■ MyanmarSuu Kyi: Cancer ruled out
An operation on Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi, detained at a secret location by the military government for more than three months, showed no signs of cancer, her doctor said yesterday. "It is 99.99 percent not cancer," surgeon Tin Myo Win told reporters, but declined to say what the operation was for. "It is not completely true that it was gynecological disease, but somewhat it was related," the doctor said, a day after the three-hour operation at the private Asia Royal Hospital. He gave no other details, but several sources had said the operation was on Suu Kyi's uterus. Tin Myo Win said Suu Kyi, 58, was in stable condition and would be able to eat normally today.
US air strike kills civilians
At least eight civilians were among those killed in a US air strike in Afghanistan's southern province of Zabul that also killed a Taliban commander, an Afghan official said yesterday. The civilians, nomad women and children, died in their beds when a bomb landed on their tent in Zabul's Naw Bahar district on Wednesday night. Mohammad Omar, the deputy governor of Zabul, said Mohammad Gul Neyazi, a top commander of the Taliban, and another Taliban guerrilla were also killed during the attack in the remote district near the border with Pakistan.
Earthquake jolts Tokyo
At least seven people were slightly injured yesterday as a strong earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale jolted Tokyo and large areas of eastern Japan, officials said. The quake occurred at 12:55pm, with its focus located 80km under the seabed near the coast of Kujukuri in Chiba prefecture, some 80km south of the capital. The seven were injured after loose pieces of a wall at a Buddhist temple in southern central Tokyo's Ota collapsed. The jolt swayed high buildings in the capital, but it has not so far affected train and aviation services.
■ The Phillipines
Sex stories by telephone
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), the country's dominant telecom firm, was asked yesterday to explain one of its services, which allegedly offers sexual stories to listeners. "Such sexual promotions seem unfit for a telephone company like PLDT. We are asking them to defend themselves, to give themselves a chance to explain why they are being accused of such," Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza said. He was reacting to accusations by some legislators that PLDT had been offering a phone sex service narrated by starlet Patricia Javier where she talks about her sexual experiences.
■ South Korea
North Korea, in a rare show of friendliness to its southern neighbor, sent a message of sympathy to South Korea yesterday for the damage caused by Typhoon Maemi last week. The typhoon left 117 people dead and 13 others missing in South Korea and caused 4.78 trillion won (US$4.09 billion) in damage. "I express profound compatriotic sympathy with you, feeling painful for the big human and material losses," said Jang Jae-on, chairman of the North's Central Committee of the Red Cross Society. "It is our hope that the living of the people in the afflicted areas will return to normal and the aftermath of the calamity will be eradicated as early as possible.
■ ZimbabweNewspaper charges police
Zimbabwe's embattled independent daily on Friday filed contempt of court charges against police after they refused to allow staff to re-enter their offices, defying a High Court order, a company official told AFP. Police on Friday barred staff members at the Daily News from returning to their central Harare offices despite a court ruling on Thursday allowing the paper to reopen. The Daily News, Zimbabwe's best-selling daily, was shut down a week ago for operating illegally. It has not appeared on the streets since.