In brief: Bus with students falls off cliff; 12 die
TIRANA, Albania – A bus carrying university students on a pre-graduation trip toppled off a mountain cliff Monday in southern Albania, killing 12 people and injuring another 21, authorities said.
University officials said two buses had been taking 75 students and three professors from Aleksander Xhuvani University. One bus carrying 33 people fell 80 yards off the road near the town of Himare, 137 miles south of the capital, Tirana, police spokeswoman Klejda Plangarica said.
The cause of the crash was unclear.
The government declared a national day of mourning today and will also pay all funeral expenses.
New Zealand to pull out of Afghanistan
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand says it will withdraw its small contingent of troops from Afghanistan a year earlier than planned.
Prime Minister John Key told reporters today that the 145 New Zealand troops stationed in Bamiyan province will come home in late 2013 rather than 2014. New Zealand has stationed troops in the war-torn country since 2003, with five dying there during that time.
N. Korea releases Chinese fishermen
BEIJING – North Korea has released 29 captured Chinese fishermen and three fishing vessels, putting an end to a 13-day ordeal that raised questions about the stability of the Pyongyang regime.
The fishermen returned to the Chinese port of Dalian on Monday morning, the New China News Agency reported.
Chinese media suggested Beijing did not pay a ransom for the boats. The boats were stopped May 8 while fishing in what the Chinese boat owners claimed were Chinese waters, and were forced at gunpoint to sail toward North Korea.