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Asian news in brief

Asian news in brief including from Hong Kong that the authorities rushed to wrap up trees and sculptures in the tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui Tuesday as part of attempts to foil vandalism during New Year's Eve celebrations.

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Over 139,000 lives lost in accidents

A TOTAL of 1.073 million accidents of various kinds claimed some 139,400 lives in China last year, an official report revealed on Monday.


A matter of speed and safety

The Cabinet recently agreed to increase the maximum speed limit on certain highways to 120kph from 110kph. WONG LI ZA looksat the impact this decision will have on current efforts to reduce road accidents.


Ban the billboards - except one

Billboards are now a ubiquitous fact of commercial life in the urban centres, but ISAGANI A. CRUZ wishes they were not. While there are some billboards that are pleasing to the eye, like the one with the beautiful girl and her splendid legs, these advertisements are generally unwelcome.


Losing our greenery

PENANGITES have become more conscious of the value of roadside trees, judging from the number of complaints to Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) whenever tree-cutting activities are in progress or when a neighbour cuts down a roadside tree.


High-risk job, but modest pay

They are a group of elite firemen trained to handle special and dangerous tasks. However, on Firefighters Day today, members of the Multi-Skill Team (MUST) feel the remuneration is not commensurate with the risks they undertake, writes NELSON BENJAMIN.



Briefly on: Alcohol link to breast cancer; New use for pneumonia vaccine; High-calorie diet helps; Killer vehicles

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Taiwan insists SARS waning, refutes WHO

B>TAIPEI:/BTaiwan insisted yesterday its Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis was ebbing and faulted the World Health Organisation for saying it hasn't peaked yet.

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Serious road accidents on the rise

CHINA suffered 24 extraordinarily serious road accidents, each killing more than 10 people, up till last Sunday, according to the Public Security Ministry.

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Bus plunge in HK kills 21

B>HONG KONG:/BAt least 21 people were killed and 20 injured yesterday when a double-decker bus packed with commuters ran off a highway and plunged down a steep slope in one of Hong Kong's worst-ever traffic accidents.