Bolton, Lukashenko to meet
US National Security Adviser John Bolton was yesterday scheduled to meet President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk for rare US talks with the head of state. Bolton was to meet with Lukashenko and Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei “to discuss regional security and emphasize US support for Belarus’ sovereignty and independence,” the US embassy in Minsk said. The visit is sure to ruffle feathers in Moscow, which sees the former Soviet nation as a crucial partner. It comes after Bolton yesterday met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev and stressed Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” in the face of its conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in that country’s east.
Army conducts missile drill
The military yesterday launched a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, a spokesman said. “Pakistan successfully carried out night training launch of ... missile Ghaznavi capable of delivering multiple types of warheads,” armed forces spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter. The missile can deliver a warhead to targets up to 290km away. The training exercise came as hostility with India has increased following New Delhi’s revocation of the autonomy of the disputed region of Kashmir.
Burmese convictions upheld
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the conviction of two Burmese migrants sentenced to death for the murder of two British backpackers on an island in 2014. Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin have denied killing David Miller and raping and killing Hannah Witheridge. The backpackers’ battered bodies were found on the morning of Sept. 15, 2014, on a beach on Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. Lawyers for the two men claimed that the evidence in the case was mishandled and that they made confessions under duress that they later retracted, raising questions about police competence and the country’s judicial system. However, the court yesterday said that their confessions held up. Their last hope now is for a royal pardon or commutation. The original verdicts divided relatives of the victims. Miller’s parents backed the court’s conviction, but Witheridge’s family were more cautious, with a sister calling the investigation “bungled.”
Activists target Heathrow
Climate change activists yesterday said that they would fly toy drones at London’s Heathrow Airport from Sept. 13, a step that is likely to ground all flights, to put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce greenhouse gases. The “Heathrow Pause” group said that it would fly toy drones within the restricted zone, but outside the flight paths of the airport, a step the group added would force the airport to ground flights. “This is a symbolic action, using a legal loophole and participants’ self-sacrifice to draw attention to the most serious and urgent crisis humanity has ever faced,” the group said. “The government’s inaction on climate change, and the looming catastrophe of airport expansion, gives us no choice, and compels us to act.” Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport. A spokeswoman for the airport declined immediate comment. Heathrow Pause said that it would fly drones at no higher than head level and give the airport one hour of advance notice.
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