Ten suspected militants die in U.S. drone missile strikes

American drones fired a flurry of missiles in a Pakistani tribal area Sunday, killing a total of 10 suspected militants, Pakistani officials said.

In the first strike, missiles fired from unmanned American spy planes hit two vehicles near the Afghan border, killing at least seven militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The strike came in the Mana area of North Waziristan, the officials added.

In the second strike, two missiles destroyed a home also in the Mana area, killing three militants, the officials said.


Japanese nationalists raise flags on disputed island

Japan’s territorial disputes with its neighbors flared anew Sunday as a group of nationalist activists swam ashore and raised flags on an island also claimed by China.

Chinese took to the streets in protest, overturning Japanese-branded cars and smashing windows at some Japanese-owned businesses. Beijing lodged a formal complaint, urging Tokyo to prevent friction from escalating further.

Ten Japanese made an unauthorized landing on Uotsuri, the largest in a small archipelago known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands and in China as the Diaoyu Islands. The uninhabited islands surrounded by rich fishing grounds are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan.

Of the 10 who visited the island, five were conservative local assembly members.

MARIKANA, South Africa

Platinum miners ordered back to work on Monday

Miners must return to work Monday or face being fired from the platinum mine where rivalry between unions exploded into violence that led to the deaths of 44 people in a week, Lonmin PLC said Sunday.

Thirty-four strikers were gunned down by police in one of the worst displays of state violence since apartheid ended in 1994.

President Jacob Zuma declared a week of national mourning starting Monday to commemorate all South Africans who have died violently, especially the 44 at Marikana mine.

Some 3,000 rock-drill operators, called RDOs, have been leading an illegal strike among the mine’s 25,000-strong labor force plus 10,000 contractors. Intimidation and threats of violence kept many more away.

“Nobody will be asked to report for duty if the police consider them in danger of reprisals,” CFO Simon Scott said in a statement.

Lonmin had ordered miners to return to work by Friday, then, after the shootings, changed the deadline to Monday, spokeswoman Sue Vey said.

The company has not responded to strikers’ demands for the monthly minimum wage to be increased from $688 to $1,560.

HEFEI, China

Death sentence suspended in businessman’s murder

The wife of a disgraced Chinese politician was given a suspended death sentence Monday after confessing to killing a British businessman by poisoning him with cyanide in a case that rocked the country’s top political leadership.

A suspended sentence is usually commuted to life in prison after several years.

Gu Kailai was sentenced for her involvement in the murder of Neil Heywood, a former family associate, said He Zhengsheng, a lawyer for the Heywood family who attended the sentencing in this eastern China city.

The sentencing closes one chapter of China’s biggest political crisis in two decades, but also leaves open questions over the fate of Gu’s husband, Bo Xilai, who was dismissed in March as the Communist Party boss of the major city of Chongqing.

The lawyer He said he did not know if the Heywood family would lodge an appeal.

State media say Gu confessed to intentional homicide at a one-day trial held here Aug. 9 under heavy guard.


Flight attendants approve new contract with airline

Flight attendants at American Airlines voted to approve a new contract offer from the airline, which is seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection.

The results released Sunday showed attendants voted to accept the contract by 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

By voting for the airlines’ proposal, which includes many concessions, the flight attendants stave off the chance that American would impose even deeper cuts in bankruptcy court.

The union’s leadership pushed hard in the final days for ratification. It warned that 2,000 flight attendants could be forced to take unpaid leave, or furloughs, if the offer had been rejected.

The vote “is an important step forward in our restructuring,” said Bruce Hicks, a spokesman for American Airlines.

The flight attendants now join mechanics and other union workers at the company who have already accepted new contracts. The airline’s pilots rejected the company’s last offer.

— From news service reports