Embassy evacuated


The British embassy in Indonesia was evacuated on Monday after a suspicious package mailed to a local staff member sparked an alert, an embassy official and police said. Indonesian authorities were summoned to the site and the package was examined according to established procedure, and then was found to be harmless. The embassy, which employs approximately 80 foreign and local staff, reopened. Police said the package contained only dry food and a walkman. — AFP

Minister slams mag


A minister in mainly Muslim Malaysia slammed a local men’s magazine on Monday for publishing a photograph of a semi-nude model draped in the national flag. Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar said his ministry would investigate the publication of the “insensitive” photo. It appeared in the August issue of “Sensasi Lelaki” (Men’s Sensation) in conjunction with Malaysia’s Independence Day for August 31. Noh said the photo was a humiliation to the flag, a symbol of national pride and honour. The official Bernama news agency quoted him as saying that the magazine should give reasons for publishing the picture. — AFP

Mom’s clemency plea


The mother of a man sentenced to death for a 2003 attempt to assassinate Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf begged the military leader on Monday to have mercy on her son. Pakistan said on Friday that five men, including one soldier, were convicted of involvement in the Al-Qaeda-linked plot against Musharraf’s life and sentenced to hang. “I believe that my son is innocent and I ask President Musharraf to grant him clemency” Zahoor Mai, mother of 22-year-old Zubair Ahmed, told reporters in her rural home town of Kehror Pucca in central Pakistan. — AFP