Briefly World: Man takes hostages, demands Japan PM resignation

Man takes hostages, demands Japan PM resignation

Tokyo: A man armed with a knife took five people hostage at a Japanese bank Thursday, police said, with local media reporting he was demanding Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet resign. About seven hours after the drama began, the man released one hostage, the NHK showed.

Congo rebels reject call to quit Goma

GOMA: The M23 R ebels in eastern Congo rejected calls from African leaders to withdraw from Goma and threatened on Thursday to press on with their advance until President Joseph Kabila opens direct peace talks.

New tech to allow tapping Skype chats

LONDON: New eavesdropping technology could allow government agencies to "silently record" conversations on Internet chat services like Skype. Dennis Chang, president of VoIP-PAL, a chat service similar to Skype, has obtained a patent for a "legal intercept" technology he said "would allow governments to "silently record" VoIP communications.

Russia: Lawsuit against Madonna dismissed

ST. PETERSBURG: A Russian court has dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg.

President tries to change Mexico's name

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's president is making one last attempt to get the "United States" out of the country's for formal name — United Mexican States. President Felipe Calderon wants to make it simply "Mexico".

'Pacific island doesn't exist'

A South Pacific island, shown on world maps, marine charts as well as Google Earth, actually does not exist, Australian scientists claim. The island, named Sandy Island on Google Earth allegedly sits between Australia and New Caledonia in the south Pacific.

"We became suspicious when navigation charts used by the ship showed a depth of 1400m in an area where Google Earth showed a large island," Dr Maria Seton, a geologist from the University of Sydney, said.

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