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.
SECRET AGREEMENT: China is paying for construction at Ream Naval Base, where dredging would be needed if larger military ships were to dock there, AMTI said Dredgers have been spotted off Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, where China is funding construction work and deeper port facilities would be necessary for the docking of larger military ships, a US think tank said on Friday. The US, which has sought to push back against Beijing’s extensive territorial claims and military expansion in the South China Sea, reiterated its “serious concerns” about China’s construction and military presence at Ream. “These developments threaten US and partner interests, regional security and Cambodia’s sovereignty,” a US Department of State spokesperson said. The report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank said the
France is to relax some COVID-19 restrictions from early next month in a bet that an outbreak of the Omicron variant of SARS-COV-2 would recede thanks to faster inoculations and plans to shut the unvaccinated out of most social activities. The French government is to lift the obligation to work from home at least three days a week from Feb. 2, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday. It would also remove a requirement to wear a mask outdoors, and scrap attendance limits for sports arenas and cultural venues, Castex said. Infections with the Delta variant are “clearly receding,” while the
RED LINE: The US and its allies would not accept if ‘any’ Russian troops cross into Ukraine, the state secretary said, clarifying Biden’s remarks about a ‘minor incursion’ The US and its allies on Thursday warned Moscow of grave consequences if “any” of the tens of thousands of troops massed on the border were to cross into Ukraine. Following talks in Berlin with Germany, France and the UK, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia “cannot match” Western powers’ resoluteness. Allowing Russia to breach Ukraine’s territorial integrity would “drag us all back to a much more dangerous and unstable time, when this continent, and this city, were divided in two ... with the threat of all-out war hanging over everyone’s heads,” he told reporters. In a show of that
Tania Sibree late last year quit her well-paid job as a financial services lawyer in Hong Kong and returned to Australia rather than live a moment longer with the territory’s strict COVID-19 restrictions. Sibree, who said she had enjoyed the previous five years in Hong Kong, is one of hundreds — possibly thousands — of foreign expatriate professionals who have left or are planning to leave, threatening to dent the territory’s standing as one of the world’s financial hubs. “The hotel quarantine made it just so tough for people to travel and that was the big incentive to being in Hong Kong,