World News: United States and S Korea set for more military drills

THE United States and South Korea were finishing war manoeuvres today aimed at North Korea after a deadly attack and discussing whether to hold more, as China tried to restart the aid-for-nuclear-disarmament talks coveted by the North.

Beijing is pressing for an emergency meeting to discuss ways to ease tensions embroiling the region after the North Korean artillery attack on a front-line island that killed four South Koreans and wounded 18 others on November 23.

But Washington, Tokyo and Seoul are wary of talking with the North.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Beijing wants talks among the six nations who have negotiated over North Korea's nuclear programme - the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States.

After walking away from the six-nation talks in April 2009, Pyongyang is now eager to restart them to gain much-needed fuel oil and aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament.

Seoul has reacted coolly, saying North Korea must show real commitment to disarm and noting that the North has gone in the wrong direction with its revelation late last month of a new uranium enrichment facility.

Obama supports gay survey

PRESIDENT Barack Obama agrees with a Pentagon survey that overturning the US military's ban on gay service members would not be disruptive, the White House said today.

Mr Obama continues to believe that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is divisive.

Rebels zone going wild

SRI Lanka's government has declared the former Tamil rebels' jungle stronghold a wildlife sanctuary.

A government statement announced that more than 100,000 acres of the former war zone in northern Mullaitivu district will be used for wildlife conservation.

Blind school fire tragedy

FOUR boys as young as eight died in a fire at a school for the blind in northern South Africa after they were locked in a dormitory room.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Police in the North West province are investigating the cause of the fire at the province's only blind school.School officials could face charges.

The victims, aged from 8 to 13, were found huddled against their room door.

The provincial education minister, Raymond Elisha, suspended the school's caretaker after the fire.

Politicians debate abortion

A KEY committee of Argentinian politicians is launching a first-ever debate on legalising abortion in the largely Roman Catholic country.

The proposal would legalise abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and has been signed by 50 politicians in the 257-person House of Deputies.

Technical hitch behind fatal gas blasts

Poland: Polish officials say a technical problem with a gas network set off a series of explosions of gas stoves in private homes, killing one person, injuring eight and forcing the evacuation of 6500 people in Zielona Gora.

Ecuador: Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has dismissed an offer of residency that a lower level official made to the embattled founder of the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.