MUZAFFARABAD: A moderate earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted northwestern Pakistan early yesterday but there were no reports of casualties. With winter starting to set in, the the focus of the relief effort was shifting towards food as Aid officials fear sickness sweeping through a cold and poorly nourished population will cause a second wave of deaths.
The UN dismissed reports that eight people had died of pneumonia, saying it was still only aware of two children who had perished.
Indian missile test
NEW DELHI: India yesterday test-fired its Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, jointly developed with Russia. It was fired from India's main missile testing centre in Orissa state in eastern India. The Brahmos has a target range of 290km and can carry up to 300kg of warheads.
Bus crash kills 35
KATHMANDU: A bus carrying Hindu pilgrims plunged into a gorge in Nepal yesterday, killing at least 35 people and injuring 15. The vehicle veered off a mountainous highway near Baineta, a village nearly 300km west of Kathmandu. The pilgrims were heading toward a religious place called Swargadari, or heaven's gate, when the accident happened.
Mine blast toll 150
QITAIHE, China: China's central government yesterday blamed managers of a northeastern mine for a huge explosion that killed at least 150 people, saying obvious signs of danger emerged days before the blast. The number of people confirmed killed in the Sunday night explosion at Dongfeng coal mine rose by two yesterday, with one miner still listed as missing.
War shrine visit row
TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi warned neighboring countries not to use his visits to a war shrine as a "diplomatic card" as China and South Korea signaled they would snub him at an upcoming Asian summit.
New anti-graft chief
MANILA: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo named her own legal counsel as the country's top graft buster yesterday, raising questions about the aim to reduce corruption in public service by 2007. Arroyo named Merceditas Gutierrez as ombudsman to replace Simeon Marcelo, who resigned in September citing poor health.