Briefs, March 11, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 3:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 5:21am

Australia backs release of Bali drug trafficker

SYDNEY – Australia said it had offered Indonesia a formal guarantee that drug trafficker Schapelle Corby would comply with parole, in a letter supporting her release from prison. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Australia had written to the governor of Kerobokan jail, where Corby has been imprisoned on marijuana smuggling offences since 2005. Carr said Corby would be required to report regularly to Australian consular officials on the holiday island of Bali. AFP


Pilgrims held over drug ruckus at Nepal temple

KATHMANDU – Nepalese police said they arrested more than 60 pilgrims for smoking cannabis and disturbing the peace at a major religious festival. Cannabis is illegal in Nepal, but under an ancient legal loophole authorities allow holy men to smoke it during an annual celebration in honour of Hindu god Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims travel to a  temple complex in Kathmandu every year to mark the occasion. AFP


S Korea mountain fires kill two women, hurt 17

SEOUL – Two women were killed and 17 others injured in mountain fires that destroyed dozens of houses in South Korea. The blaze, which started in a remote part of the southeastern coastal city of Pohang, destroyed 58 houses and left 120 people homeless. Police are investigating claims that a 12-year-old boy had set fire to a pile of dry leaves. AFP