Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■PAKISTAN

Blast kills five, injures 40

A suicide bomber killed five people and wounded 40 in an attack on a security forces convoy in Swat valley yesterday, officials and witnesses said. The bombing struck the Mingora town after a relative lull in the valley, where the military launched a major offensive last year. The powerful device ripped through a busy street outside a bus terminal.

■PAKISTAN

Indian minister in talks

Pakistan and India sought to improve their strained relationship yesterday with high-level talks aimed at rebuilding trust that was fractured by the deadly terrorist attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai nearly two years ago. But analysts expected little concrete progress from the visit by Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad yesterday. Krishna is the most senior official to come to Pakistan since the November 2008 attacks, which India blames on Pakistan-based militants.

■MALAYSIA

Papers held in suspense

The authorities yesterday agreed to let an Islamic opposition party continue publishing its newspaper, but kept two other anti-government publications in suspense about whether they might be banned. The newspapers of all three parties in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s alliance have faced an uncertain future because the Home Ministry refused to immediately renew their expired publication licenses in recent weeks. The Home Ministry said it was renewing the license of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s newspaper after party officials pledged to obey government guidelines, but did not mention two other opposition papers without fresh permits.

■PHILIPPINES

Peace negotiator tapped

President Benigno Aquino III said yesterday he would resume peace talks aimed at ending a decades-old Muslim separatist rebellion. Aquino named a prominent academic — Marvic Leonen, law school dean at the University of the Philippines — to restart formal negotiations with the 12,000-member Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while warning that he had to work within the Constitution, which rules out the creation of a new state. MILF deputy chief Mohagher Iqbal was guarded on the government announcement. “Our stand is clear. The peace talks should continue [from] where we stopped,” he told reporters from his base in the south.

■MARSHALL ISLANDS

No room to bury dead

Ebeye Island, a crowded urban center, has run out of room to bury its dead, with grieving families forced to put coffins into existing graves, traditional chief Michael Kabua said yesterday. Ebeye has a population of more than 10,000 people crowded on to 31 hectares of land. It is also home to 1,000 Marshall Islanders who work at the US Army’s nearby Kwajalein missile range. Kabua has raised the problem with the US Army, with the suggestion of creating cemeteries on the small islands that border the central part of Kawajalein Atoll reserve. However, they are periodically off-limits because of US missile tests, he said.

■PAKISTAN

Bin Laden comedy banned

Tere bin Laden, an Indian comedy about a Pakistani reporter who tries to win points to immigrate to the US by interviewing an Osama bin Laden lookalike has been banned here, two days before it was supposed to open. Officials expressed concern that the slapstick characterization of bin Laden could draw terrorist strikes in the country.

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