■ PhilippinesTrain wreck angers Arroyo
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday ordered the prosecution of those responsible for a train derailment that killed at least six people and injured more than 120 others. The train was traveling to Manila when four of its five cars fell into a 12m deep ravine in Padre Burgos town in Quezon province, about 150km southeast of the capital, on Friday. Police said six people were confirmed to have died, correcting civil defense officials' earlier figure of 10 dead. Arroyo expressed sympathy for the victims and their families and "determination to get at the root of the tragedy." Arroyo ordered the suspension of train operations in "hazardous areas" between Legazpi city, about 340km southeast of Manila, to the Philippine capital until they are inspected and certified safe.
Journalist killed by militants
A member of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Muslim militant group was identified by witnesses as being behind the latest murder of a Filipino journalist, a military commander said yesterday. Brigadier General Agustin Demaala, head of an anti-terror task force, said witnesses had identified the Abu Sayyaf member as having shot dead photojournalist Gene Boyd Lumawag in the southern Islamic militant stronghold of Jolo island on Friday. "The witnesses know who the killer is and based on the description of the witnesses, we know this person. He is a member of the Abu Sayyaf," Demaala said. He would not disclose further details, saying it would jeopardize the case.
Terrorist hideouts destroyed
Troops, backed by artillery and helicopter gunships, demolished "terrorist hideouts" and killed 30-40 militants in a major operation this week -- but failed to capture a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner accused of targeting security forces in a tense tribal region, officials said yesterday. The troops took control of some militant strongholds and seized a weapons cache during the assault, launched earlier this week in South Waziristan to capture "foreign miscreants" and Pakistani militant leader Abdullah Mehsud, said the army's field commander, Major General Niaz Khatak.
■ New Zealand
Constitution to be reviewed
The government will review its Constitution, Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday, but promised no quick changes as her opponents accused her of trying to cut ties to the British monarchy. Clark said an all-party parliamentary committee chaired by centrist United Future Party leader Peter Dunne -- a former Labor Cabinet minister -- would conduct the review. "The committee will do a stocktake of how our Constitution has developed ... and analyze the current arrangements," she told the ruling Labor Party's annual conference, meeting in the city of Auckland.
King's book sells out
A cartoon version of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's previously published book about his favorite dog sold out on the first day of its launch, media reports said Saturday. "We sold the first 130,000 copies in the first half of the day," a spokesperson for Amarin Printing and Publishing House told The Nation newspaper. "Now every bookshop says the book has already sold out." An initial run of 200,000 copies of the cartoon version of The Story of Thongdaeng, a humorous story about King Bhumibol's pet, were launched at book stores in Bangkok on Friday