Military test-fires missile
Islamabad said it test-fired a short-range cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead yesterday, one day after India test-fired a long-range missile with nuclear capability. The 350km-range Pakistani missile, known as the Ra’ad, or Hatf VIII, was developed exclusively for launch from aircraft, a military statement said. The statement said the missile “has special stealth capabilities,” is a “low altitude, terrain-following missile with high maneuverability” and “can deliver all types of warheads with great accuracy.”
Parties close to agreement
Ruling parties appeared closer yesterday to resolving a dispute about how to reinstate judges fired by President Pervez Musharraf, an issue that threatened to break up the coalition government. A committee of representatives from the two leading parties came up with a draft parliamentary resolution aimed at reinstating the judges, Law Minister Farooq Naek said late on Wednesday. Key differences remained, however. However, two constitutional experts on the committee had a “divergence of views” on exactly how the resolution could be implemented, Naek said.
Adultery law reconsidered
The constitutional court began considering yesterday a petition from a top actress seeking to abolish a 54-year-old law which makes adultery a criminal offence. Ok So-ri filed the petition in February, claiming the law infringes on the right of individual choice in sexual relations. The court has rejected three previous appeals on the grounds that social morality may be weakened. Ok is awaiting trial for adultery after her actor husband Park Chul sued her and two men for allegedly having affairs with her.
Bomber wedding rejected
Authorities have rejected a request by a Muslim militant on death row for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings to remarry his ex-wife in prison, an official said yesterday. “A few days ago I rejected the lawyers’ demand for Amrozi to hold his wedding at the jail,” said Bambang Winahyo, head of the Central Java Justice and Human Rights office. Amrozi, known as the “smiling assassin,” was planning to remarry his first wife, Rahma, in prison on May 12. “I rejected the demand because it should not have been addressed to me, but to the attorney-general,” Wahyono said.
Malaysian pullout to begin
Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said his country would pull out its peacekeeping forces from the troubled Philippine province of Mindanao in a phased withdrawal beginning tomorrow. Yatim, who was on a two-day working trip to the Philippines, said his government was unable to continue with an unlimited deployment in the international monitoring team, according to a foreign ministry statement released on Wednesday. He said however that Malaysia was committed to helping resolve the Philippine situation.
Intimate piercing not for kids
The country’s most populous state will ban young teenagers from having intimate body piercings, with authorities saying yesterday that the health risks from the fashion trend were too great. New South Wales Community Services Minister Kevin Greene said nipple and genital piercings for under-16s would be outlawed and children would need parental permission for other types of piercing, such as ear, nose and navel.