Cultural Centre's walls, windows and trees. – AFP 


DHAKA: At least six people died and several hospitalised after a dinner of caviar and rice in a tribal village in south-eastern Bangladesh, hospital sources said yesterday. 

The dinner of fish eggs, cooked according to a local Chakma tribal delicacy, was served to guests in the remote Guichhari village. – dpa 


HANOI: Drug-linked crimes were up 10% in in Vietnam this year, with heroin featuring in high-profile drug-smuggling cases.  

Between November 2001 and November 2002, police uncovered about 14,000 drug trafficking cases. The quantity of heroin seized over the year is up 62%.– Reuters 


HANOI:More than 12,800 people were killed in traffic accidents in Vietnam last year, a rise of 22% from 2001, an official report said yesterday. 

The poor condition of roads and widespread failure to obey traffic laws were blamed for the high death toll. – AFP 


HONG KONG: Hong Kong unveiled a new passport with added security features yesterday to make it more difficult to forge.  

The ink used for stamping, which changes colour when viewed at different angles, is not on the market. – dpa 


ZAMBOANGA: A two-year-old girl was killed and her parents critically wounded in a grenade attack here yesterday. 

Police said they were looking for a man believed to be responsible for tossing the grenade near the home of Jimmy and Loreta Baha in the city of General Santos. – AFP  

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