Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

New fires in Tianjin

Emergency workers raced to put out four new fires that had broken out close to the site where two massive explosions in a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals killed 114 people last week, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. Xinhua said one of the “ignition points” came from within an automobile distribution area near the blast site and the other three were within the central blast area.

AUSTRALIA

Qantas deal approved

The country’s competition watchdog yesterday reversed a draft decision against a joint venture between Qantas and China Eastern, giving the carriers the green light to coordinate pricing and scheduling. The Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in March said the original proposal between the airlines would harm competition. However, the regulator yesterday said that China Eastern had since agreed to increase the frequencies of its services between the country and China and introduce a new route if the deal was allowed. Qantas and China Eastern will also expand the destinations covered by their existing codeshare agreement as they seek to establish a gateway through China Eastern’s Shanghai hub for connecting services between the countries.

TURKEY

Troops kill 771 PKK: media

Troops have killed 771 militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey over the past four weeks, the state news agency Anatolia said yesterday. The agency, whose figures could not be confirmed independently, said among those killed were 430 rebels who died in air raids on PKK camps in Iraq. Another 260 were killed in ground operations in the southeast, Anatolia said, quoting what it said were sources in military intelligence. The offensive was launched after 33 pro-Kurdish activists were killed on July 20 in a suicide bombing on the Syrian border blamed on Islamic State (IS) militants. The attack prompted a violent reaction against police and troops from Kurdish militants, who accuse Ankara’s Islamic-rooted government of complicity with IS. On July 24, Ankara launched its first air strikes against IS in Syria and then also began attacking targets of the PKK in northern Iraq, in a dual “war on terror.” Dozens of air strikes have been carried out, but only three have officially been targeted at IS. The PKK has been blamed for attacks that have killed about 50 Turkish soldiers.

CHINA

Foreigners learn kung fu

In the countryside outside the birthplace of the sage Confucius (孔子), 35 students — the vast majority of them foreigners — battle the elements, as well as exhaustion at a remote kung fu training academy. The students in Qufu, from as far afield as Brazil, Ukraine, Spain and France, vary in age from six — a young boy who accompanied his mother on a summer holiday — to 50. It is a disciplined, regimented regime, with activities beginning at 6am every day and featuring several hours of practice. This includes runs up and down thousands of steps through the steep hills of a neighboring national park, interspersed with meals. The students are divided into three groups based on their ability, with each group assigned a kung fu master who blows a whistle at the start of every activity. They line up to pay their respects to him each time. The learners can choose how long to stay, from those taking short breaks to one Dutch man who has been training for a year to become a kung fu master and open his own academy in the Netherlands.

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