Cholera kills 70

BHUBANESWAR: A cholera outbreak has killed up to 70 people after heavy rains caused flooding and unsafe sanitary conditions in eastern India’s Orissa state, an official said. “An outbreak of cholera has claimed seventy lives so far. All the deaths have occurred within the span of the last one month,” Chinmoy Basu, a senior official in Orissa’s health and family welfare department, told reporters late on Monday. — AP

3 killed in boat capsize

NEW DELHI: Three people drowned on Tuesday and another 15 were feared dead after a boat capsized in a flood-swollen river in India’s eastern Bihar state, an official said. The accident took place in the Khagaria district as a group of 18 villagers attempted to flee houses submerged after a tributary of the Kosi River breached its banks, Mayank Barware, local administrator of the district, told AFP. “We have so far recovered three bodies,” Barware said. — AFP

Pak minister quits

Islamabad: Ishaq Khan Khakwani, the Minister of State for Information Technology, has resigned in protest at President Pervez Musharraf’s plan to remain army chief, state media said on Tuesday, in a further blow to the embattled military leader. Khakwani also called for a process of national reconciliation involving opposition parties who are stepping up pressure on US anti-terror ally Musharraf. — AFP

Taiwan prez warned

TAIPEI: A senior US official has warned Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian that his push for holding a referendum on Taiwan’s UN membership was “a mistake” that could provoke the island’s longtime rival China. “We oppose the notion of that kind of a referendum because we see that as a step towards a declaration of independence of Taiwan, towards an alteration of the status quo,” Deputy US Secretary of State John Negroponte said on Monday. — AP

Bomb scare

NAGPUR: A bomb scare following a hoax call led to the detention of the Howrah-Mumbai Geetanjali Express at the Bhandara Road railway station near here on Tuesday morning for over a search that took three hours. Police stopped the super-fast train at the Warthi (Bhandara Road) railway station, 80 km from here, a little after 8.30 am following information from their Nagpur counterparts that a bomb was placed somewhere on the train, police said. — HNS

Black boxes found

JAKARTA: A salvage crew has recovered the two black boxes from an Indonesian airliner that crashed into the sea on New Year’s Day, killing all 102 people on board, officials said on Tuesday. The Boeing 737-400 operated by Adam Air went missing off South Sulawesi. No bodies have been recovered. — AFP