Fri, Aug 30, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

BELARUS

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.

PAKISTAN

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.

THAILAND

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.”

UNITED KINGDOM

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.

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