Online abuse to be punished
Online abuse will be treated as seriously as offline offenses, the Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday in new guidance on handling hate crimes. The rules — which included guidelines on helping disabled and bisexual victims — were meant to encourage more people to come forward and press courts to impose longer sentences, it said. “This is a crime that’s under-reported. Sometimes people feel that they just have to put up with it... That’s absolutely not the case,” Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, told the BBC. The new advice was in response to the growth of social media, the service said.
Merkel warns Turkey
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday warned Turkey not to “misuse” Interpol to pursue its critics after a Spanish court ordered the conditional release of a Turkish-German writer wanted by Ankara. Dogan Akhanli, who writes about Turkey’s human rights record, was on Saturday arrested while on holiday in Granada, Spain, on an Interpol red notice, similar to an international arrest warrant, from Ankara. “That’s not on,” said Merkel about the latest case of a German citizen being pursued by Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s government, adding that countries “must not misuse international organizations such as Interpol.”
New Cabinet approved
President Hassan Rouhani won lawmakers’ approval for all but one of his new Cabinet, in an overwhelming show of support for an agenda criticized by some conservatives. Parliament on Sunday voted to reappoint Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Minister of Foreign Affiars Mohammad Javad Zarif, top Rouhani allies during his first term, as well as 14 other ministers. The only candidate to lose a vote of confidence was Ministry of Energy nominee Habibollah Bitaraf. “We need to move forward. This is not the time to have proponents and opponents. We all need to help and act,” Rouhani said.
Rival groups clash
Clashes erupted on Sunday between police and dozens of anti-racist campaigners on the sidelines of a pro-immigration rally in Quebec City, while a demonstration organized by extreme-right protesters gained little traction. A few hundred people gathered in Quebec City’s center early afternoon to counter-protest a planned far-right rally, supporters of which spent much of the day stuck in a parking lot. In a bid to keep the two rallies apart, police erected a security cordon, but declared the anti-racist demonstration illegal after sporadic clashes broke out and hooded individuals threw projectiles at police.
Dogs tuck into special treats
Specially brewed beer made of chicken and vegetables, and ice cream made from bananas, peanuts, yogurt and soy milk are top items on the menu in the nation’s only beach bar for dogs. To spice up lazy beach days, the Monty’s Dog Beach Bar organized a competition on Sunday evening in which dogs and their owners competed as teams. Fifteen owners and their dogs took part in the competition, running down the pier and then jumping into the water and swimming 100m or so to the shore. The fastest four-legged athlete of the day won a 7kg bag of dog food and a weekend at a local hotel.
Annual war drills begin
US and local troops yesterday began their annual war games. The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are largely computer-simulated war games held every summer, and always draw a furious response from Pyongyang, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. This year’s 11-day training program involves 17,500 US troops and 50,000 local soldiers, according to the US military command in the nation and Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense.
Last US defector dies
The sons of a former US soldier who defected to Pyongyang more than five decades ago have announced that their father died last year pledging his loyalty to the “great leader Kim Jong-un.” James Joseph Dresnok was among a handful of US servicemen to desert following the Korean War, crossing the fortified Demilitarized Zone in 1962. He went on to appear in propaganda films and was believed to be the last US defector in the country. In a video interview posted on the state-run Uriminzokkiri Web site on Friday, Ted and James Dresnok, dressed in Korean People’s Army uniforms, confirmed that their father suffered a fatal stroke in November last year. “Our father was in the arms of the republic and received only the love and care of the party until his passing at age 74,” said Ted Dresnok, who also goes by the name Hong Soon-chol.
Ten sentenced to death
A court has sentenced to death 10 leaders and activists from a banned militant Muslim group for a plot in 2000 to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by planting bombs at one of her rallies. Judge Mamtaz Begum sentenced the suspects on Sunday in Dhaka and ordered them to be shot to death. Prosecutors said two bombs were found a day before Hasina was scheduled to address a rally at a college campus in Kotalipara. Those convicted belong to the Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami group. Defense attorneys said they would appeal the verdict.
Death sentences appealed
Two Burmese men convicted of killing two British backpackers on Koh Tao in 2014 yesterday submitted their final appeal against the death sentence. They were convicted in December 2015 of the murders of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun lost an appeal in March to have their sentence overturned.
New poll blow for PM
Three weeks ago the conservative National Party appeared to be cruising to a fourth straight election victory in next month’s general election. However, yesterday the National Party and Prime Minister Bill English’s government suffered a blow when United Future leader Peter Dunne resigned, the third party leader to quit in as many weeks. The party supports the government, but Dunne was its only lawmaker, although he also served as minister of interior. English said Dunne’s exit highlighted that the election was becoming a drag race between the two main parties, with the minor parties falling away.
Kidnapped sailor rescued
A Vietnamese sailor kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf has been rescued after nine months in captivity, the military said yesterday. Troops rescued the hostage on Sunday on Basilan Island, authorities said. Another Vietnamese remains a hostage.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year