Nine persons rescued

KUALA LUMPUR: Nine people were rescued and one was missing on Tuesday after a helicopter carrying oil rig workers for Malaysian state oil firm Petronas crashed Tuesday off the coast of Borneo, the company said. Petronas said the helicopter went down near the coastal town of Bintulu in Sarawak state on Borneo island. “Petronas wishes to confirm that a Malaysian Helicopter Services helicopter with eight passengers and two pilots has ditched about 80 km offshore Bintulu,” it said in a statement. — AFP

ULFA’s threat

GUWAHATI: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Tuesday asked a TV channel to pack up or face action if it fails to prove allegations that the group being bribed by the government to lie low during the coming National Games. North East Television (NETV), a Guwahati-based TV channel, last week reported that the Assam government had paid money to buy peace with ULFA for the smooth conduct of the National Games here from February 9-18. —HNS

Myanmar protests

YANGON: About 30 people marched in silence to the US embassy in Yangon on Tuesday morning, in protest at Washington’s support for a failed UN resolution against Myanmar’s military rulers. The protesters identified themselves only as “Myanmar nationalists” and stayed in front of the embassy for about 10 minutes, witnesses said. The protesters in a statement called Washington’s efforts to put Myanmar on the UN Security Council “a vivid show.” — AFP

Procession banned

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday disallowed the main Muharram procession in the summer capital Srinagar for the 18th consecutive year for security reasons. Police and paramilitary troops were deployed in strength at the Abi-Guzar locality to prevent Shia mourners from gathering in the uptown area. Shia mourners used to join the main Muharram procession in thousands from Abi-Guzar until 1989 when militancy erupted in Kashmir. — HNS

Portuguese PM’s visit

BEIJING: Portuguese PM Jose Socrates began a five-day visit to China on Tuesday that aims to boost trade and investment between the European nation and Asian countries. Socrates will hold meetings with Premier Wen Jiabao and parliamentary head Wu Bangguo. — AFP