ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Deadly Plane Crash Near Buffalo, New York


US PLANE CRASH: Authorities in (the northeastern U.S. state of) New York say 49 people are dead after a commuter plane crashed into a house near the city of Buffalo late Thursday night. The Continental Airways twin-engine plane crashed into a neighborhood at least nine kilometers short of Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The plane was on a flight from Newark, New Jersey. The dead include all 48 passengers and crew onboard the plane, and one person inside the house. Two other people in the house managed to escape. A witness who saw the plane fly over his car says it was in a nose dive shortly before it crashed.

IRAQ - VIOLENCE: Iraqi police say a female suicide bomber has killed at least 32 people in an attack on Shi'ite pilgrims south of Baghdad. Police say the bomber blew herself up in a crowd of women and children Friday in the town of Iskandariyah, about 40 kilometers south of the capital. They say she hid her explosives under her abaya, the traditional black robe worn by Iraqi Muslim women. Police say at least 65 people were wounded in the blast, which targeted Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims making their way south for a major religious ceremony. There have been a string of attacks this week on Shi'ite pilgrims heading to the holy city of Karbala for the annual Shi'ite religious ceremony of Arbaeen on Monday.

US ECONOMY: The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, says the House will vote Friday on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, expected to cost some $789 billion. Pelosi told reporters Thursday that this particular vote in Congress will be "historic and transformational." The House of Representatives has enough Democrats to pass the bill even without Republican support. Members of the Senate are also expected to vote on the package before the end of the week, in hopes of getting a final bill to the president by next week so he can sign it into law.

US COMMERCE SECRETARY: U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for Commerce secretary, Republican Senator Judd Gregg, has withdrawn his nomination for the post, saying it just "wasn't a good fit." In a statement, the New Hampshire senator cited "irresolvable conflicts" on issues including the economic stimulus package and the census. He said the president requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives. Gregg spoke directly to reporters later Thursday. He said he appreciated Mr. Obama's willingness to reach across party lines to fill posts in his cabinet and added he was at fault for accepting the nomination.

AUSTRALIA - WILDFIRES: Authorities in Australia have charged a man in connection with one of the massive wildfires that have killed nearly 200 people. The man was arrested Friday and charged in last week's fire near the town of Churchill in southern Victoria state that killed 21 people. The suspect has been charged with arson causing death, intentionally lighting a fire, and possessing child pornography. Police have not revealed the man's identity. They say they have moved him to the state capital of Melbourne for his own safety. A judge who heard the charges ordered the suspect to undergo a psychiatric examination.

US - NOKOR: A senior U.S. diplomat says North Korea has a positive path forward through international nuclear talks. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said that positive scenario depends on Pyongyang keeping its commitments to disable nuclear facilities and verify information about its nuclear activities. Hilary Clinton's deputy was speaking Thursday to an audience of non-governmental organizations in Washington on the eve of an important policy speech by the new secretary of state. Clinton will give a policy address in New York on Friday, ahead of her first foreign trip in her new post.

THAILAND - BURMA: Thailand's prime minister says he suspects there were instances where some Burmese boat people were forced out to sea by the country's military forces. In an interview with U.S.-based Cable News Network Thursday, Abhisit Vejjajiva says he believes "some instances" of the forcible removal have happened, despite denials by government officials. Mr. Abhisit says when he has solid evidence of who was responsible for the policy, he will hold them accountable. Thailand has been under fire since allegations surfaced that thousands of Rohingyas fleeing Burma have been forced back out to sea, and subjected to abuse.

PHILIPPINES - LANKA - KIDNAP: Philippine police say unidentified gunmen have kidnapped a Sri Lankan peace activist on the southern island of Basilan. Police say Omar Jalil from the group Nonviolent Peaceforce was seized from his residence early Friday. A Web site for the group says members have been working as civilian peace-keepers in the Philippines since 2007 at the invitation of local organizations. The kidnapping comes after Philippine government troops killed two militants linked to the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Monday.

CLOSER: INDIA - UNDERWEAR: Thousands of women in India are sending a very unusual Valentine's Day present to a radical Hindu group -- boxes and boxes of pink underwear. Organizers call it "The Pink Chaddi Campaign," using an Indian slang term for underwear. They are asking supporters to mail the pink panties to the head of a radical Hindu group known as Sri Ram Sena. Members of the group last month attacked several women in a bar in southern India, accusing them of being "un-Indian" for going out drinking and dancing with men.

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