An Indonesian plane has burst into flames upon landing in the central Java city of Yogyakarta, killing at least 22 people. The Garuda Airlines jet was carrying 140 people when it overshot the runway today (Wednesday) at the (Yogyakarta) airport and crash landed in a rice field. Earlier reports had the the death toll from the incident at 49. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered an immediate investigation into the crash. At least 10 Australians were on board the Boeing 737-400, including foreign diplomats and journalists covering Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's visit to Indonesia. Downer was not on the plane.
JAPAN-NOKOR TALKS: Talks between Japanese and North Korean
officials aimed at re-establishing diplomatic relations have been suspended, just hours after they began in the Vietnamese capital. The North Korean Embassy in Hanoi did not say why the talks were canceled. A Japanese official told VOA it is unclear whether they will resume. The talks had been scheduled to run through Thursday.
VIETNAM-BIRD FLU: Vietnamese veterinary officials say bird flu has infected chickens on two farms in the capital, Hanoi. Officials say authorities have slaughtered the surviving chickens after a number of birds died on the farms in Hanoi's Dong Anh district. Authorities say some of the dead chickens tested positive for the often-fatal H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. Today's (Wednesday's) announcement follows one from Ha Tay province, where a bird flu outbreak was reported Tuesday.
THAILAND-ITV: Thai officials say ITV, one of the country's few
independent television stations, will continue to broadcast during a government takeover. The announcement reverses a previous government decision to close the station today (Wednesday) at midnight. Thailand's military-installed government says it is taking over ITV because the station has failed to pay nearly three billion dollars in license fees.
US CIA LEAK TRIAL: U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says he is
very disappointed by Tuesday's guilty verdict against his former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in a case tied to the U.S. justification to go to war in Iraq. Libby was found guilty on four of five counts of lying, perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation into who leaked the identity of former covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. She is married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence reports to justify the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
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