Australia gets first female governor Lawyer, academic, women's activist and grandmother Quentin Bryce was sworn in as Australia's governor general Friday, the first woman to act as the British queen's representative Down Under. Bryce, 65, is the only woman to take on the vice-regal position, which includes becoming the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, in its 107-year-history.
CANBERRA - Agence France-Presse
Angry Argentine commuters torch train
Furious commuters in Argentina set fire to a train on Thursday over delays during the morning rush hour, incidents the government later blamed on leftist activists. Television images showed black smoke and flames engulfing the train at the station of Merlo, in the western suburbs of the capital, Buenos Aires. At nearby Castelar, passengers hurled stones at the ticket office and blocked the rails.
BUENOS AIRES - Reuters
Top Kashmir separatists under house arrest
The three top separatist leaders in Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir were put under house arrest Friday ahead of planned protests against Indian-rule during weekly prayers, police said. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik were locked in their homes with "strict instructions by police not to try to move out," a police official told AFP on condition that he not be named.
SRINGAR - Agence France-Presse
China, Singapore conclude talks on pact
China and Singapore wrapped up negotiations on a free-trade accord, with the formal agreement due to be signed in October, the two governments said. The final round of talks, led by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, finished Thursday in the Tianjin, two trade ministries said on their website.
SHANGHAI - The Associated Press
Fiji ruler defies election pressure
Vowing not to repeat "mistakes" of the past, Fiji's military ruler said Friday that his South Pacific nation will not bow to international pressure and hold democratic elections just to appease its critics. Commodore Frank Bainimarama last month postponed polls pledged for next March 2009, saying the timetable was not realistic because electoral reforms he wants to make could not be completed in time.
SUVA – The Associated Press
Dozens perish in Mozambique fires
Fire killed at least 32 people and injured hundreds more in blazes. which devoured large swathes of arable land in Mozambique, state media said Friday. The fires, which also displaced thousands, ravaged around 16,000 hectares (40,000 acres) on Monday and Tuesday in the three central provinces of Manica, Sofala and Zambezia, the daily Noticias said.MAPUTO - Agence France-Presse