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Last update: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09am

South Asia

World - South Asia

Hong Kong police use pepper spray at anti-China protest HONG KONG: Hong Kong police used pepper spray Sunday to drive back hundreds of protesters angry at China's decision to intervene in a row over whether two pro-independence lawmakers should be barred from the city's legislature.In chaotic scenes reminiscent of mass pro-democracy protests in 2014, demonstrators charged metal fences set up by police outside China's liaison office in the semi-autonomous city.Protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from the spray as they tried to approach the building, while some threw water and water bottles at police. "We are quite shocked. We just wanted to express our demands at the liaison office," Cas Wong, a 19-year-old student, told AFP.At least one person was seen taken away by multiple officers before scuffles broke out.Police warned protesters they were involved in an "unlawful assembly" and told them to disperse, as they donned riot gear.Demonstrators later occupied a major intersection near the liaison office, leaving ...

World - South Asia

Delhi government orders three-day school shutdown over smog NEW DELHI: Schools in the Indian capital will be closed for the next three days, the Delhi state government said Sunday, as the city struggles with one of the worst spells of air pollution in recent years."Emergency measures are needed to solve this problem together," state chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said."All construction and demolition in the city will be banned for next five days. All schools will be closed for the next three days in ...

World - South Asia

China Premier Li says economy to maintain steady growth BEIJING: China will maintain steady growth and speed up economic transformation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Saturday, adding that the world's No. 2 economy would be able to overcome current challenges, official news agency Xinhua reported.China is trying to rebalance its economy to adapt to slower growth both at home and abroad but policymakers are struggling to contain a range of domestic issues such as surging home prices and rising debt levels.Li said China's ...

World - South Asia

India to buy rescue aircraft from Japan for $1.5-$1.6bn: Nikkei TOKYO: India's Defence Ministry will agree on Monday to purchase 12 amphibious rescue aircraft from Japanese manufacturer ShinMaywa Industries worth $1.5 billion-$1.6 billion, the Nikkei news paper reported on Sunday.Japan and India have been holding talks on the purchase for more than two years. It would one of Japan's first sales of military equipment since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a 50-year ban on arms exports and it reflects growing defence ties between the two ...

World - South Asia

China president slams 'conspiracies' in Communist Party BEIJING: China's president slammed "conspiracies" in the ruling party Wednesday, saying corruption and election fraud had undermined the country's governance and that a tighter ideological grip on its leaders was needed.Xi Jinping's strongly-worded statement followed a meeting in Beijing last week of hundreds of the party's elite, who declared him the "core" of China's leadership and pledged to reform "norms for political life".Since Xi took power in late 2012, the Chinese Communist Party has fought ...

World - South Asia

Toll in China mine blast rises to 33 BEIJING: All 33 miners missing after a colliery explosion in China earlier this week have been confirmed dead, state media reported Wednesday, in the country's latest mining accident.The bodies of the last 15 were retrieved from the Jinshangou mine in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing in the early hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.Only two workers escaped Monday's blast alive. Though the cause of the explosion was still unknown, preliminary investigations showed that the ...

World - South Asia

IS militants kill 30 in central Afghanistan: officials KABUL: `Militants linked to Islamic State jihadists killed around 30 civilians, including children, in central Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, raising concerns about the group's expanding presence beyond its eastern strongholds.The incident occurred late Tuesday north of Firoz Koh, the capital of Ghor province, with the local government calling it a revenge attack after a local IS commander was killed."Our security forces with the help of locals conducted an operation and killed a Daesh (IS) commander ...