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In Brief

In Brief

Tokyo snow strands 10,000 at airport

TOKYO, Japan

A rare snowfall in Tokyo left nearly 10,000 passengers stranded overnight at Narita airport after about 50 international flights were cancelled, the airport authority said yesterday.

The season's first snowfall in the greater Tokyo region measured nine centimeters in the center of the capital on Saturday, the heaviest accumulation in eight years, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

At Narita airport, some 60 kilometers from downtown Tokyo, 51 international flights were cancelled as airport workers were unable to remove snow from runways quickly enough.

More than 90 other flights were delayed for a night, leaving passengers stuck in the terminal, an airport public relations official said.

Pakistan lifts film ban


Films from India's prolific Bollywood movie industry - officially banned for decades in Pakistan but still watched by millions there - have become legal, a news report said yesterday.

Pakistan outlawed public screenings of Indian films in 1965, the year the nuclear-armed neighbor countries fought the second of their three wars.

But now, both countries are working hard on a sweeping peace process.

The Times of India newspaper quoted Saeed Rizvi, president of the Pakistan Film Producers Association, as saying the Indian film ban has been lifted.

"The censor board on Friday deleted the words 'Indian artiste' and 'Indian director' from the guidelines, which had earlier prevented release of films of Indian actors and directors in Pakistan," he was quoted as saying.

U.S. sailor arrested

TOKYO, Japan

A U.S. sailor was arrested on suspicion of robbing a woman in southwest Japan, police said yesterday, only weeks after another sailor was arrested on charges of fatally beating and robbing a woman near Tokyo.

The 23-year-old crew member of the USS Essex, based at the U.S. naval base in Sasebo, is suspected of snatching a bag from a woman in Sasebo city at about 11:20 p.m. (local time) Saturday, according to a local policeman who gave only his last name, Sasaki.

Police arrested him shortly after midnight yesterday elsewhere in the city, based on a physical description from the victim, Sasaki said. The suspect admitted to the robbery, saying he later threw the bag away, Sasaki said.

New border bridge

BANGKOK, Thailand

Thailand and Myanmar yesterday opened a new "friendship bridge" across the Sai River that divides the two neighbors, which Thailand hopes will boost trade with its neighbor and with nearby China.

Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkol and his Myanmar counterpart Nyan Win presided over the opening ceremony at the bridge, linking Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai with the town of Tachilek in Myanmar.

"We expect closer relationships with Myanmar not only in trade but also in transportation and tourism," Thai foreign ministry spokesman Apichart Phetcharatana told AFP.

The new 90-meter, two-lane bridge also gives Thailand an improved road link to China. The Chinese-Myanmar border is only about 100 kilometers from the bridge.