SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Tsunami hits Japan after 7.3 quake
Tokyo, December 7
A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake jolted north-eastern Japan today, triggering a metre-high tsunami and shaking buildings in Tokyo that forced thousands of persons to flee their homes, more than a year after a similar disaster slammed the region leaving 20,000 persons killed or missing.
Passengers at the Sendai station after train services were suspended following an earthquake in Japan on Friday. Passengers at the Sendai station after train services were suspended following an earthquake in Japan on Friday. Reuters

Egyptians gather at Tahrir as Mursi stays defiant
Cairo, December 7
Hundreds of angry Egyptians flocked to the iconic Tahrir Square here after Friday prayers for mass rallies against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's plans to hold a controversial constitutional referendum that sparked the worst violence since he assumed power in June.



EARLIER STORIES

Pak, UK to keep up peace efforts in Afghanistan
Islamabad/London, Dec 7
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Britain have agreed to continue working together for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and to tackle terrorism and extremism in the region.

Kate hoax call nurse found dead
London, December 7
A nurse who was duped into transferring a hoax call that gave away information about a pregnant Kate's health to Australian radio presenters has been found dead in what is being suspected to be a suicide case.

Panel probing Pak CJs son in graft matter dissolved
Islamabad, December 7
Pakistan's Supreme Court today dissolved an inquiry commission a day after it said Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son had admitted that he made two foreign visits that were paid for by real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain and his associates.





 

 

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Tsunami hits Japan after 7.3 quake
Thousands forced to flee their homes

Tokyo, December 7
A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake jolted north-eastern Japan today, triggering a metre-high tsunami and shaking buildings in Tokyo that forced thousands of persons to flee their homes, more than a year after a similar disaster slammed the region leaving 20,000 persons killed or missing.

So far, there were no reports of injuries in quake-hit areas, the National Police Agency said. However, public television broadcaster NHK reported that a 75-year-old woman fell and was injured while evacuating to flee from the tsunami and added that a child was also injured in a Sendai city.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5.18 pm (1348 IST), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Its epicentre was 240 km off the Pacific coast of Miyagi at a depth of 10 km. The quake was felt Iwate, Miyagi, Aomori, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures.

The one-metre high tsunami reached Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture at 6.02 pm local time after the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for wide areas along the Pacific coast, Kyodo news agency reported. Local authorities in cities of Sendai, Iwanuma and Ishinomaki in Miyagi and Rikuzentakata in Iwate prefecture among others urged residents in coastal areas to evacuate.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said no abnormalities have been detected at nuclear plants in the north-east, including Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini plants and Tohoku Electric Power Company's Onagawa plant.

Bullet train services on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line were temporarily suspended between Tokyo and Odawara, Kanagawa prefecture, while operations of the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines were halted following the quake.

Sendai airport in Miyagi grounded all flights, while Narita airport near Tokyo briefly closed runways, Kyodo said. PTI

Moderate quake jolts China
Beijing: A moderate 5.1 magnitude earthquake jolted China's north-west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday, seismologists said. The quake hit the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin at 10.08 pm (local time), the China Earthquake Networks Center reported. There were no reports of casualties and damage.

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Egyptians gather at Tahrir as Mursi stays defiant

A demonstrator waves the national flag as thousands gather near the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Friday.
A demonstrator waves the national flag as thousands gather near the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Friday. AFP

Cairo, December 7
Hundreds of angry Egyptians flocked to the iconic Tahrir Square here after Friday prayers for mass rallies against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's plans to hold a controversial constitutional referendum that sparked the worst violence since he assumed power in June.

Protesters have been arriving in the Tahrir Square since early morning to prepare for mass rallies against Mursi, demanding that the President must roll back his edict granting himself expanded powers and must postpone the scheduled December 15 referendum on Constitution.

They say the new draft Constitution does not adequately represent or protect all Egyptians.

Egypts main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, said it would not take part in the dialogue proposed by Mursi last night, a senior member of the group said.

The demonstrators from venues around Cairo including Giza, Tahrir Square, Abbaseya and a number of mosques will converge on the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis, where tanks and armoured cars were positioned to keep protesters at bay.

The areas around the Presidential palace witnessed violent clashes between anti and pro-Mursi supporters in the past two days that left seven persons dead and nearly 700 injured. PTI

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Pak, UK to keep up peace efforts in Afghanistan

Islamabad/London, Dec 7
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Britain have agreed to continue working together for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and to tackle terrorism and extremism in the region.

The regional situation was discussed at a trilateral meeting in London yesterday that was attended by Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The three ministers "emphasised that peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan was essential to tackle the issue of terrorism and extremism and to advance the agenda of regional peace and stability", an official statement said.

The meeting reviewed progress made in joint efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan and discussed the "way forward on the issue", the statement said.

The ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved so far, particularly in the past few weeks.

Recent visits to Pakistan by a delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council during November 12-15 and by Foreign Minister Rassoul on November 30 were described as important developments.

Pakistan freed about a dozen Afghan Taliban detainees during the visit of the Peace Council. PTI

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Kate hoax call nurse found dead

London, December 7
A nurse who was duped into transferring a hoax call that gave away information about a pregnant Kate's health to Australian radio presenters has been found dead in what is being suspected to be a suicide case.

The body of Jacintha Saldanha, who was working on the switchboard, was found this morning at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital, where Kate was being treated this week.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge issued a statement saying they are "deeply saddened" by the tragedy and said: "Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time." PTI

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Panel probing Pak CJs son in graft matter dissolved

Islamabad, December 7
Pakistan's Supreme Court today dissolved an inquiry commission a day after it said Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son had admitted that he made two foreign visits that were paid for by real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain and his associates.

The court also ruled that there was no need for any further proceedings in the matter. The inquiry commission headed was formed by the apex court after Hussain alleged earlier this year that he funded three foreign trips by the Chief Justice's son and spent Rs 342 million on him to influence cases in the Supreme Court. PTI

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BRIEFLY

1 dead, 28,000 affected by snowstorms in China
Beijing:
One person was killed and 28,000 others have been affected after snowstorms swept across much of China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Local authorities have relocated 6,263 persons affected by the snowstorms, which started to hit central and northern parts of Xinjiang from Monday, state run Xinhua reported. PTI

Re-sentencing for Indian doc in bombing
Little Rock (US):
A doctor sentenced to life in prison for a 2009 bombing that nearly killed the head of the Arkansas state medical board should be resentenced on some convictions, a federal appeals court ruled. A jury convicted Randeep Mann, an Indian-born naturalised US citizen, in 2010 of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges. AP

Hamas chief arrives in Gaza for first visit
Rafah (Gaza Strip):
The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears on Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel. Khaled Mashaal, who left the West Bank as a child and now leads the Islamic militant movement from Qatar, was greeted by a crowd of representatives of Hamas and its rival Fatah party. AP

Facebook plays role in interview calls
New York:
Employers turn to social media sites like Facebook when deciding whether to even call a job candidate for an interview, according to a new study. Research from a global security software company discovered that more than 90 per cent of HR professionals search for unprotected social media profiles in order to assess a candidate's suitability. PTI

Philippine typhoon toll climbs past 500
Rescue workers carry bodies of victims of Typhoon Bopha retrieved from amongst the debris of logs in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province, on Friday. New Bataan: Rescuers are digging through mud and debris to retrieve more bodies strewn across a farming valley in the southern Philippines by a powerful typhoon. The death toll from the storm has surpassed 500, with more than 400 persons missing. More than 3,10,000 people have lost their homes since Typhoon Bopha struck on Tuesday and are crowded inside evacuation centres or staying with their families, relying on food and emergency supplies being rushed in by government agencies and aid groups. AP
Rescue workers carry bodies of victims of Typhoon Bopha retrieved from amongst the debris of logs in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province, on Friday. AFP

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