47 killed in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Government forces fought fierce battles with ethnic Tamil separatists along Sri Lanka’s northern front lines in a wave of fighting that killed 43 rebels and four soldiers. The bloodshed came amid weeks of escalating violence in the area, as government troops pushed deep into rebel-held territory, seizing key Tamil Tiger bases and towns that had long been under rebel control. — AP

Relics destroyed

SHANGHAI: A Chinese construction company severely damaged relics dating back more than 3,000 years while building a section of a high-speed rail linking Beijing and

Shanghai. Work was halted on the section of rail in the eastern city of Nanjing and the company faces a fine of up to $73,000 for ignoring warnings that the site contained ancient treasures. — AFP

China’s space mission

HONG KONG: China has brought forward the launch date of its third manned space flight to late September, a report said on Tuesday. The launch of Shenzhou VII is now expected to take place between September 17 and October 1, Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po said. The period offered the best launch window for Shenzhou VII, the report added, without giving any more details. — AFP