Yet another survivor of China's earthquake was rescued Wednesday, with injuries that doctors said are not life-threatening. Her discovery came as the government ordered state agencies to cut spending by 5 percent, with the savings going to a $10 billion reconstruction fund for the quake area. One of the hardest-hit cities, Qushan, will be totally rebuilt, but in a new location, reports said.Skip to next paragraph
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Preparing for his arrival in Burma (Myanmar) Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said its military rulers should focus on saving lives and not politicize "the issues of assistance and aid" following cyclone Nargis. Ban spoke after the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said US ships and helicopters aren't welcome to join relief efforts. At least 78,000 people are reported to have died during or after the storm; the UN estimates another 2.5 million are at risk of starvation and disease.
The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan expressed "satisfaction" over the progress of peace efforts as they met Wednesday for the first time since the change of government in the latter country. As a goodwill gesture, Pakistani authorities said they'd release about 100 Indians held prisoner. India's representative declined to say whether a breakthrough was likely on the issue of the disputed Kashmir, but he hinted that the two sides might discuss joint environmental surveys of the region as a means of reducing mistrust.
Heavy gunfire marred Wednes-day's critical election in Georgia, and several voters were hurt as they tried to cross the border from the breakaway region of Abkahzia. TV footage showed two buses that had been hit, one of them gutted by flames, in an incident blamed on separatist forces. Pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili's United National Movement was expected to win a majority in parliament, but opposition leaders alleged vote-rigging and said they'd hold "a huge rally" to "announce the true results."
A joint raid by French and Spanish police late Tuesday night led to the capture of the reputed senior commander of ETA, the militant Basque separatist movement. Francisco Javier Lopez Peña was arrested in Bordeaux, France, with three suspected lieutenants. Spanish officials called Lopez Peña "the person with the most political and military weight" in ETA and said he was instrumental in its decision last December to end a cease-fire with the government.
Two suspects were arrested for planning to sabotage a nuclear power plant in southern Sweden Wednesday after guards stopped one of them as he arrived for work with "highly explosive material" in his possession. The material, TATP (triacetone triperoxide), is commonly used by terrorist bombers and was in the shoes of Briton Richard Reed when he attempted to blow up a transatlantic jetliner in 2001.
Sixty more people were reported dead after drinking poisoned homemade liquor in southern India, bringing the number to at least 150. The number of those taken to hospitals also rose, to 135. Police said Wednesday they're opening an investigation and that seven sellers have been arrested and nine local officials suspended. Illegally produced alcohol is a common problem in South Asia, but the casualty count in this case is considered unusually high.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend Thursday as organizers of a conference on development in Palestinian territories announce the commitment of a Saudi company to invest $250 million. Al Ard Al Qabeda said it isn't intimidated by the political uncertainty in the area and would help to build malls, a hotel, and office and residential towers in El Bireh, a West Bank town adjacent to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority.