■ South Korea
Defectors busted for drugs
Prosecutors said yesterday they had arrested four former North Korean defectors on charges of smuggling drugs into South Korea and Guam from China in two separate cases. Two of those arrested, a man surnamed Yoo, 46, and his girlfriend, surnamed Bae, were detained early this month for bringing in 1.8kg of methamphetamine from China, the Seoul prosecutors' office said. The office customarily provides only surnames. Yoo and Bae had settled in the South after defecting from the North, it said. It said that Bae bought the drug in China's northeastern city of Dandong from a North Korean drug trafficker from the border town of Sinuiju. It was not known if the drug was manufactured in North Korea, it said.
Many missing after storm
More than 1,780 fishermen and hundreds of trawlers were still missing yesterday, six days after a storm in the Bay of Bengal that has killed scores of people in coastal regions extending into India. The government raised the death toll to 36 from 31, still short of the figure of 85 dead reported by Bangladesh's official BSS news agency. "Six days after the storm 391 trawlers remain unaccounted for," said Shahjahan Shiraji, spokesman for the Food and Disaster Management Ministry. "Altogether, 823 fishermen were rescued by the coast guard and other fishermen," he said.
Bush fires start early
Three homes have been destroyed by a fire fanned by winds of up to 100kph near Sydney, fire services said yesterday, as the bushfire season started early in the east of the country. Several fires burned in New South Wales state as temperatures soared above 30oC. The outbreaks followed the driest August since records began in 1900, sparking an early start to the blazes that scorch the country every summer. It was not clear yet how the fires started. Bushfires are a naturally occurring phenomenon in Australia, but every year arsonists are also blamed for starting scores of fires.
Belgian woman murdered
A Belgian secretary posted to India was found stabbed to death in her New Delhi home in an upscale neighborhood yesterday morning, police said. The woman, who had been stabbed 22 times, was identified as Isabelle Dessoy, 35, a secretary at the Belgian embassy, according to the diplomatic mission's web site. Police said that Dessoy may have been killed after a party on Saturday night at her home in the Vasant Vihar neighborhood in south New Delhi, which is home to several foreign embassies and staff. Five people, including Dessoy's driver, were held in connection with the murder.
NATO kills 23 in fighting
The NATO-led force said yesterday it had killed 23 insurgents in new clashes and had wound down an anti-Taliban mission in the west of the country after meeting little resistance. The militants were all killed in the southern province of Helmand where most International Security Assistance Force troops are British soldiers who have seen some of their country's fiercest battles in decades. Fifteen were killed Friday in volatile Now Zad district after ISAF troops called in air support when they came under fire from about 20 men, a statement said.
■ United States
Dead woman's kids dead
Three children of a Missouri woman who was killed when her fetus was cut out of her womb were found dead late on Saturday, authorities said. The childhood friend of Jimella Tunstall, 23 was charged with her murder just hours before the bodies were found. A police sergeant who was at the housing project where the bodies were found told reporters that the bodies had not yet been identified but the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on its Web site that the coroner's office confirmed the bodies were Turnstall's children: Demond Tunstall, 7, Jenela Tunstall, 1, and Ivan Collins Jr, 2. The coroner's office could not be immediately reached for comment.