Volcano erupts on Japanese island, evacuation ordered

TOKYO: A volcano on the remote southern Japanese island of Kuchinoerabujima erupted suddenly on Friday, blasting plumes of black smoke high into the sky, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of the island’s residents and forcing airlines to divert some flights. A pyroclastic flow of super-heated gas and rock flowed down the side of the peak and reached the ocean after the “explosive” eruption, [Full Article...]

100,000 ‘suspected’ Afghans in Pakistan declared ‘aliens’

Lahore: Some 100,000 ‘suspected’ Afghans living in Pakistan have been declared as ‘aliens’ by authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces. The affected people’s computerised national identity cards (CNICs) have been blocked since the country’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) expedited the process of scrutinising foreigners among Pakistanis during the past few months. “NADRA has meticulously been scrutinising the ‘suspect CNICs’ and so [Full Article...]

US millionaire gets 18 yrs for killing autistic son

NEW YORK: A wealthy New York socialite was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday after being convicted of killing her young autistic son at a luxury Manhattan hotel room in 2010. Gigi Jordan, 54, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in November after admitting that she administered an overdose of prescription pills to 8-year-old Jude Mirra at the posh Peninsula Hotel on Fifth [Full Article...]

Bangladesh to form 7 special courts to try human traffickers

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Thursday decided to form seven special courts to try human traffickers who can be given a maximum of death penalty as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised stern action against slave traders as well as illegal migrants “tainting the country’s image”. “We have decided to constitute the special courts to be called Human Trafficking Deterrence Tribunal,” law minister Anisul Huq said, after [Full Article...]

Quake-hit Nepal suspends adoptions

Kathmandu: Nepal’s government said on Thursday it had imposed a three-month ban on adoptions to try to stop vulnerable children being trafficked after a devastating earthquake. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare said it imposed the ban as part of a package of measures after rescuing more than 50 children. “We fear that traffickers might try to cash in on the situation [Full Article...]

US accidentally sent live anthrax to nine states, SKorea

Seoul/Washington: The US Armed Forces accidentally sent live samples of anthrax to laboratories in nine US states and one to its military base in South Korea, the Pentagon said on Thursday. The sample sent to Osan air base in South Korea was destroyed immediately after it was revealed that it was not inactive anthrax as believed but in fact live bacteria, Efe news agency [Full Article...]

Pakistan vintage car collectors preserve a part of history

Rawalpindi: For an elite but passionate group of vintage car collectors in Pakistan, restoring antique rides is like travelling back in time and money seems to be no obstacle when the prize is a Lincoln convertible that belonged to an Afghan king or a Rolls-Royce once used by India’s last viceroy. Mohsin Ikraam, president of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan, says [Full Article...]

Iraq begins operation to oust Islamic State from Anbar

Baghdad: Iraq vowed on Wednesday to retake Anbar province now mostly held by the Islamic State by launching a large-scale military operation less than two weeks after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the extremists in the provincial capital of Ramadi. The operation, which Iraqi state TV said was backed by Shiite militias and Sunni pro-government fighters, is deemed critical in regaining [Full Article...]