Bus mishap claims 19


A speeding bus hired to take young children home from school plowed into a crowded sidewalk in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, killing 19 people and injuring 16, state press said on Wednesday. The bus apparently swerved into the sidewalk at dusk on Tuesday to avoid crashing into an oncoming vehicle, Xinhua news agency said. — AFP

Move to ban Maoists


Taking a cue from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Chhattisgarh government is also contemplating a ban on the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and its frontal organisations. “The CPI-Maoist and its frontal organisations are already banned in Chhattisgarh under various laws of the central government, but for wiping out terrorism the state will move a legislation in the state assembly for an Andhra-type ban,” said Home Minister Ramvichar Netam. — HNS

Encephalitis toll 175


An outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in northern India has shown little sign of abating, officials said on Wednesday, as the death toll from the mosquito-borne disease climbed to 175. Nineteen new deaths have been reported since Tuesday morning, most of them in the district of Gorakhpur, said Avnish Mehrotra, a spokesman for the health department of Uttar Pradesh state. Nearly 500 infected people, most of them children, remain in hospitals across the state. — AP

Sino-Russian drill


Thousands of Chinese and Russian troops were due to launch a mock amphibious landing on a Chinese beach on Wednesday, as Russia’s defence minister said their joint war games underscore a growing strategic partnership between the former Cold War adversaries. — AP

Cop among four hurt


The head of a police station and three others were injured on Wednesday in a rebel grenade attack in the summer capital of revolt-hit Indian Kashmir, police said. “The people were injured when militants hurled a grenade at a police patrol in the Nigeen area of Srinagar,” a police officer said. — AFP