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Thousands of Hong Kong students on strike for democracy HONG KONG: Hong Kong students on Monday began a week-long boycott of classes, gathering in their thousands for what democracy activists say will be a wider campaign of civil disobedience against China's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy.Student activists crowded onto a campus on the northern outskirts of the city, many sheltering from the hot summer sun under umbrellas and waving their faculty flags, as their leaders vowed to ratchet up their campaign if their demands were not met.Democracy campaigners are locked in a showdown with authorities on the mainland after the former British colony's hopes for full universal suffrage were dashed by Beijing's plans to vet nominees who want to stand as its next leader.A coalition of pro-democracy groups in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, led by Occupy Central, have labelled the restrictions a "fake democracy". They have vowed a series of actions including a blockade of the Central ...

Taiwan August export orders slower, but smartphone sales raise hopes TAIPEI: Taiwan's export order growth was below forecast in August, but prospects in coming months will be helped by solid demand for tech goods, especially as Apple's newest iPhone hits the market.Some delays have affected orders but they are starting to build up for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus since Apple Inc's launch earlier this month, Lin Li-jen, an official with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, told a news conference. "We have not seen ...

Italy revises down 2013 deficit and debt-to-GDP ratios ROME: Italy on Monday revised up its gross domestic product for 2013 after a series of methodological changes and as a result the budget deficit and public debt-to-GDP ratios were lowered, national statistics institute ISTAT reported.Due to the upward revisions to GDP, the 2013 deficit-to-GDP ratio was cut to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent, more comfortably inside the European Union's 3 percent ceiling. The deficit in 2012 was left unchanged at 3.0 percent.The GDP revisions, ...

New toxic spill traced to Mexico mine MEXICO CITY: Civil protection authorities have confirmed new toxic spills in northwestern Mexico, where a massive acid spill from a copper mine contaminated waterways.Sonora's civil protection union said it "implemented protocols to protect the surrounding Sonora River population, after confirmed reports of toxic spills from the Buenavista del Cobre mine," a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico.Environmental protection agency PROFEPA said late on Sunday that the spills were triggered by heavy rains from Hurricane Odile, stressing that ...

Israel jobless rate rises to 6.4pc in August JERUSALEM: Israel's unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent in August from 6.2 percent in July as the number of employed declined, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.The number of employed decreased 0.1 percent to 3.546 million, with 60.1 percent of those aged 15 and over having jobs, down from 60.3 percent in July.The participation rate in the labour force of those 15 and older was unchanged at 64.2 percent in August.Part-time employment gained ...

More than 130,000 Syrian Kurds have fled to Turkey: minister ANKARA: More than 130,000 Syrian Kurds have fled across the border into Turkey, escaping an advance by Islamic State (IS) militant, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday."The number of Syrians has passed 130,000," he told reporters in Ankara, warning that the number would likely rise. IS extremists have seized dozens of villages in the past week as they advance on the town of Ain al-Arab, called Kobane in Kurdish, near the border."If ...

Tibetan man self-immolates in China: reports BEIJING: A Tibetan man has burned himself to death in northwest China, overseas media and a campaign group reported on Monday, the latest in a string of self-immolation protests in recent years against Beijing's control.Student Lhamo Tashi died after setting himself on fire in front of a police station in Hezuo county, a Tibetan-populated area of Gansu province, the Britain-based Free Tibet group said, citing locals.At least 130 Tibetans have set themselves alight in China ...


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