Jilin bus fire kills 10
A fire on a crowded passenger bus in the northeastern city of Jilin yesterday killed at least 10 people and injured 17, the provincial government said on its microblog. The fire broke out early in the morning as the vehicle neared a highway entrance, it said. Reports said 43 people were aboard the bus. There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.
Arms depot blast kills one
One naval serviceman was killed and 87 people were injured yesterday when an explosion shattered a naval warehouse on a small island near Jakarta, military spokesman Iskandar Sitompul said. The blast was believed to have followed an electrical short-circuit in the building, which housed light ammunition, he said. The explosion blew apart the warehouse belonging to an elite naval combat force, spraying victims with shrapnel and pieces of wood and glass.
Lawyers representing former president Pervez Musharraf in a treason case yesterday said they had been threatened with beheading and called for a new venue for the trial. Lawyer Ahmad Raza Kasuri said the defense team feared for its safety, after a suicide attack on a lower court complex in Islamabad on Monday left 11 dead. “We cannot go ahead with this case in these conditions,” he said, before reading aloud from a threatening letter he said the team had received. The handwritten letter said: “Dear Sirs, we request that the three of you stop representing Musharraf otherwise we will destroy your children and behead all of you... He is an infidel, hypocrite and you should stop representing him or be prepared for war.” It was signed by the “people of South and North Waziristan.”
Extensions for Ukrainians
The government has offered temporary refuge to visiting Ukrainians due to soon return to their country. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday told parliament that Ukrainians could apply for visa extensions to stay temporarily “while their nation is under threat.” The government did not say how long visas would be extended, nor did it immediately provide figures on how many Ukrainians might be eligible to extend their stays.
Warship rescues Iranians
A warship has rescued 13 Iranians shipwrecked off Pakistan on its way to the Middle East to join an international force conducting counter-terrorist and anti-piracy operations, officials said yesterday. HMAS Darwin came across the men, some elderly, on Saturday in calm seas after their boat was reportedly struck by an unknown vessel and sank. They claimed to have been adrift for five days. Images showed six of them crowded into a small blue dingy while three were perched on debris and the other four sitting inside large plastic containers that would have been swamped in rough conditions. It was not clear if they were taken aboard the Darwin, with defense officials saying only that the ship stayed with the fishermen until a Pakistani vessel, MSS Nusrat, arrived and took them to shore.
Pope offended by hype
Pope Francis says he finds the hype that is increasingly surrounding him “offensive.” In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Francis said he does not appreciate the myth-making that has seen him depicted as a “Superpope” who sneaks out at night to feed the poor.
President announces probe