Two bodies found
Rescuers found two bodies believed to be Chinese crew members of a Cambodian cargo vessel that sank after it collided with a Japanese fishing boat in southern Japan, officials said yesterday. Three Chinese crew members went missing after their 1,123-tonne Guo Tong cargo ship sank after hitting the 296-tonne No.68 Taikei Maru in the Kanmon Straits, between Japan's mainland and its southern island of Kyushu, on Friday. Two bodies were recovered from inside the sunken cargo and are believed to be two of the missing crew members, regional coast guard official Hirotaka Matsushima said. He said rescuers were still looking for the third missing member. All six Japanese crew members aboard the Taikei Maru were unhurt. Officials were still investigating the cause of the collision.
Disease strikes again
Two new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease have sickened cattle in the southwest and northwest, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Thirteen cows and 72 pigs were slaughtered in a district of Chongqing municipality, once part of Sichuan Province, and 181 cows had been slaughtered in northwest Gansu Province, the ministry's Web site said. The cows were stricken with the Asia 1 strain of the disease, the site said. China has periodic outbreaks of foot and mouth, with recent ones reported in Qinghai Province in the northwest in September and another in Gansu in August, in which 607 sheep, cattle and pigs were slaughtered. Foot and mouth is not known to be a threat to humans, but it is highly contagious among other mammals. The disease affects cows, sheep, goats and other cloven-footed animals, causing blisters on the mouth and feet.
Tornado hits US base
A tornado hit a US military base on the southern island of Okinawa yesterday, injuring three Marines, including one who was rushed to a hospital after suffering cuts, police said. The gust hit Camp Schwab, a US Marine Corps base in northern Okinawa, around 1pm, prefectural police spokeswoman Tamao Ishikawa said. Two of the Marines suffered only scratches, but the condition of the third Marine, who suffered a laceration, was not known.
■ Sri Lanka
Forces clash at sea
The navy and Tamil Tiger rebels claimed yesterday they had sunk each others' craft in a sea battle off the northwestern coast as six people were killed in a mine blast elsewhere. "In a joint operation, the navy and the air force destroyed three Sea Tiger armed craft," the defense ministry said in a statement. However, the Tigers said the navy had attacked them while they were on a routine naval exercise and that they had retaliated, sinking a naval craft. The latest sea battle came as Tiger rebels set off a powerful landmine in the northern district of Vavuniya yesterday, killing three soldiers and wounding three more, local police officials said.
Aid reaches flood victims
Medical relief teams traveling by donkey arrived yesterday in a mountainous western province, where flash floods killed at least 53 people -- including six children -- and left dozens missing, officials said. Heavy rain lashed remote areas of Badghis Province on Thursday, inundating many villages surrounded by mountains with little access to main towns. In Balamurghad, at least 3,000 houses were damaged, and 2,000 sheep and other livestock were killed. Afghan officials prepared 8,000kg of medical supplies, blankets and other aid, which NATO planned to deliver by air to the area yesterday.