Islamabad, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — A provincial government in Pakistan has released former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son in-law on parole after Sharif's wife died at a hospital in London.
Mushahidullah Khan, a spokesman for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party, said Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar were temporarily released from a prison in Rawalpindi early Wednesday and flown to the eastern city of Lahore.
Kulsoom Nawaz was suffering from throat cancer. She died early Tuesday in London at the age of 68. Her funeral is likely to be held in Lahore on Friday.
Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law are serving 10, 7 and one-year sentences respectively in a corruption case. The Supreme Court last year disqualified Sharif from holding office and later an anti-graft tribunal convicted him and his relatives.
La Trinidad, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Philippine police say at least 14 people have died when the brakes of an overloaded passenger van failed while cruising a winding road, sending it down a ravine in a northern mountain province.
Police Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana says 24 other passengers, including the driver, were injured Tuesday afternoon in Balbalan town in Kalinga province. Some of the dead were poor elderly villagers returning home after collecting government cash dole-outs from a bank.
Police say 13 passengers were pinned to death while one other died on the way to a hospital after being retrieved from the 80-meter (262-foot) deep ravine.
Road accidents in the region have been blamed on weak enforcement of traffic rules, poorly maintained public transport and long-neglected upland roads.
Dhaka, Sept 12 (UNB) - India's Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal to stop forest rangers from killing a "man eating" tigress in the western state of Maharashtra.
The court said it would not interfere if forest rangers are forced to shoot the tiger if they fail to capture it, reports BBC.
Officials say the tiger has killed five people but activists have questioned whether the animal was responsible.
Due to rapid deforestation, tigers often come into conflict with villagers who live close to their reserves.
India's tiger population - which had been on the decline for several years - has steadily increased since 2006 when the country upped its conservation efforts.
Forest official Pradip Rahurkar said Marathi that officials would first try to tranquilise and capture the tigress, known as T1.
"If this is unsuccessful, the animal will have to be shot in order to avoid further loss of human life," he added.
The animal was last seen in Yavatmal district.
Officials said they will also try to tranquilise the tigress's two cubs and a male tiger called T2, which has been spotted roaming the same territory. It has not been blamed for any deaths.
But the two petitioners who took the case to court alleged that the forest department does not have the "requisite expertise" to capture the animal alive and will end up shooting it.
"We are doing everything we can to save T1 and her family because they are innocent and vital to our ecosystem," Ajay Dubey, one of the petitioners and a wildlife conservationist, told the BBC before the court dismissed the appeal.
India is home to 60% of the world's tigers. In 2014, a national census showed that the tiger population had risen from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226, resulting in a 30% increase. This was attributed to activists, government initiatives to streamline conservation and awareness drives in villages.
In 2017, a court in Maharashtra upheld an order to kill a tiger blamed for killing four people despite activists insisting the animal should be tranquilised and moved to another location.
Most attacks on people are chance encounters gone wrong, and the victims are rarely dragged away as prey.
But a series of attacks on people in quick succession is considered a tell-tale sign of a so-called man-eater at work.
Hyderabad, Sept 11 (AP/UNB) — A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India has plunged off a road, killing at least 45 people, officials say. At least 27 other people were injured.
The driver lost control as he tried to avoid another bus on the crowded road leading from the popular Anjaneya Swamy temple in Telangana state, said Narendar, a local official who uses only one name.
Passersby rushed to help, carrying the dead and injured up the hill.
A probe has been ordered into the cause of the accident, he said.
Beijing, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — China is eliminating a trio of agencies responsible for enforcing family planning policies in a further sign the government may be planning to scrap long-standing limits on the number of children its citizens can have.
The move was part of a reorganization of the National Health Commission announced Monday that creates a new single department called the Division of Population Monitoring and Family Development responsible for "establishing and perfecting a specialized system for supporting families."
Expectations of an end to birth limits were also raised by the appearance of a postage stamp last month featuring smiling mother and father pigs with three piglets.
Alarmed by the rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce, China abandoned its notorious one-child policy two years ago to allow two children, producing a nearly 8 percent increase in births in 2016, with nearly half of the babies born to couples who already had a child.
However, that appeared to have been a one-time increase, with 17.2 million births in the country last year, down from 17.9 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population aged 60 or older increased last year to 17.3 percent.
China currently has the world's largest population at 1.4 billion, which is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2029.
While authorities credit the one-child policy with preventing 400 million extra births, many demographers argue that the fertility rate would have fallen anyway as China's economy developed and education levels rose.
Over its 36 years of existence, the policy vastly inflated the ratio of boys to girls as female fetuses were selectively aborted in line with a preference for male offspring. China is predicted to have around 30 million more men than women by the end of the decade.