Air force jet crashes
An air force jet crashed into a sugar cane plantation soon after takeoff yesterday, killing one of two people on board, a military spokesman and witnesses said. The second pilot in the OV-10 Bronco counterinsurgency aircraft managed to eject from the plane before it crashed and was unhurt, Rear Marshal Daryatmo said. The plane was on a routine training flight when it came down close to the Abdul Rahman Saleh airforce base in East Java Province, Daryatmo said. The cause of the crash was being investigated, he said. Malang is 850km east of Jakarta.
Assembly chief re-elected
The National Assembly voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favor of maintaining its current chairman, a widely expected decision because he was the only candidate. Nguyen Phu Trong, 63, won nearly 98 percent of the votes from 493 new-elected legislators, state-run Radio Voice of Vietnam reported. Trong, a former Communist Party secretary in Hanoi was elected to his current position in a reshuffle last year. The assembly was scheduled to elect a new president today while a new prime minister and his Cabinet were to be appointed tomorrow. President Nguyen Minh Triet, 64, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, 57, were widely expected to be reappointed.
■ SRI LANKA
Five Tamil Tigers killed
At least five Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed in fresh fighting with government troops in the northwest, the rebels said yesterday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) resisted an advance by government forces in Mannar District on Sunday evening, a rebel spokesman said in a statement. "Unable to face stiff retaliation of the LTTE defenders, the Sri Lanka armed forces formation fell back with heavy casualty and material loss," he said. "After chasing intruders away, the LTTE fighting units are consolidating the positions and searching the area. Five valiant front liners of the LTTE lost their lives in this clash." There was no immediate reaction from the military.
Vengeful wives seek lovers
Women whose husbands have cheated on them are increasingly opting to have affairs of their own, while suspicious husbands are calling for more genetic tests on newborns, the New Straits Times said yesterday. Marriage counsellors report a rise in the number of working women seeking professional help to sort out marriages troubled by affairs aimed at avenging themselves on cheating husbands or seeking solace from abusive spouses, the paper said.
Pilgrims die in bus crash
Twenty-six Polish pilgrims were killed on Sunday when their bus careened off a steep mountain road in the French Alps, smashed into a river bank below and burst into flames, officials said. Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, visited the injured in Grenoble, including 14 who were seriously hurt. The crash occurred around 9:30am as the pilgrims were returning to Grenoble from the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, officials said. Local residents said the bus was speeding and missed a sharp bend in the road. Polish officials said there were 50 people on the bus and that the group had left Poland on July 10 for a two-week visit to famous sanctuaries in France, Spain and Portugal.
Politician fails holiday test
The man likely to be the next prime minister, Yves Leterme, cut a poor figure on national day on Saturday, when he could not say why it was being marked and fumbled over the national anthem. When asked by RTBF state TV what Belgians were celebrating, Leterme replied: "The proclamation of the constitution." The holiday commemorates the July 21, 1831 accession of King Leopold I to the throne. Leterme was asked to sing a few bars of the national anthem, La Brabanconne. "Les enfants de la patrie," he began, singing the opening line of the French anthem, the Marseillaise.