8 killed in Pak mishaps


A speeding bus travelling down a mountain road flipped on its side, killing seven passengers in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday. Ten other passengers were injured, three of them seriously, when it crashed near Quaidabad. Six people died at the scene and the seventh crash victim succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. Elsewhere, one man was killed in a pileup involving 12 vehicles near Lahore. — AP

Ruling on bail plea put off


A sessions court in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday put off a decision on granting bail to the junior Shankaracharya Vijayendra Saraswathi, arrested in connection with a murder case. The court in Chengalpattu postponed the decision until January 25 after the government lawyer asked for more time to present its side while opposing the bail plea of the junior seer who stands accused in the same case as the senior Shankaracharya of the Kancipuram mutt, Jayendra Saraswathi. — AP

Quake jolts China


A moderate earthquake rattled western China but no casualties were reported, Xinhua said on Wednesday. The magnitude 4.7 temblor struck Wensu, a county in the far western region of Xinjiang, on Tuesday at 06:28 GMT, Xinhua said, citing local seismological officials. — AP

Heroin smugglers held


Four Kazakh men who had swallowed plastic bags holding at least one kilogram of heroin have been arrested in northern Thailand on trafficking charges, police said on Wednesday. The four were stopped on Tuesday at Mai Sai as they were trying to cross into Myanmar after police were tipped off that they were trafficking drugs. Hospital X-rays showed the bags of heroin in their stomachs. — AFP

Pak gas supply restored


Pakistan’s state-run gas company has resumed supplies to domestic and commercial consumers who were affected when rocket attacks prompted a weeklong shutdown at a major natural gas plant in the country’s southwest, a Cabinet minister said on Wednesday. An ethnic Baluch group claimed responsibility for firing hundreds of rockets between January 7-11 targetting gas facilities in Sui of southwestern Baluchistan province, where Pakistan’s main gas pipeline and gas fields are located. — AFP

Warlord being disarmed


Officials have resumed collecting weapons from a powerful Afghan faction after an arson attack and an attempted bombing that targeted the disarmament programme, the UN said on Wednesday. Three bombs were found last week on vehicles being used to collect tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other weapons from the Panjshir Valley, the UN-run Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme said. A day later, two cranes and a truck were set on fire. The programme resumed after community leaders and officials pledged to “respect the work of the heavy weapons team.”— AFP