13 killed in mishap :

ISLAMABAD: At least thirteen passengers were killed and nearly 40 injured when two buses collided on Saturday on a highway about 30 km from Islamabad, media reports said. Many of the injured were in critical condition, and the death toll could rise, the ARY Oneworld television channel reported, quoting hospital sources. — DPA

NASA chief’s visit :

BEIJING: NASA chief Michael Griffin is to hold talks on Sunday with Chinese space officials, the US embassy said, in what would be the first visit here by the head of the US space agency. An embassy official said Griffin would “probably” arrive on Saturday but could give no further details. The visit is scheduled to last until Thursday. Sunday’s meetings include one with Sun Laiyan, head of the China’s national space administration. “My goal is to become acquainted with my counterparts in China and to understand their goals for space exploration,” Griffin said in a statement by NASA. — AFP

Three killed in floods :

KOLKATA: Three people were electrocuted and more than 2,000 evacuated after the heaviest rains in 23 years left large parts of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata under water, officials said on Saturday. Residents blamed the city’s poor drainage system for failing to carry away the rainwater that had turned the city into a swamp. But Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya said there was little the city could do. “It’s hard to fight nature’s fury,” he said. Some of the city’s roads were waist-deep in water and the rainwater had invaded homes and swanky shopping malls alike. — AFP

104 ‘Talibans’ freed :

ISLAMABAD: Afghan authorities on Friday freed all the 104 alleged Talibans handed over to them by Pakistan, the Afghan Islamic Press agency reported. They were released at a public ceremony in Kandahar, after having been arrested in the Pakistani province of Balochistan. “Our investigations showed they were not Taliban but ordinary Afghans,” Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid declared at the ceremony. Kabul accuses Pakistan of harbouring Taliban militants and launching them into Afghanistan. Pakistan rejects the charge. — DPA

Quake jolts Indonesia :

JAKARTA: A moderate earthquake on Saturday rocked eastern Indonesian islands, but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The 5.4-magnitude trembler struck Flores and nearby islands of East Nusa Tenggara province at 10.53 am, according to a statement from the Jakarta-based Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. The quake’s epicentre was 55 km west of Waikabubak city and took place about 70 km beneath the seabed. — DPA

India, UK joint drill :

AGRA: The skies above this Taj city will reverberate with the sounds of fighter jets, including Tornados and Jaguars, as India and Britain hold joint air exercises here and at Gwalior from October 13. The Royal Air Force (RAF) will send 100 officers for the joint exercise, codenamed Indradhanush, and 100 Indian Air Force (IAF) officers will join them at Agra. Working together under a common command will benefit the two sides, say officials. — HNS

84 bodies recovered :

DHAKA: Eighty-four bodies of Bangladeshi fishermen who were drowned in Tuesday’s violent storm have been recovered and more bodies are seen floating in the Bay of Bengal, with bad weather preventing rescue operations. Around 500 fishing boats with about 5,000 fishermen sank in the Bay of Bengal in the storm. Private television Ntv reported that 84 bodies of fishermen were recovered from the different coastal areas stretching from southeastern Cox’s Bazar to Sundarbans. — Xinhua