Quake in Taiwan

TAIPEI: A moderate earthquake shook northeastern Taiwan on Saturday, the Central Weather

Bureau said. No damage or injuries were immediately reported. The 4.9-magnitude quake was centred 10 km southwest of Hualien, weather bureau said. — AP

Two Afghans hurt

MIRAN SHAH: Two Afghan businessmen were wounded when a bomb planted in their car exploded in the northwestern tribal region of Pakistan on Saturday, an official said. The bomb went off shortly after the men, who are brothers, entered the car outside their home on the outskirts of Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, said Ghulam Khan, a government official in the region. — AP

Man charged in S’pore

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man was charged on Saturday with the grisly murder of a Chinese woman whose body was dismembered after her death, police said. Leong Siew Chor, 50, appeared in court early on Saturday after being charged with the murder of Liu Hong Mei, 22, a police spokesman said. If found guilty, Leong faces the death penalty. — AFP

CM backs quotas

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said on Saturday that being an economically and educationally backward community, it is only justified that Muslims get five per cent reservation in seats in education and in government employment. Reddy said that with this, the Congress had fulfilled the promise it made to Muslims during last year’s elections. — HNS

Explosives seized

BHUBANESWAR: Paramilitary forces seized about 140 kg of explosives during their operation against Maoists, in Orissa’s Malkangiri district on Friday night, police said on Saturday. The explosives were found two feet under the ground in the forest near Mariguda hill, police said. — HNS

Convoy ambushed

KANDAHAR: Taliban rebels have ambushed a police convoy in southern Afghanistan, taking at least 10 officers and a district police chief captive, while fighting elsewhere left four insurgents and an Afghan soldier dead, officials said on Saturday. The attack on the convoy occurred on Thursday as the police were traveling on a road north from Kandahar . — AP

Chinese cops arrest 22

BEIJING: Chinese police have arrested 22 people over a deadly mob attack on a village whose residents have refused to leave their land to make way for a power plant, state press reported on Saturday. — AFP

PDP to form panel

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is to form a committee to deliberate on and recommend a solution to the lingering dispute over the state. “The realisation that there are great challenges ahead of us should not deter us from pursuing our chosen course,” PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said. — HNS

Christians’ appeal

NEW DELHI: A Christian religious body on Saturday urged the government to ensure safety of Christians, citing a number of acts of violence committed against the community in the past months. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India appealed to the central and state governments to make inquiry into incidents of violence against the church. — HNS