Ties restored with North Korea
RANGOON — Burma and North Korea restored diplomatic ties yesterday, 24 years after Rangoon broke them off to protest Pyongyang agents blowing up a South Korean government delegation visiting Burma.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kyaw Thu announced the decision after meeting his North Korean counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il, in Rangoon.
More than 20 people, including four visiting South Korean ministers, were killed when North Korean agents said to have direct links to current leader Kim Jong-il blew up a major Rangoon landmark in 1983.
Gere faces arrest over public kiss
NEW DELHI — A court issued arrest warrants for Hollywood actor Richard Gere and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty yesterday, saying their kiss at a public function “transgressed all limits of vulgarity,” press reports said.
Judge Dinesh Gupta issued the warrants in the northwestern city of Jaipur after a local citizen filed a complaint charging that the public display of affection offended local sensibilities.
Mr. Gere left India shortly after the kissing incident, and it was not clear how the warrant would affect him. Under Indian law, a person convicted of public obscenity faces up to three months in prison, a fine or both.
Buddhist monks call for national religion
BANGKOK — Thousands of Buddhist monks demonstrated outside Parliament yesterday to demand that Thailand’s new constitution enshrine Buddhism as the official national religion.
The Constitution Drafting Committee, appointed by coup leaders in January, formally submitted their first draft yesterday to 12 public agencies, including the Cabinet, the interim Parliament and the Council for National Security — the government advisory board composed of leaders of the Sept. 19 coup.
Tiger broadcasts are shut down
COLOMBO — The U.S.-based Intelsat has shut down the radio and television broadcasts of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels, the Sri Lankan government said in a statement here yesterday.
Intelsat, the world’s largest commercial satellite communications provider, has told Colombo’s mission in Washington that the service of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was shut down over the weekend.
Police foil attack on tourist site
NEW DELHI — Three suspected Islamic militants armed with explosives were arrested near a popular New Delhi tourist site yesterday, police said.
The three, a Pakistani national and two Kashmiris, were arrested outside the Dilli Haat crafts market in the capital. The men were carrying a package of explosives, a detonator and a hand grenade, he said, adding that they were believed to be members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.
Energy blackout causes chaos
BOGOTA — Colombia was hit by an energy blackout yesterday that cut power to commercial and industrial centers across the country and darkened traffic signals, causing chaos on urban streets, officials said.
Authorities said the blackout was caused by a technical failure and discounted an attack by left-wing rebels who have bombed oil pipelines and electricity installations.
Form wire dispatches and staff reports