Japan, China snub ties event
China and Japan yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties, but no major celebrations were likely with relations at historic lows over a simmering territorial row. No key events were planned in Japan after China last Sunday postponed a ceremony to commemorate four decades of diplomatic relations as tensions escalate over the uninhabited East China Sea islands. “Japan and China must build good relationships for their people. It is their joint duty to the world,” the Nikkei business daily said in an editorial. The liberal Asahi Shimbun said “ignorance” and “unappreciation” about the regimes and culture of each other have contributed to deteriorating relations.
Plane crashes at air show
A light aircraft burst into flames after hitting a building during an air show yesterday, killing both the pilots, the transport ministry said. Television footage showed a thick plume of smoke rising from the crash site in Bandung in western Java, where the air show was held to commemorate the city’s 202nd anniversary. “A Cessna 202 plane lost altitude during a manoeuvre and crashed into a building … with two pilots on board, who were both killed instantly,” transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said. Indonesia has a poor aviation safety record and is in the process of updating its ageing military aircraft and equipment.
Nepal probes plane crash
Police yesterday handed over the black box data recorder of a plane that crashed on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital, killing all 19 people on board, to authorities probing the accident. The twin-propeller Sita Air plane had just taken off on Friday from Kathmandu and was headed to the town of Lukla, gateway to Mount Everest, when it plunged into the banks of a river near the city’s airport around daybreak. Among the dead were seven Britons, five Chinese and seven local passengers and crew. “We have taken out the data recorder and handed it over to the civil aviation authorities. The rescue work at the site has ended,” national police spokesman Binod Singh said. Although the exact cause of the crash is still unclear, the manager of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu said the pilot had reported hitting a bird of prey, thought to be a vulture or kite, moments before the crash.
Drug mules to be executed
Malaysian courts have sentenced two women, a Filipino and an Indonesian, to death in separate cases of drug trafficking, reports said yesterday. Ani Anggraeni, an Indonesian working in the northern state of Penang, was convicted on Friday of trafficking nearly 4kg of methamphetamine on June 21 last year, The Star newspaper reported. The high court in Shah Alam, just outside Kuala Lumpur, also handed the death sentence to Marivelle Gonzales for trafficking a kilo of drugs, mostly heroin, into the country two years ago, the Bernama news agency reported.
Police killed in bombing
Authorities say a roadside bomb killed two policemen in Herat Province in western Afghanistan, just hours before a ceremony to hand a nearby police training academy over from NATO to Afghan control. Last week, a bomb in a parked motorcycle exploded outside the training center, killing two security guards. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack.