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China’s “rice bowl” system to be revamped
Beijing: The last bastion of China’s famous “iron rice bowl” system of lifetime employment — the civil service — has been breached. State media announced that the first batch of six government workers hired under ...

Act of aggression, says Pakistan
11 soldiers killed in U.S. air raid on Afghan border

Gyanendra to stay in Nepal
In a written statement, he indicates that he might join national politics

Brown survives close vote on terror Bill
LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday survived a close vote on his government’s hugely controversial Bill that seeks to raise the number of days for which alleged terror suspects can be held without charge from 28 days ...

Iran firm on nuclear plan
DUBAI: Iran has rejected fresh demands by the U.S. and E.U. to rein in its nuclear programme. “With God’s help, today [the Iranian nation], has gained victory and the enemies cannot do a thing,” said Iranian President Mahmoud ...

Hasina released on parole
DHAKA: The former Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, was freed from detention by the caretaker government on Wednesday. She would be on parole for eight weeks. After 11 months in jail after being arrested on corruption charges, ...

Taiwan hopeful of fruitful talks
BEIJING: A delegation headed by Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kun reached Beijing on Wednesday for talks with the Chinese Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS). It will be the ...

LTTE attacks Navy outpost
COLOMBO: At least three sailors were killed and several others injured as the Navy and LTTE fought an intense battle in Mannar on Wednesday. The Navy said its outpost at Erukkalampiddi, Mannar Island, came under a predawn attack by the ...

Rajapaksa faces Tamil protest
LONDON: Sri Lankas President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is here to attend a meeting of Commonwealth leaders, faced protests by pro-LTTE elements of British Tamils on Tuesday. They held a noisy demonstration outside the Commonwealth ...

Chaudhary for justice at people’s doorsteps
Lawyers to hold march for reinstatement of sacked judges

7 per cent rise in Pakistan defence outlay
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday announced a defence outlay of Rs. 296 billion in its budget for 2008-09, an increase of seven per cent over last year. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said last week that his government would ...

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