Talk show host shot
Police say gunmen have shot a famous television talk show host amid a wave of attacks on journalists in the country. Police say Hamid Mir, a host on the private television broadcaster Geo, was wounded in the attack on Saturday near Karachi’s airport. Senior police officer Pir Mohammad Shah said a single gunman first opened fire on Mir’s car, followed by others who chased him on motorcycles. Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat told Geo that Mir suffered three gunshot wounds to the stomach and the upper legs, but was expected to survive. Last year, authorities found a bomb under Mir’s car.
Bus, tractor collide
At least 42 people were killed and 17 wounded yesterday when a bus traveling to Karachi collided with a tractor pulling a trolley, police said. The dead and injured included women and children. The accident happened in the town of Sukkur, 425km north of Karachi in the southern province of Sindh. Fida Hussain Shah, a senior police officer in Sukkur who gave the casualty figure, said the bus driver was killed on the spot while the driver of the tractor-trolley was wounded. Police said the cause of the accident was yet not clear. Tractor-trolleys are a common form of transportation in rural areas.
Celebrity chef granted visa
British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has been granted a special visa. Lawson, who has admitted cocaine use, in an apparent confirmation she has been blocked from entering the US, according to a report yesterday. US authorities declined to specify why Lawson was stopped from flying from London to Los Angeles late last month. However, in a statement to the Herald on Sunday newspaper, Immigration New Zealand said Lawson was not allowed to enter the US which meant she required special permission to work. The 54-year-old Lawson admitted, when giving evidence in a court case last year, that she had used cocaine and cannabis in the past. British newspapers speculated the television chef was stopped from flying to the US, where she stars in a cooking talent show The Taste, because of her admission of drug use. Lawson is in Wellington to film a commercial for a chocolate manufacturer.
Railway official to visit North
The government said yesterday it had approved a trip by the head of its state-run railway corporation to North Korea to attend an international conference. Korea Railway chief Choi Yeon-hye will visit the North from Thursday to April 28, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said. She was invited by the Organisation for Co-Operation between Railways to attend its meeting for railway chiefs to be held in Pyongyang, it added. The rare visit to the North by a senior Seoul official follows a period of elevated military tension.
Weather halts search effort
The search for Sherpa guides still missing after an accident on Mount Everest was suspended yesterday due to bad weather. Thirteen guides were killed and nine were plucked to safety after an ice avalanche smashed into their expedition on Friday, but thick cloud has halted rescuers’ efforts to find the remaining three. “We will resume search and rescue operations when the weather clears,” Tourism Ministry official Dipendra Paudel said. “It’s just too cloudy and windy at the moment, we don’t want to risk more lives.”
Satirist off air to respect poll