ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Indonesian Military Plane Crashes, at Least 98 Dead


INDONESIA - PLANE CRASH: Indonesian officials say a military transport plane crashed into homes and burst into flames Wednesday near an air force base in East Java, killing at least 98 people and injuring more than 10 others. A spokesman for the Indonesian air force says the Hercules C-130 plane was carrying military personnel and their families when it went down. The spokesman says more than 100 people were on board the plane, including 10 children. The flight had taken off earlier Wednesday from Jakarta and was due to fly on to Indonesia's Papua province.

AFGHANISTAN: NATO says an airstrike by one of its warplanes has killed eight civilians in southern Afghanistan, in the midst of a controversy over civilian casualties. The NATO-led international military force on Wednesday said its troops called in the airstrike Tuesday in Helmand province after a clash with about 25 insurgents. A NATO statement accused the militants of using the civilians as human shields. The deaths come amid a dispute over the death toll from a similar airstrike by U.S. forces in western Afghanistan two weeks ago.

BURMA - SUU KYI: Detained Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi greeted foreign diplomats who appeared in the courtroom at the third day of her trial Wednesday. The leader of the National League for Democracy party is charged with breaking the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam to the her lakeside home earlier this month and stayed there for a couple of days. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison. Her two female live-in assistants are also on trial.

JAPAN ECON: Japan's economy shrank at a record pace between January 1 and March 30, falling at an annual rate of more than 15 percent. The government in Tokyo said Wednesday that the nation's gross domestic product shrank four percent in the first quarter -- the fourth consecutive three-month period of contraction. Between October 1 and December 31 of last year, Japan's economy shrank at an annual rate of nearly 14-and-a-half percent.

US - PAKISTAN: The United States says it is sending $110 million in humanitarian aid to Pakistan, to help some two million people displaced by fierce fighting between government troops and Taliban militants in the northwestern Swat Valley. Speaking at the White House Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed hope that those who fled will be able to return home quickly, safely and on a voluntary basis. The top U.S. diplomat said Pakistan is fighting a tough battle against the militants, but she is confident Pakistanis can overcome the situation with help from the international community.

US - VIETNAM FISH: A U.S. judge has sentenced a seafood wholesaler to more than five years in prison for falsely labeling imported Vietnamese catfish as more expensive species. U.S. officials say the 63-month prison term is one of the longest ever imposed for such fraud. A federal judge found Peter Xuong Lam, who runs a seafood company in a Washington suburb, guilty of selling more than $15 million of inexpensive catfish from Vietnam as more expensive fish filets such as flounder, sole and grouper. Federal prosecutors say Lam and six co-defendants were trying to avoid paying millions of dollars in tariffs.

SWINE FLU: Health officials in the midwestern U.S. state of Missouri say a man has died of the swine influenza A-H1N1 virus. The victim was a 44-year-old man who was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month after a trip to Mexico, the epicenter of the illness. Officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services say the victim's family and the medical personnel who treated him have received anti-viral medication. The man is the eighth person in the United States to die from the swine flu outbreak.

IRAN MISSILE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country has test-fired a new advanced missile that reportedly can reach Israel and southeastern Europe. Mr. Ahmadinejad said Wednesday (while in Semnan) that Iran's military successfully launched the Sejil-2 missile with a range of some 2,000 kilometers. The solid-fuel surface-to-surface missile is a new version of the Sejil that Iran said it had successfully tested in November. The United States condemned the earlier test as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. (News Updates)

CLOSER - PRIMATE FOSSIL: Scientists in New York Tuesday introduced to the world the remarkably well-preserved 47-million-year-old remains of what could be a link between humans and all other mammals. It is one of the most complete primate fossils ever uncovered, found in a former quarry near Frankfurt, Germany, in 1983. The skeleton, nicknamed Ida, shows a creature about the size of a cat with a human-like thumb and fingernails instead of claws.

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