■ New Zealand
Baby on the way
Oscar-nominated child star Keisha Castle-Hughes -- the youngest ever actress nominated for a "best actress" Oscar for her role in Whale Rider -- has announced she is pregnant to her teenage boyfriend and is to give birth next year. The 16-year-old New Zealand actress is "extremely happy about it," her agent, Gail Cowan, said yesterday. Castle-Hughes and Bradley Hull, the father of her baby, have been dating for three years, but he was not allowed to accompany her to the Oscars because her representatives reportedly had concerns about the age difference.
■ South Korea
Kim's aide in car accident
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law and longtime aide was severely injured in a car accident late last month, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported yesterday. It quoted unnamed intelligence sources familiar with North Korea as saying Jang Song-thaek, a senior member of the ruling Workers' Party, was hurt when his Mercedes was hit by a military truck at a crossroad in Pyongyang. Yonhap said there was speculation in North Korea that Jang's accident was the result of a plot by his political enemies. The accident followed reports that Jang's daughter, Keum-son, had committed suicide in Paris in August.
Rescuers find body
Japanese rescuers found a body as they searched yesterday for dozens of missing seamen after two vessels ran aground in stormy weather off eastern Japan. The body was found close to where 13 crew members were swept overboard from the Panamanian-registered Giant Step, which ran ground after catching fire in seas off Kashima on Friday. Sixteen crew members were rescued and one Indian national was confirmed dead after the 98,587 tonne freighter snapped in two approximately 2km from Kashima port, 95km east of Tokyo. Search operations continued using boats and aircraft for nine sailors still missing -- all of them Indian nationals.
Anglican leader visits
The leader of the world's Anglican communion arrived in China yesterday for the first time in more than a decade on a two-week visit that will include talks with religious and government officials. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will visit five cities, starting in Shanghai -- where he was due yesterday to deliver his sermon at the city's Muen church -- and taking in Nanjing, Wuhan and Xian before ending in Beijing. His office in London said Williams wanted to engage with the church in China and talk over the challenges posed by economic development, environmental matters and the role of religion in constructing a "harmonious society."
Riot over cows
Two people have been killed and 86 injured in several days of Hindu-Muslim riots in southern India sparked by a dispute over the slaughtering of cows, police said yesterday. The violence in the coastal city of Mangalore, 300km west of Bangalore, erupted on Wednesday when right-wing Hindu activists intercepted a vehicle carrying cows and buffalos to an abattoir. The two individuals killed were Muslims. Police said calm had been restored following the unrest, which saw members of both communities pelting stones at each other and burning shops. A curfew imposed on Thursday was lifted for two hours yesterday to enable people to stock up on supplies.
■ United States
Child dragged by bus