Military troops were moving Thursday to secure Sri Lanka’s parliament building against a takeover by protesters infuriated by the country’s economic collapse and the embattled president’s failure to resign a...
AFP, Beijing :China began to implement the loosening of its controversial one-child policy on Friday when a province announced it has made it legal for couples to have two children if one parent is an only child.Legislators in Zhejiang in eastern China on Monday passed a revision to the local rules on Monday making the change, the provincial legislature said in a statement.China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed to AFP that Zhejiang was the first province in the...
BBC Online :President Barack Obama has ordered curbs on the use of bulk data collected by US intelligence agencies, saying civil liberties must be respected.Obama said such data had prevented...
Reuters, Cairo :At least four people were killed as clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and police flared up across Egypt on Friday, security sources said.The violence erupted a day before Egyptian authorities are expected to announce official results of this week’s referendum on a new constitution, part of an army-backed transition plan for the Arab world’s most populous nation.One man was killed by a gunshot to the neck in the city of Fayoum, south of Cairo, a local health ministry...
Al-Jajeera.com :The South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, has ordered “airtight security” against the North after a flurry of propaganda and mixed messages from Pyongyang in the past week. Park, who is at the end of a four-day state visit to India, told the country’s defence minister and other security-related ministers to improve border security, according to a report published on Saturday by the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency.A presidential official told media in New Delhi: “In India, Park ordered the [South...
BBC Online :Activists in Burma say eight Rohingya Muslims were killed by police in fresh violence in Rakhine state.Details about the incident, which is said to have taken place last week near the town of Maungdaw, vary widely.Reports say clashes erupted with police following the disappearance of a policeman at a Rohingya village.The government of Burma (also known as Myanmar) said it had no information, but local authorities denied any killings took place.Rakhine state officials told the BBC that 84...
BBC Online :A four-year-old US girl shot and killed her four-year-old cousin in what authorities have called a tragic and avoidable accident.The children were playing at their grandfather’s home in Detroit on Thursday afternoon when the girl found a loaded rifle under a bed.The boy was shot once in the chest and was pronounced dead in hospital.Police have said they are investigating whether to press charges. It was not immediately known who owned the gun.A family friend was the only...
AP, Washington :China and Japan are engaged in a war of words that is lighting up editorial pages around the world as Beijing takes aim at a recent visit by Japan’s leader to a controversial war shrine and Tokyo answers back.Japan’s ambassador to the US fired the latest salvo Friday, accusing China of a global propaganda campaign that portrays Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as glorifying Japan’s militaristic past. “It is not Japan that most of Asia and the international community...
Reuters, Seoul :South Korea on Friday rejected a call from the reclusive North to halt “provocative” military drills with the United States, saying that as a democracy it did not launch preemptive strikes.North Korea traditionally demands the South to call off the drills, scheduled for February and March this year, labeling them as a prelude to invasion, but this year it also suggested both sides take steps to ease tension, including a moratorium on mutual verbal attacks.“The Key Resolve and...
Reuters, Jerusalem :Israel has summoned envoys from four European states to protest their “one-sided” stand in favor of the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Friday, escalating a quarrel over Israeli settlements.On Thursday, Britain, France, Italy and Spain called in Israeli ambassadors to hear protests against Israel’s latest announcement of settlement-building on land the Palestinians want for a future state.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the European criticism “hypocritical”, and in a tit-for-tat move, Lieberman said envoys from the...
BBC Online :Syria’s foreign minister has said Damascus is ready to offer a prisoner exchange with rebels.Speaking in Moscow, Walid Muallem also said he had presented a ceasefire plan for the second city Aleppo to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.The moves came as the opposition Syrian National Coalition prepares to meet in Istanbul to decide whether to go to next week’s peace conference.The coalition is under Western pressure to participate in the Geneva II talks.However, many of its members have...
Reuters, Cairo :Egypt’s new constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum, state media reported on Thursday, an expected victory that nudges army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ever closer to a bid for the presidency.The vote advances a transition plan the army unveiled after deposing Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last July. The next step is expected to be a presidential election for which Sisi, 59, appears the only serious candidate.Some 90 percent of the people who voted approved the constitution,...