Kim’s uncle returns home
Kim Jong-un’s uncle has returned to Pyongyang after quitting his job as ambassador to the Czech Republic, Yonhap News reported, citing lawmakers in Seoul. Kim Pyong-il is the half-brother of Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il. Lawmakers were briefed on the move by the head of the National Intelligence Service on Friday, the news agency said. Kim Pyong-il was once considered a potential successor of his brother, but he has been distant from power since moving out of the country in 1988 to take an ambassador job in Hungary, the report said.
Israeli troops kill teenager
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Israeli troops have shot and killed a teenager near Hebron. The ministry on Saturday identified the youth as Badawi Masalmeh, 18, adding that Israeli soldiers took his body. The Israeli military said its forces spotted three people hurling Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles on a nearby route and fired at them. The two others were arrested.
Official suggests opening
A senior official has suggested in an interview that authorities might be more open than in the past in approving candidates for a looming parliamentary election. “We don’t consider ourselves immune from criticism. We may also accept that mistakes have been made in the past,” Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee said. “But for the next legislative elections we are trying to reduce our mistakes and respect the rights of candidates.” Kadkhodaee was speaking on the eve of the opening yesterday of the registration of candidates for the parliamentary election to be held on Feb. 21. The council is responsible for organizing and monitoring elections, including vetting candidates.
President Hage Geingob has won the presidential election with 56.3 percent of the vote, the Electoral Commission said on Saturday, surviving the country’s biggest corruption scandal, an economic recession and a fractured ruling party. Geingob was seeking a second and final term in the Nov. 27 election. First elected in 2014 with 87 percent of the vote, Geingob avoided a potential runoff against a member of his own party, Panduleni Itula, who was running as an independent. Itula trailed with 29.4 percent of the vote and leader of the opposition Popular Democratic Movement McHenry Venaani was third with 5.3 percent.
Police beat protesters
Riot police on Friday fired tear gas and beat residents in Wenlou — a township in Guangdong Province about 100km from Hong Kong after they took to the streets to protest against a large crematorium project. Hundreds of residents protested over the plan for a site they had been previously told by officials that would become an “ecological park.” Footage recorded by residents appeared to show riot police firing tear gas, throwing rocks and beating protesters. Videos also showed residents throwing firecrackers at the police and tipping over a vehicle. “The whole town is protesting. The government has violently deployed people to suppress it,” said one resident, who asked not to be named, adding that police had beaten elderly residents and young students. “Now police are like crazy dogs, beating whoever they see. Where is the law? Where is morality?” he said.
Shootout with police kills 14
A shootout in a town near the US border between suspected drug traffickers and police left at least 14 dead, including four officers, officials said on Saturday. The confrontation in Villa Union erupted when officers detected several vehicles and heavily armed passengers touring the small community. Coahuila State Governor Miguel Angel Riquelme said six officers were also wounded, but their injuries were not serious. An unspecified number of people — including a child — were also missing, officials added.
Plane crash kills nine
Nine people were killed and three were injured in an airplane crash in South Dakota late on Saturday. The aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12, carrying 12 people, was bound for Idaho from South Dakota before it crashed about noon, a National Transportation Safety Board official said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Prop plane crash kills pilot
The pilot of a propeller plane died on Saturday after it crashed into the garden of a house in Ronneby, police said. The plane caught fire, sending heavy smoke billowing over the neighborhood. However, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire fairly quickly and no one on the ground was hurt, the police said. The plane was a DA20, a light single propeller aircraft popular with flight schools and private pilots.
Sewage floods homes
A blocked sewer main on Saturday flooded basements with brown filth and left residents in the New York City borough of Queens near Kennedy International Airport feeling sickened by the stench. A water condition caused the backup, pushing human waste into about 300 homes in Jamaica, Queens, officials said. Mayor Bill de Blasio said crews were making repairs and bringing in pumping equipment to clear up the mess. However, he advised residents to reduce usage to cut down on water going into the blocked main. Officials believe the practice of pouring cooking grease down the drain led to the blockage.
Tigers head to Spain
Five of nine tigers that narrowly survived a grueling journey across Europe set off on Saturday for their new home at the Primadomus Wildlife Refuge in southern Spain after weeks of recovery at a zoo in Poznan. Ten emaciated and dehydrated tigers were found in late October in the back of a truck taking them from Italy to a zoo in Russia’s Dagestan Republic. The truck became stuck at the Koroszczyn crossing, where one tiger died. The survivors were divided between two zoos. “The tigers have left. We’re very happy that in just 24 to 30 hours they will arrive,” Poznan zoo spokeswoman Malgorzata Chodyla said.
‘Day O’ composer dies
Irving Burgie, who helped popularize Caribbean music and cowrote the enduring Harry Belafonte hit Day-O (The Banana Boat Song), has died at the age of 95. At the Bahamian Independence Day Parade on Saturday, Bahamian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced Burgie died on Friday. His mother was from the Bahamas. The Songwriters Hall of Fame said Burgie’s songs have sold more than 100 million records around the world. Born in Brooklyn, he served in World War II and used the GI Bill to pay for music studies. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music and two universities.
Two-year-old Xu Haoyang (徐灝洋) has likely just months to live — but the only medicine that can help his rare genetic condition is not found anywhere in China and closed borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that he cannot travel for treatment. Instead, his desperate father, Xu Wei (徐偉), has created a home laboratory to create a remedy for the boy himself. “I didn’t really have time to think about whether to do it or not. It had to be done,” the 30-year-old said from his DIY lab in an apartment building in southwestern Kunming. Haoyang has Menkes syndrome, a genetic disorder
WIDE REOPENING DISCOURAGED: A study from Peking University has suggested that lifting restrictions in the style of the US, UK and others would be catastrophic China would face a “colossal outbreak” on a scale beyond anything any other country has yet seen if it were to reopen in a similar manner to the US. That is a prediction based on statistical modeling by researchers at Beijing’s Peking University. A switch from China’s current COVID-19 elimination strategy to a US-style approach with few restrictions would lead to as many as 637,155 infections per day, according to the study, which was published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. That would be the largest daily figure reported by any country since the start of the
BURNING, LOOTING: The demonstrators called for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down over failure to deliver infrastructure, among other complaints Solomon Islands police yesterday fired tear gas in the capital, Honiara, as crowds of protesters set fire to buildings, including a police station, and looted shops in an eruption of anger at the government, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported. The protest was led by people from the Pacific nation’s largest island, Malaita Province, about 120km from the capital. They were demanding that Solomon Island Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare step down over failure to deliver promised infrastructure among other complaints, RNZ said. The protest began peacefully, but most schools and businesses in Honiara were closed by the afternoon as crowds tried to enter the
MOBS, TEAR GAS: Anti-government protests deteriorated and led to looting and arson, as the Pacific nation’s PM said he regretted a return to the country’s ‘dark days’ Rioters torched buildings in the Solomon Islands’ capital of Honiara yesterday, targeting the city’s Chinatown district in a second day of anti-government protests. Eyewitnesses and local media reported that crowds had defied a government lockdown to take to the streets. Live images showed several buildings engulfed in flames and plumes of thick black smoke billowing high above the capital. It followed widespread disorder on Wednesday, when demonstrators attempted to storm parliament and depose Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Businesses operated by Honiara’s Chinese community were looted and burned, prompting Beijing’s embassy to express “serious concerns” to the Solomons’ government. The embassy “made representations