China agrees on deal to build 867 km of railways in Thailand

BANGKOK: Thailand and China agreed on Friday to build 867 km of dual track railways in the Southeast Asian nation, in cooperation seen as consolidating China’s influence in the region. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on the sidelines of a two-day regional summit that began in Bangkok on Friday. The project could be a boon for Thai trade and tourism and strengthen [Full Article...]

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

Ternate (Indonesia): A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted on Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and leaving four hikers injured and one missing when they scrambled to safety, an official said. Mount Gamalama on Ternate island in North Maluku province shot thick gray smoke up to 2,000 meters into the sky just before midnight yesterday, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the [Full Article...]

UN joins cleanup efforts as oil spill endangers Sundarbans

Dhaka: A UN expert team has arrived in Bangladesh to help clean up the Sundarbans, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill from a capsized boat endangering the world’s largest mangrove forest. According to a UN statement, it has sent the Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team “in response to a request from the Government of Bangladesh” to [Full Article...]

2 terrorists to be hanged anytime soon in Pakistan

Islamabad: Authorities were on Friday making final preparations to execute anytime soon two feared terrorists convicted for attacks at army headquarters and former army chief Pervez Musharraf, days after Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death sentences. The two are among 17 terrorists who would be executed in the first phase after the end of self-imposed moratorium by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the [Full Article...]

Eight children found dead in Australia home

CAIRNS (Australia): Eight children ranging from babies to teenagers were found dead at a home in the Australian city of Cairns on Friday, police said, reportedly in a gruesome mass stabbing just days after a deadly siege in Sydney. Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the Cairns tragedy heartbreaking, with Australia already in an outpouring of national grief over Monday’s dramatic standoff in Sydney, which [Full Article...]

Reverse Lakhvi bail, India tells Pak

Islamabad court grants bail to  26/11 mastermind Islamabad/New Delhi: An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Thursday granted bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a key mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, triggering shock and indignation in India which asked Pakistan to take steps to reverse the decision. Lakhvi’s lawyer Rizwan Abbasi appeared before the court and sought bail for his client. Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) [Full Article...]

Peshawar attack planned by 16 Taliban militants in Afghanistan

Islamabad: Sixteen top Taliban militants, including Mullah Fazlullah, planned the deadly Peshawar school massacre during a meeting held in Afghanistan in early December, Pakistani officials said on Thursday. The attack on Tuesday killed 148 people, including 132 students, in the worst terrorist attack in the history of Pakistan. “Initial probe in the Peshawar school attack shows that 16 top militants planned the attack in [Full Article...]

Over 8,000 death row convicts’ fate hangs in balance in Pak

Islamabad: Fate of around 8,261 death row prisoners in Pakistan hangs in the balance as the Government lifted a self-imposed moratorium on death penalty after the Peshawar school attack by Taliban militants in which at least 132 students and 16 staffers were killed. There are around 8,261 prisoners on death row in more than five dozen jails of the country and about 30 per [Full Article...]