MANILA: Philippine officials say the bodies of 13 more drowning victims have been recovered, raising the death toll from a typhoon that left the country days ago to 39. Office of Civil Defence Administrator Benito Ramos says two bodies were retrieved Friday from Manila Bay. Eleven others were recovered late Thursday from various parts of the country. Several of the dead were children, including a 6-month old baby. Typhoon Saola dumped torrents of rain as it swept past the Philippines earlier this week. It moved Wednesday to Taiwan, where it left at least five people dead and two others missing.
Pak court nullifies law
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani state TV says the country’s Supreme Court has struck down a law recently passed by Parliament and aimed at protecting the prime minister from being charged with contempt of court. The report says the court on Friday declared the law unconstitutional. Pakistan’s parliament passed the law in July after the court convicted former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of contempt and ousted him from office for failing to reopen an old corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. The aim of the law was to prevent the new premier, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, from suffering the same fate.
BERLIN: Prosecutors say they have charged a 26-year-old German with membership in an Islamist terror organisation and helping prepare attacks in Afghanistan. The Federal Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement Friday that the German national travelled in 2009 to the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan to learn to use weapons and explosives. They say the suspect, identified only as Thomas U., took part in an attack on a joint US-Afghan military base in Afghanistan later that year and subsequently praised the so-called German Taliban Mujahedeen group’s violent actions in at least two online propaganda videos. Prosecutors say he also tried to raise funds and recruit new members online for the group. He was arrested in July 2010 in Turkey and was extradited to Germany earlier this year.
Clinton urges détente
JUBA: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday urged leaders of South Sudan and their counterparts in the north to quickly reach agreements on oil revenue and other pressing issues to resolve festering differences that threaten to re-ignite a decades-long conflict. Clinton flew to South Sudan’s capital of Juba for a brief visit to congratulate the nascent nation on its anniversary and offer U.S. support, but, more importantly, to stress the urgency of ending disputes with Sudan over oil and territory. Those disputes have led to clashes between the two countries which many fear could crater the 2005 peace deal that ended what was then Africa’s longest-running civil war. “While South Sudan and Sudan have become separate states, their fortunes and their futures remain inextricably linked,” Clinton said at a news conference. “Now it is urgent that both sides, north and south, follow through and reach timely agreements on all outstanding issues. The people of South Sudan expect it.”
Mongolia jails ex-prez
ULAN BATOR: A Mongolian court has jailed former president Nambaryn Enkhbayar for four years for corruption, a move that could threaten the government’s fragile coalition and increase uncertainties for foreign investors. Resource-rich Mongolia is in the middle of a mining boom that is set to transform its tiny economy, but political uncertainties have threatened to overshadow its efforts to attract the foreign investment needed to develop mines and build vital infrastructure.