- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2009

CHINA

Quarantine ends for plane passengers

SHANGHAI | China lifted a seven-day quarantine for all passengers who arrived in Shanghai on the same flight as a Mexican found to be infected with H1N1 flu, and again denied discriminating against foreigners.

All 128 passengers, including one who had earlier shown flulike symptoms, on the flight were released from quarantine, said Xinhua news agency, citing a Health Ministry report Thursday.

The passengers took a May 1 flight from Mexico City, which stopped in Shanghai on its way to Hong Kong.

NORTH KOREA

U.S. envoy tours Northeast Asia

BEIJING | The U.S. envoy for North Korea began a swing through Asia on Thursday to seek support from regional powers to rein in North Korea, which may be preparing to rattle security with a second nuclear test.

Stephen Bosworth, leading a U.S. delegation trying to coax North Korea to return to sputtering six-way nuclear disarmament talks, told reporters in Beijing that Washington wanted talks with Pyongyang.

Mr. Bosworth was speaking after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Wu Dawei, China’s point man on the North Korea nuclear talks.

The U.S. delegation will travel to Seoul, Tokyo and Moscow but it has no plans to visit North Korea.

INDIA

Kashmir election marred by violence

SRINAGAR | Scores of protesters clashed with government troops in Indian Kashmir’s main city Thursday as residents went to the polls in the disputed Himalayan region, the country’s capital and other key states in a monthlong parliamentary election.

Nearly 95 million voters were eligible to vote in Thursday’s election for 85 seats in India’s 543-seat lower house of Parliament. More than 700 million voters were eligible to vote across the country in the election, which authorities staggered for logistical and security reasons.

Thousands of troops wearing bulletproof jackets and carrying assault rifles patrolled the streets and guarded polling stations in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar amid separatist calls for a poll boycott and a general strike. Only 24 percent of the eligible voters in the state and 11 percent of voters in Srinagar went to the polls, officials said.

THAILAND

2 tourists die of mystery illness

BANGKOK | Two young women - one from the United States and the other from Norway - died after suddenly falling ill within hours of each other at a guesthouse on a tourist resort island in southern Thailand.

Police said Thursday they did not know the cause of the deaths, though various theories have circulated, including food or alcohol poisoning and toxic fumes.

Both women, who stayed at the Laleena guesthouse but were not known to have been in contact with each other, suffered severe vomiting and stomach pains.

NEPAL

Riot police battle female protesters

KATMANDU | Riot police beat back hundreds of women from Nepal’s Maoist party who protested Thursday in front of the president’s house to demand that he fire the country’s army chief.

Nepal’s prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal - leader of the Maoist rebels who laid down arms three years ago - sparked a national crisis Monday when he resigned and pulled his party from the ruling coalition in protest over the army chief’s failure to integrate his fighters into the military.

About 500 protesters from the women’s wing of the Maoist party marched on President Ram Baran Yadav’s residence Thursday, chanting slogans while police used bamboo batons to beat back activists who tried to break through a cordon.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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