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49 believed dead after plane crashes in laos

Bangkok, Thailand

49 believed dead after plane crashes in laos

A plane from Laos' state-run airline crashed in bad weather in the Southeast Asian nation, apparently killing 49 people from 11 countries, the government said. The Lao government said it was dispatching rescuers to the scene of Wednesday's crash, but the Australian government said it was told no survivors were expected. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which operates Lao Airlines, said 44 passengers and five crew members were on Flight QV301 from the capital, Vientiane, to Pakse in the country's south.

Manila, Philippines

Death toll rises to 144 after quake

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook the Philippines rose to 144 on Wednesday, with nearly 300 people injured in the quake, which caused widespread damage and smashed one of the country's oldest churches, officials said. Eduardo del Rosario, civil defense director of the Philippines, said 291 people were injured in Tuesday's quake by the latest count.


Bias alleged in Navy sex case

One of two midshipman facing court-martial in the alleged sexual assault of a classmate asked a federal judge Wednesday to remove the U.S. Naval Academy's superintendent from the case, saying he is biased against the defendants. Joshua Tate, 21, of Nashville filed a motion in federal court in Baltimore asking U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander to take the case away from Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the academy's superintendent.


Virginia: Arlington National Cemetery is relaxing its policies to allow family members of those buried in its section for those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave behind small mementos and photos to honor those soldiers, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Section 60 is the part of the cemetery that is home to most of those killed in recent fighting.

Washington: The Senate has confirmed the daughter of slain President John F. Kennedy to be U.S. ambassador to Japan. Caroline Kennedy won the Senate's unanimous endorsement late Wednesday.

Russia: An appellate judge on Wednesday suspended a five-year sentence handed down over the summer to Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption crusader and blogger whose role as Russia's leading opposition politician was highlighted by an unexpectedly strong showing in Moscow's mayoral election last month.

London: Demand for emergency food aid has spiked this year in Britain, a leading charity said Wednesday, suggesting that low-income households' living standards are still sliding despite the end of the recession.

Denver: Eric and Ryan Jensen, two Colorado cantaloupe farmers, plan to plead guilty under a deal with federal prosecutors in connection with the 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people.

Times wires