Dubai’s Burg Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is seen under construction in this January 20, 2008, file photo. Dubai has announced plans to send a spacecraft to Mars by 2021.

Dubai’s Burg Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is seen under construction in this January 20, 2008, file photo. Dubai has announced plans to send a spacecraft to Mars by 2021.


Philippine soldiers clash with militants

MANILA — Philippine troops attacked a Muslim militant hideout on southern Basilan island, triggering a clash that killed three Abu Sayyaf members believed to have been involved in the 2011 kidnapping of an American woman and her teenage son, a military report said Friday. Two government militiamen were killed and two others were wounded. The report said the operation Thursday in Ungkaya Pukan township targeted Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Sulaiman Ajanti, who was allegedly behind atrocities in Basilan and Zamboanga City including the kidnapping of Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann and her then 14-year-old son. The Philippine-born woman adopted as a child by an American couple was released after 2 ½ months in captivity. Her son escaped after five months. Ajanti and two of his followers were killed in the clash and five militants were wounded, the report said.



Four die in Pakistan attacks

ISLAMABAD — A bomb killed at least two Pakistani soldiers in the country’s northwestern tribal district where the army is carrying out a major offensive against Taliban militants, officials said. The incident occurred on Thursday evening near the border with Afghanistan just northwest of Miranshah — the main town of North Waziristan tribal region — a statement from the military said. “Two soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) Thursday evening in an improvised explosive device blast in the Ghulam Khan area,” the statement said, issued late Thursday. Elsewhere, two gunmen riding a motorbike on Friday opened fire on two police men on security duty on the outskirts of southwestern city of Quetta killing both of them, police said.



‘Mass grave’ uncovered in Ukraine

SLAVYANSK, Ukraine — Local authorities say they have uncovered the first mass grave in the former separatist bastion of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, containing the bodies of at least four civilians they say were executed by pro-Russian rebels. “We know there are others in the town but we don’t know where. This is the first one we’re excavating,” said Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser who presided at a brief ceremony Thursday for townspeople. “In this mass grave are the bodies of four Protestant parishioners, innocents who were tortured and killed by the rebels,” he said. Local officials, police and forensic experts oversaw the exhumation and Gerashchenko said that the grave could also contain the remains of some 20 rebel fighters.



India summons Pakistan envoy

NEW DELHI — India summoned a top Pakistani diplomat on Friday, two days after announcing resumption of foreign-secretary-level talks, to voice unhappiness over repeated delays in the trial of seven men accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. “We asked them to ensure a mechanism whereby Indian diplomats in their country get regular briefings about the Mumbai terror trial and related investigations,” a foreign ministry official said. The trial, which began in 2012 and is being conducted by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court, was adjourned for the seventh time on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India. “Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi was summoned to the foreign ministry,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.



McDonald’s Japan switches to Thai chicken

HONG KONG — McDonald’s Corp has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after it said it imported products from Shanghai Husi Food, the US-owned Chinese company at the center of a food safety scare in China. mIn Japan, McDonald’s Holdings Co (Japan) said on Friday it would halt all imports of chicken products from China and shift that business to Thailand, boosting purchases from existing suppliers McKey Foods Services (Thailand) Ltd, a unit of Keystone Foods, and Cargill Thailand. Last year, Thailand supplied 62 percent of McDonald’s Japan’s chicken product imports, with China supplying the remainder. The food scandal broke after a TV report on Sunday showed staff at Shanghai Husi Food using long expired meat and picking up food from the floor to add back to the mix.


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