World briefs (8/17/13)

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China, Japan tensions rise

BEIJING -- China performed live-fire military exercises in the East China Sea as part of drills the army said were routine, as tensions simmered with Japan over islands in the area claimed by both countries.

The military is conducting 10 days of exercises off the coast of Liaoning province. Four Chinese ships entered Japanese waters around the islands, Japan's coast guard said.

The exercises risk further inflaming strains between the two countries a day after China filed a diplomatic protest Friday over three Japanese cabinet ministers' visit to a Tokyo shrine seen as a symbol of Japan's past military aggression.

Ties with China have deteriorated since Japan bought three of five of the islands. China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, left port Friday to take part in the training, the state-run Global Times newspaper reported.

4 bodies from sunken sub

NEW DELHI -- Naval divers recovered four badly burned bodies Friday from the Indian submarine that exploded and sank in Mumbai Wednesday with 18 crew members aboard, and naval officials said it was highly unlikely that any survivors would be found.

The cause of the explosions on the 16-year-old Sindhurakshak remains a mystery.

Pistorius faces indictment

JOHANNESBURG -- Oscar Pistorius will be indicted for premeditated murder on Monday and the double-amputee Olympian will go on trial in early 2014, about a year after shooting to death his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

In a somber twist, the world-famous athlete will be served with the murder indictment on the day Ms. Steenkamp would have celebrated her 30th birthday. Mr. Pistorius will be formally charged for the Valentine's Day slaying of the woman he says he loved dearly and killed by mistake, and will face a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

King's burial causes row

LONDON -- A court battle over plans to rebury the remains of ancient English King Richard III in the city of Leicester has been won -- for the moment -- by a group including distant relatives who want him buried in York instead.

Richard's skeleton was unearthed in a municipal car park in Leicester last year by Leicester University archaeologists. Backed by the Ministry of Justice, they decided the monarch -- who was killed in battle nearby in 1485 -- should be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral.

But objectors, who include some of Richard's descendants, argued at the High Court in London that because the king had strong links to York, 110 miles away, he should be buried at its cathedral, which is called York Minster.

Quake hits New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck central New Zealand on Friday, shaking the capital city and sending the nation's currency down almost half a U.S. cent.

The country's stock exchange was temporarily closed and buildings including Statistics New Zealand were evacuated as aftershocks of up to magnitude 6.3 continued to rattle office blocks in the central city. Police said there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The quake, which hit at 2:31 p.m. local time, was centered at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island about 45 miles south of Wellington at a depth of about 5miles, according to GNS Science's Geonet website.

-- Compiled from news services

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