- - Monday, January 10, 2011

INDIA

Chinese troops ‘threaten’ Indians

NEW DELHI | India on Monday said Chinese troops had threatened Indian workers in an area of the Himalayas claimed by both countries, in the latest sign of long-standing cross-border friction.

Indian army chief Gen. V.K. Singh told reporters that the workers were illegally building a shelter at Demchok in the Ladakh region of Indian Kashmir when the Chinese military patrol threatened them in September or October.

The borders between India and China have been the subject of 14 rounds of fruitless talks since 1962, when the two nations fought a brief but a brutal war over the issue.

AUSTRALIA

Flooding death toll rises to eight

BRISBANE | Flash floods swept through an Australian city, killing at least eight people, including two children, and leaving 11 others missing, an official said Tuesday.

The raging torrent of muddy water tossed cars like toys, carried away furniture as it washed through stores, prompting scores of emergency calls on Monday as it swamped Toowoomba, a city of about 90,000 in Queensland state.

SPAIN

Basque militants call for permanent cease-fire

MADRID | The militant Basque separatist group ETA declared a permanent cease-fire on Monday in what it called a firm step toward ending its bloody decades-long independence fight, but Spain’s government quickly dismissed the announcement and demanded that ETA disband outright.

Masked ETA members announced the cease-fire in a video distributed to Spanish media, and ETA’s statement also appeared on the website of the pro-independence Basque newspaper Gara, which often serves as an ETA mouthpiece.

But the statement made no mention of ETA dissolving or giving up its weapons — key demands from successive Spanish governments. And a previous cease-fire that ETA declared in 2006 and called permanent ended after only nine months.

TUNISIA

Schools shut down amid unrest

TUNIS | Tunisia on Monday temporarily shut down all of its high schools and universities as it tried to stop deadly riots over joblessness and poor prospects for youths. At least 14 people were killed in unrest over the weekend.

Tunisia’s president went on national television and announced a plan to create 300,000 jobs over two years in the North African nation. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali also blamed rioters for what he called “terrorist acts.”

Demonstrators have attacked public buildings and set cars on fire during more than three weeks of unrest, while police have opened fire on rioters several times. Washington has expressed concerns over Tunisia’s handling of the situation, and the U.S. ambassador was summoned Monday to the Foreign Ministry.

FRANCE

Interpol after 47 Saudis for reputed al Qaeda ties

PARIS | Interpol says it has placed 47 Saudis with reputed links to the al Qaeda terrorist network on its most-wanted list.

The publication by the international police body Monday means all 188 member countries have received details about the suspects so that national police forces can help track them down.

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia asked Interpol for its help in tracking the suspects — all Saudi nationals — beyond its borders. Saudi officials say they are thought to be planning attacks in the kingdom.

From wire dispatches and staff reports