World Briefs

Miss China crowned Miss World 2012

ORDOS, China –China’s Yu Wenxia has been crowned the 2012 Miss World.

The 23-year-old Yu is a music student who says she wants to become a music teacher.

The first runner-up was Sophie Elizabeth Moulds of Wales and the second runner-up was Jessica Michelle Kahawaty of Australia.

Syria welcomes Algerian as successor to Annan

BEIRUT – The Syrian government on Saturday welcomed the naming of a former Algerian diplomat as the U.N.’s new point-man in efforts to halt the country’s escalating civil war. Activists reported more shelling by regime troops, including an air attack on a northern border town where scores died last week.

In a statement, the office of Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa not only supported Lakhdar Brahimi, it also denied reports circulating in Arab media that al-Sharaa had defected to the opposition.

U.S. drone kills 5 militants in northern Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – A missile launched from a U.S. drone struck a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region in northern Pakistan where allies of a powerful warlord were gathered Saturday, killing five of his supporters, Pakistani officials said.

The strike in North Waziristan against allies of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander whose forces frequently target U.S. and other NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, comes amid speculation about whether Pakistan will launch an operation against militants in the tribal region.

The U.S. has pushed Pakistan repeatedly to take such a step, and last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Pakistan was preparing an operation targeting the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.

Associated Press

Brahimi Enlarge photo