Seoul willing to help Laos draw-up maps
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
Laos, one of the world's poorest countries, says its maps are inadequate and wants South Korean help drawing up new ones.
"They said they don't have a nationwide map yet," Suh Jeong-in, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official in charge of relations with Southeast Asia, said yesterday. "We're going to review the request positively with related agencies."
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon received the request during a meeting yesterday with Laotian Foreign Minister Somsavat Lengsavad on the sidelines of a regional summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Modern maps generally use satellite images to ensure greater accuracy.
Laos also asked South Korea to provide new computers for its Foreign Ministry and to build a network between them.
Time capsule found
Using radar equipment along a wall of a landmark Honolulu building, military specialists Saturday quickly located a time capsule buried more than a century ago by King Kamehameha V.
"It never happens like this. We found it within the first 10 minutes we were here. And that's very surprising," said Larry Conyers, a professor in the anthropology department of the University of Denver, who used ground penetrating radar to find the hollow spot in the northeast corner of the Aliiolani Hale building.
"Usually you don't find things until right when you're ready to go home," he said.
Historians knew the time capsule containing photos of royal families dating back to Kamehameha the Great, Hawaiian postage stamps and a constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom was put in place on February 19, 1872. But until now the capsule's exact location was unknown.
Damaged on runway
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's special luxury aircraft was damaged shortly before a scheduled take-off for a regional summit in Malaysia yesterday, officials said.
The front door of the Airbus A-319 was accidentally struck by a boarding bridge and could not be opened, said an Air Force ground service official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A grim-faced Thaksin refused to speak to reporters as he later boarded a commercial flight of the national carrier.
The A-319, dubbed Thailand's Air Force One after the U.S. presidential aircraft, includes a special cabin for the prime minister, others for accompanying VIPs and a meeting room. It has been widely criticized as an unnecessary luxury since it began flying last year.
Blast kills two in mine
At least two people were killed and six feared trapped after an explosion and cave-in at a coal mine in the central Philippines, officials said yesterday.
Toxic fumes were keeping rescuers away a day after two bodies were pulled out after the accident at the coal mine in Dalaguete town on the central Philippine island of Cebu, Ronald Allan Cesante, the town mayor, told Reuters.
He said a loud explosion was heard before one of seven tunnels, operated by Ibalon Resources and Development Corp., collapsed.
"We are still investigating the cause of the blast," Cesante said. "We temporarily shut down the operations to give way to the retrieval operations."