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Former Hu aide latest target of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign

The top aide to former Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) has been placed under investigation for unspecified disciplinary violations, Xinhua news agency said yesterday, in a sign that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is removing his predecessor’s influences while consolidating his power. The evening announcement cameFULL STORY

Judge rejects mental health court plea

A judge yesterday rejected a plea by lawyers for an Australian woman charged with killing eight children to have the next hearing held in a mental health court. Mersane Warria, charged under her full name of Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, is facing eight counts of murderFULL STORY

Lawyers ask for leniency in HK corruption trial

Lawyers for Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok (郭炳江) and the government’s former chief secretary for administration Rafael Hui (許仕仁) pressed for leniency yesterday, as their clients faced seven years in prison after being convicted of corruption. Kwok, 63, and Hui, 66, were found guilty onFULL STORY

Father, two young sons survive for 10 days in the outback

A five-year-old boy and his seven-year-old brother were recovering yesterday in an Australian hospital after surviving with their father for 10 days in the wilderness with little food and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching. Their ordeal began on Dec. 11 when dadFULL STORY

Sony hack puts Abe in bind over talks

US accusations that North Korea was behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures could force Japan to choose between backing its ally Washington and keeping talks on track with Pyongyang about Japanese citizens abducted decades ago. Washington is weighing how to punish North Korea after the FBIFULL STORY

Sony mulls YouTube release of ‘The Interview’

Sony Pictures still wants and intends to release its controversial film The Interview, possibly via YouTube. As US President Barack Obama again expressed disappointment in the company’s decision to withdraw the movie in the face of threats thought to originate from North Korea, Michael Lynton, theFULL STORY

Pakistan makes school massacre arrests

Authorities made several arrests on Sunday in the case of the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said. “Quite a few suspects who were facilitators in one way or the other have been taken into custody,” Pakistani Interior MinisterFULL STORY

Tsunami survivors using funky footwear to do good

When British brothers Rob and Paul Forkan survived the Indian Ocean tsunami 10 years ago that killed both their parents, they knew they had to use their lives to help other children in need. On Dec. 26, 2004, the then-teenagers awoke in a beachside hotel roomFULL STORY

China promises to provide care for HIV-positive boy

The Chinese Ministry of Health has promised to provide medical care and a living allowance for an eight-year-old HIV-positive boy targeted by villagers for expulsion, state media reported yesterday, in a case that has drawn widespread condemnation. About 200 residents — including the child’s own grandfatherFULL STORY

Car driver in Dijon targets pedestrians

A driver shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great,” in Arabic) on Sunday plowed into pedestrians in eastern France, injuring 13, just a day after a man shouting the same words was killed in an attack on police officers. Two of the people injured in the carFULL STORY

NYC shooter told bystanders to watch, police say

New York reeled on Sunday after the murder of two uniformed cops by a man who investigators say told bystanders to “watch what I’m going to do” just before the killings. Candles, flowers and a US flag were placed at a makeshift memorial at the sceneFULL STORY

‘Terrorists’ confront victims in Iraqi reality TV

Haider Ali Motar was convicted of terrorism charges about a month ago for helping to carry out a string of Baghdad car bombings on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group. Now, the 21-year-old is a reluctant cast member in a popular reality TV show. InFULL STORY

Captive orangutan has right to be free: Argentine court

An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a “non-human person” unlawfully deprived of her freedom, local media outlets reported on Sunday. Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition — aFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

UNITED KINGDOM Elton John, Furnish wed Pop legend Elton John on Sunday married David Furnish, exactly nine years since their civil partnership, with celebrities, including David and Victoria Beckham and actor Hugh Grant, attending the ceremony. The 67-year-old singer posted live updates of the event on photo-sharingFULL STORY

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