27 dead in Afghan flash flood
Kabul—A flash flood swept through villages in a mountainous area of northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 27 people, authorities said. It was the second major flood reported this week in the north. Abdul Jabar Taqwa, the governor of Takhar province, said flood waters broke through a dam early Friday, washed down a valley and damaged several villages in Ishkamish district.
Asia-Pacific anchor of global stability: UN
Hameed ShaheenIslamabad—Despite visible economic slowdown, the United Nations has informed the world that Asia-Pacific part of the globe would remain a strong anchor of global economic stability, a message that would surely take tycoons optimism to new heights amid maddening entrepreneural competitions. “Demand for its exports declines and capital costs rise” in Asia-Pacific region but despite this mix the region “will remain the fastest growing region globally and an anchoer of stability in the world economy”, says a UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012: Pursuing shared prosperity in an era of turbulence and high commodity prices.
Annan Syrian ceasefire collapsing: SNC
Tokyo—The head of Syria’s main opposition group said Friday the twin suicide car bombings that killed 55 people in Damascus appeared to be the work of al-Qaida forces he said were linked to the regime of President Bashar Assad. Paris-based Burhan Ghalioun, chief of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), also said the cease-fire brokered by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan was “in crisis” because it lacks teeth.
4,000 pro-Gaddafi militiamen still in prisons: UN
Tripoli—About 4,000 accused supporters of former dictator Moamer Kadhafi are still being held in Libyan militia detention centers, often in secret and many are tortured, a UN envoy said Thursday. Ian Martin, head of the UN mission to Libya, said good progress was being made toward the country’s first democratic election, but militia prisons were one of a number of “serious obstacles” to establishing the rule of law.
Brooks unveils ties with UK elite
London—Prime Minister David Cameron was among top politicians who commiserated with Rebekah Brooks when she was forced to resign in disgrace as head of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper group over a phone-hacking scandal, she told an inquiry on Friday. Brooks is a former editor of the News of the World, which Murdoch shut in July when it emerged its journalists had hacked into the voicemail of public figures and a murdered schoolgirl. She was appearing at a judicial inquiry into press ethics to answer questions about her friendships with British politicians and the influence of Murdoch newspapers.