PAKISTAN – KARACHI – UK – SCHUMACHER – PHILIPPINE S – CHINA – SYRIA – TURKEY
3 members of Pakistan security forces killed in separate Karachi attacks
Three members of Pakistan’s security forces have been killed in separate attacks in the southern city of Karachi, AP reported. Assailants threw a grenade at a vehicle carrying paramilitary rangers in the Nazimabad neighborhood of Karachi on Wednesday, killing one of them, senior police officer Amir Farooqi said. Minutes later, a roadside bomb wounded three security personnel in the same area. A suicide bomber blew himself up about an hour later, outside the headquarters of the paramilitary rangers, killing one ranger and a private guard.
Schumacher put into phase of ‘gradual awakening’ – reports
Formula One championMichael Schumacher is still being kept in a medically induced coma, the BBC reported, citing his manager. He remains in a stable condition after a skiing accident on December 29, and a leading British neurosurgeon suggested Schumacher could still make a full recovery. Meanwhile, doctors at the Neurosurgery Department at a hospital in Grenoble cited positive changes in Schumacher’s condition. L’Equipe newspaper reported that Schumacher was placed into the phase of “gradual awakening.” Doctors say it is too early to diagnose his recovery at this stage.
Philippine military says 37 rebels killed in offensive
At least 37 hardline Islamic fighters have been killed in a two-day offensive against insurgents, a Philippine military official said Wednesday. The militants are opposed to a new peace deal between the government and the main Muslim rebel group. Regional military spokesman Col. Dickson Hermoso said that 12 of the slain rebels of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement have been identified in a village in southern Maguindanao province, AP reported. However, rebel spokesman Abu Misry disputed the military report, saying that no one was killed and only seven of fighters have been wounded in army shelling and helicopter rocket fire. One soldier died and several were wounded Tuesday by home-made bombs hidden around a mosque.
2 anti-graft activists convicted in China
A Beijing court convicted two anti-graft campaigners on Wednesday for their roles in a protest urging officials to reveal their assets. Hou Xin and Yuan Dong were convicted on a charge of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” Yuan was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison, but Hou escaped a jail term, Reuters said. The ruling is part of the government’s 10-month drive on the ‘New Citizens’ Movement’, which advocates working within the system to press for change. The new convictions came three days after movement founder Xu Zhiyong, one of China’s most prominent rights activists, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Turkish PM visits Iran to talk trade, Syria
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Iran in a bid to mend relations strained by the Syrian civil war, in which Ankara and Tehran have been supporting opposing parties. The PM has arrived on Tuesday evening accompanied by his foreign, energy and economy ministers, marking what Iranian government described as a new phase of contact. He will meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
- Philippine Military Says 17 Muslim Rebels Killed(thejakartaglobe.com)