Australia plans to nearly double its military deployment to Afghanistan by sending 400 additional soldiers, Prime Minister John Howard said today. The Australian Defense Force will add the 400 troops to its contingent of 550 currently in Afghanistan by mid-2007. It will add another 50 by the middle of 2008, bringing the deployment to about 1,000, Howard told reporters.
Shops along the Solomon Islands’ battered coastline reopened Monday as aid began trickling to the region’s outer atolls, a week after an offshore earthquake sent a tsunami slamming into the coast. A magnitude-8.1 quake rumbled the Solomons’ western province on April 2, killing at least 35 people and leaving 7,000 homeless. The disaster destroyed several coastal villages and sent thousands of people scrambling to the hills.
A crowd of thousands waiting to buy purportedly magical amulets erupted into a stampede that killed one woman and injured dozens Monday, police said. More than 10,000 people had camped overnight by a school in Nakhon Si Thammarat province to buy the amulets, which in the past few months have gained a huge following for what are believed to be their magical qualities. The victim was trampled when the crowd rushed the school gates Monday morning.
From Herald news services