Asia news in brief, September 1, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 September, 2012, 3:55am

Earthquake sparks false tsunami scare

MANILA - A 7.6-magnitude quake struck off the eastern coast of the Philippines late yesterday. It killed at least one person in a house collapse, cut the power in several towns and generated negligible tsunami surges. A tsunami alert was initially issued in several countries, including Indonesia, Japan and Pacific islands as far away as the Northern Marianas. All were later lifted. Early warnings of a possible tsunami led many residents in coastal Philippines to head to high ground. AP

Criminal probe launched against UBS

ZURICH - Switzerland's attorney general opened a criminal probe of UBS after a complaint filed by Bruno Manser Fund. The rain-forest advocacy group alleged a Malaysian politician used UBS accounts to launder money. The investigation was opened on August 29, said Jeannette Balmer, a spokeswoman for the attorney general. The case concerns timber corruption proceeds from the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo, Bruno Manser Fund said. Bloomberg

Wave of attacks hits Thai Muslim south

BANGKOK - Militants in Thailand's Muslim-majority south carried out a wave of co-ordinated attacks, wounding several soldiers and hoisting the Malaysian flag. August 31 marks Malaysia's independence from British rule and commemorates the founding of Bersatu - the umbrella organisation for militants in Thailand's southernmost provinces believed to want greater autonomy. Three military rangers and two marines were wounded in bomb blasts. More than 100 "symbolic attacks" took place in across the southern provinces of Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. AFP

ANA co-pilot failed to notice nosedive error

TOKYO - A co-pilot who sent a Japanese passenger jet into a nosedive when he mistook a rudder control for a door lock did not notice anything was wrong for 17 seconds. The All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight, with 117 passengers and crew on board, dived 1,900 metres in 30 seconds from a height of about 12,500 metres. The flight, bound for Tokyo from Okinawa, almost turned upside down during the incident, but because it was dark outside, many of those on board did not realise it, a government report said. Images from the flight recorder on the Boeing 737-700 showed the plane dropped sharply and tipped more than 130 degrees to the left at one point. AFP