Three police officers were shot and injured overnight in Belfast, Northern Irish police said yesterday, after an annual display of bonfires stirred unrest. \nThe disturbances happened near bonfires that pro-British Protestant groups light each year, burning Irish flags and photos of politicians from Catholic backgrounds who want a united Ireland. \nAs violence erupted shortly before midnight, crowds of up to 200 people threw gasoline bombs and other objects. \nIndependent police watchdog the Northern Ireland Policing Board said the violence was directed at police. \n“Their injuries are not believed to be serious at this time,” a police spokeswoman said. \nPolice later said 27 officers had been injured in two separate locations during the night, including the three shot, but did not clarify the exact motives for the unrest. \nLocal media said some of the violence started as police tried to separate people gathering in an Irish nationalist area of the city from those attending bonfires nearby. \nMarches are due to take place later yesterday to mark the culmination of a season of parades by Protestants, events which also every year raise tensions with Catholics. \nOn Saturday a bomb destroyed a bridge in Northern Ireland in an attack police said was also targeted at its officers. \nA 1998 peace agreement largely ended three decades of violence between predominantly Catholic groups who want a united Ireland and mainly Protestant unionists who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK. \nThe main paramilitary organizations on both sides, such as the Provisional IRA, have surrendered their weapons, but militant splinter groups have stepped up attacks recently. \nDissidents have attacked security forces several times, with the Real IRA believed to be leading much of the campaign, including car bombings and shooting at police officers.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of