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Showing posts from June 3, 2013

Drone Strikes Among Major Issues for New Pakistan PM

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif will review anti-terrorism cooperation with the United States soon after taking office.  A close adviser to Sharif says the incoming government will demand an immediate end to controversial American drone strikes within Pakistani territory for better future ties.

The newly-elected National Assembly on Wednesday will formally select Nawaz Sharif as the country’s prime minister for an unprecedented third time because his political party, the Pakistan Muslim League or PML-N, enjoys a majority in the lower house of parliament.

On the home front, the incoming government is expected to look for ways to revive a deteriorating economy by addressing the severe energy crisis facing the country.  But critics say Sharif will also have to take urgent steps to ease strains plaguing diplomatic relations with the United States and seek an immediate end to drone strikes on Pakistani soil, a commitment he undertook during the election campaign.

China Repeats Claims Over Disputed Islands

A senior Chinese general says warships will continue to patrol waters where Beijing has territorial claims, despite disputes with other Asian countries.

Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore Sunday, Lieutenant-General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the People's Liberation Army, said Beijing regards the East China Sea and the South China Sea as being under Chinese sovereignty.

Qi told the delegates that Chinese warships and patrolling activities are totally legitimate and uncontroversial.

China is embroiled in territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia over several resource-rich islands in the two seas.

Iran presidential candidate's staff arrested

Police detain campaigners for leading opposition candidate Hassan Rouhani in Tehran ahead of June 14 presidential poll.

Supporters of a leading candidate in this month's presidential election in Iran have been arrested in Tehran, an aide to the candidate has said.

Hassan Rouhani was speaking to young followers during a campaign meeting in a mosque on Saturday when police picked up several supports and members of the campaign team of the the reformist candidate, his campaign manager, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"Some people were detained on the street after leaving the meeting, Nematzadeh told The Associated Press.

Rouhani is close to the ruling clerical elite and criticised the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the first televised election debate on Friday.

The June 14 election is to choose a replacement for Ahmadinejad, who cannot run for a third term.

Authorities have already pared down the list of candidates to eight, dis…

Scores killed in China poultry farm blaze

At least 61 people killed in fire triggered by explosions in electrical system of farm in Jilin province.

A large fire at a poultry processing plant and processing plant in northeastern China has killed at least 61 people, state media reports.

The fire on Monday in Jilin province's Mishazi township appeared to have been sparked by three early Monday morning explosions in the farm's electrical system, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The blaze charred the entire facility and trapped workers inside sheds.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by early afternoon but were continuing rescue work, reports said.

Photos from the scene posted on Chinese news websites showed thick smoke billowing from the cement and corrugated iron sheds.

The semi-official China News Service quoted company officials as saying liquid ammonia had leaked and caused the explosion.

The rescue efforts were hampered by narrow exits and the "complicated interior structure" of the prefabricated buil…

Bodies of Myanmar migrants found in Thai sea

At least 12 dead bodies found near islands in Ranong province after boat sank in bad weather.

The bodies of at least 12 migrant workers from Myanmar have been found in the sea off Thailand's west coast after their boat sank during bad weather.

Police Major General Taweeporn Churin said the bodies of six men and three women were found near islands in Ranong province on Monday, after their boat sank early on Saturday morning.

He said marine police also retrieved the bodies of three women on Saturday.

Taweeporn added that 38 people were rescued.

Ranong is 460 kilometres south of Bangkok and borders Myanmar. Police say it is common for migrant workers to travel by boat to illegally enter Thailand.