King remembered


Americans inspired by Martin Luther King Jr took part in marches and rallies around the country on Monday, drawing from the slain civil rights leader’s message to call for an end to the Iraq war, advocate affirmative action and speak out for gay rights. In King’s hometown, parade spectators lined the streets dancing to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ and listening to King’s speeches over loudspeakers. — AP

Dutch lawmaker returns


Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has been threatened for her criticism of Islam and who wrote the scenario for slain filmmaker Theo Van Gogh’s film Submission, returned to parliament on Tuesday after over two months in hiding. The Somali-born politician, who is still subject to tough security measures because of death threats against her, was notably due to attend a meeting of the parliamentary group of her liberal VVD party. — AFP

Ex-officer kills self


A retired army officer committed suicide on Monday, police said, after he was charged in the murders of six Communists during Chile’s military dictatorship. German Barriga Munoz was under investigation for human rights violations committed during the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. Judge Juan Guzman Tapia, who has filed charges against dictator Augusto Pinochet, was investigating Barriga. — AFP

Aussie Oppn leader quits


The leader of Australia’s opposition Labour Party announced on Tuesday he will quit politics because of ill health. Mark Latham, 43, was hospitalised with pancreatitis during the hectic run-up to October 9, 2004 elections, in which he was soundly defeated by incumbent Prime Minister John Howard. — AP

Six killed in Kashmir


Indian troops on Tuesday shot dead five Islamic militants trying to sneak into Kashmir from Pakistan, police said. “The infiltrating militants were asked to surrender. They instead opened fire that was promptly returned,” a police spokesman said. The clash occurred in Poonch district. Meanwhile, suspected militants overnight shot dead a candidate in next month’s municipal polls, Noorudin Sherwani. — AFP

3 shot dead in Thailand


Three people have been killed in separate shootings in Thailand’s restive south, amid a spate of arson attacks all blamed on suspected Islamic insurgents, police said on Tuesday. The latest victim, 42-year-old trader Mayusoh Sama-aea, was shot dead in Toh Deng village, Narathiwat, police said. Teacher Mana Samae, 48, was shot dead on his way to school early on Monday in Yala province. Suding Yusoh, a deputy village chief in Songkhla province, was shot and killed late on Sunday by two motorcycle-riding gunmen. — AFP

9 held for selling babies


Malaysian police said on Tuesday they had arrested nine people in a baby-selling case reportedly involving 27 Indonesian infants over the last six months. A police spokeswoman said five Indonesians were among the nine arrested, who included two elderly women caught in a police trap after offering to sell a 25-day-old baby girl for $ 4,737. — AFP

Blasts rock Pak town


Two homemade bombs exploded in a bazaar in a southwestern Pakistani town, shattering windows, police said on Tuesday. No one was reported injured. The explosions in Gawadar, about 15 minutes apart late on Monday, were the latest to hit Baluchistan province. — AP

Mild quake in NE India


A moderate earthquake shook parts of northeastern India early on Tuesday, the Indian Meteorological Department said. No injuries or damage were reported. The quake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, was recorded at 0300 GMT in some areas along the India-Myanmar border in northeastern India. — AP