World News in brief
MANAMA - Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police in Bahrain's capital, Manama, ahead of the Formula-one Grand Prix today. Masked youths hurled petrol bombs at police, who had stopped them marching to Pearl Square ù a gathering point during an uprising last year. Witnesses say police then returned fire, launching stun grenades and tear gas at the protesters, who are angry at the decision by authorities to go ahead with hosting the event.
AUCKLAND - US business groups have warned New Zealand that the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco could backfire on New Zealand exports. The New Zealand cabinet has agreed in principle to introduce plain packaging for all tobacco products, following a similar move in Australia where the government is involved in a legal battle. British American Tobacco and Philip Morris say the proposal violates international laws and treaties.
SYDNEY - A 14-year old indigenous driver and an 18-year old passenger were shot by police after driving a car onto a crowded footpath in Sydney's red light district to escape pursuing officers who had recognised the vehicle and its young male occupants. The shooting happened just after 4am yesterday on Darlinghurst Rd at Potts Point, near the intersection with Bayswater Rd.
JAKARTA - A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's Sumatra island on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake struck at 5.14 am at a depth of about 34 kilometres, 427 km southwest of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra. There were no immediate reports of damage. Aceh province was shaken earlier this month by two huge earthquakes, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert.
Crash kills 43
VERACRUZ, Mexico - A truck trailer came loose and hit a passenger bus early yesterday, killing at least 43 people in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, state government spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said. The victims were farmworkers travelling from Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz to the border state of Coahuila, Dominguez said. The accident occurred on a winding stretch of highway near the town of Alamo in the northern part of the state.
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaican MPs are seeking to revive a slavery reparations commission that could lead to requests for compensation from Britain or repatriation of some Jamaicans to Africa. The government said in a statement yesterday that Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna has asked the cabinet to create a new commission.