Protest over Dalai Lama
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reacted angrily after the Dalai Lama attended a Buddhist conference last week supported by the Indian Ministry of Culture. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader opened the conference on Friday in Rajgir, Bihar state, and then shared the stage with Indian government officials. “Recently, India ignored China’s solemn representations and strong opposition and insisted on inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to attend an international Buddhist conference organized by the Indian government,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (‘) said. “China is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this… We urge the India side to … abide by its promises on the Tibet issue, respect China’s core interests and avoid further disturbances and harm to China-India relations.”
President appears in video
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Sunday appeared in a video for the first time in a month since his abrupt cancelation of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Algiers triggered speculation over his health. Bouteflika, 80, has appeared rarely in public since a stroke in 2013 and usually only in state news images with visiting dignitaries. In the video broadcast on Sunday on state television, Bouteflika was seen receiving his minister of Africa and Arab affairs, Abdelkader Messahel.
Falling trees kill 20 teens
Twenty students died after trees fell on them while swimming in a river during a storm, emergency officials said on Sunday. National Fire Service spokesman Prince Billy Anaglate said the “unusual incident” happened on Sunday afternoon, when a group of high-school students were swimming at the Kintampo waterfalls, a popular tourist destination in the Brong-Ahafo region. A brewing storm caused trees to topple and fall on the teens, he said, adding that 18 died at the scene while two others died after being taken to a nearby hospital. Eleven people were injured, including one of the school administrators in charge of the trip.
US officials on Nauru
Asylum seekers say US Department of Homeland Security officers have begun fingerprinting refugees held on Pacific islands in the final stage of assessing who will find new lives in the US. The officers are taking biometric details from refugees on Nauru, including fingerprints, heights and weights, according to a document circulated among asylum seekers and provided to reporters yesterday by a refugee on Nauru who did not want his family name published for security reasons. The US officials also began scheduling appointments with asylum-seeker families, he said.
Strikes strand travelers
Tourists and travelers at airports across the nation faced delays and canceled flights yesterday, thanks to strikes by air traffic controllers and air transport workers. The nation’s flagship carrier, Alitalia, said it was cancelling about 40 percent of its domestic and international flights. Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and other carriers also were canceling flights due to a four-hour work action by air traffic controllers and a 24-hour strike by transport workers. It was the first day of a difficult week for transport, with a taxi strike planned for Thursday and traffic chaos expected in Rome on Saturday when the city hosts EU leaders for a summit.