13 killed in boat mishap

JAKARTA: Thirteen people are confirmed dead and one is still missing after a small boat capsized in rough seas off Indonesia’s Papua province, an official said on Friday. The accident happened on Tuesday near Yapen island. The official said the fiberglass boat was overloaded with 28 fishermen and their families. — AFP

Indian prez in Siachen

NEW DELHI: Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday defied his age and the rarefied Himalayan atmosphere to visit Indian troops stationed in Siachen, described as the world’s coldest and highest battlefield. Kalam, 72, flew to Toise air force base and proceeded to the Siachen army base camp in a helicopter. Officials said Kalam was to address the troops and join them in a bara khana (grand feast). — HNS

Tohra cremated

TOHRA: Police fired a 21-gun salute on Friday and 70,000 mourners crowded round the funeral pyre of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the head of Sikhism’s highest administrative body, a day after he died of a heart attack. Tohra, who died at the age of 79, was president of the Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, which administers Sikh religious and cultural institutions worldwide. He held the post 26 times since 1960. — AP

HK students, cops clash

Hong Kong: Police scuffled with students who camped outside Hong Kong government offices early on Friday after a protest against China’s move to rule on a timetable for full elections in the territory, media reports said. Some 100 police officers took action before dawn to drag away 50 students. Police said five officers suffered mild injuries and two students were arrested for assaulting officers. Media reports said at least four protesters were also hurt. — AFP

Thai teens killed in crash

BANGKOK: Seven Thai teenagers were killed early on Friday when their car crashed thro-ugh a Bangkok expressway ramp barrier and plunged into a canal. Police and rescue wor-kers retrived the bodies of four males and three females. A rescue worker said the victims were about 17 to 19 years old, and tho-ught alcohol could have been a factor. — AFP

Security bill plan flayed

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ruling party proposed a constitutional bill in the National Assembly on Friday to create a National Security Council that would vet all major decisions of national interest. Opposition lawmakers walked out in pro-test after the bill was presented. It was referred to a special parliamentary committee for consideration. The government says the council would only be a “consultative body”.— AP

Pollution check ordered

BEIJING: China’s environmental watchdog has ordered the immediate implementation of pollution controls at the Three Gorges Dam after it discovered environmental regulations were being flouted, state media said on Friday. According to a recent report by State Environmental Protection Administration, 93.8 per cent of polluters required to clean up their act had not done so. The agency issued an urgent circular demanding immediate action to address the issue.— AFP

8 charged with murder

KUALA LUMPUR: Eight Malaysian boys from a top religious school were charged with murder on Friday over the beating death of a star student, the Bernama news agency reported. The schoolboys are all 17 years old. The magistrate fixed April 16 for their next court appearance. — AP

Ammo haul in B’desh

CHITTAGONG: Bangladeshi security forces seized an illegal haul of automatic rifles, grenades and other munitions near the country’s largest port and were investigating their origin and destination. Six men were arrested. The weapons were found on Thursday across Chittagong Port. — AP