$1*/ mo hosting! Everything you need to succeed online with us!

4,257 Articles

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Hindu-Muslim Violence Leaves 1 dead, 14 Hurt in Modi’s Home State

One person was killed and about 14 injured when violence erupted following a scuffle between Muslim and Hindu school students in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, a senior administrative official said Sunday.

A crowd of about 5,000 people attacked Muslim residents and set dozens of homes and vehicles on fire at Vadavali village in Patan district Saturday after Hindu students complained of misbehavior by Muslim students, said K. K. Nirala, the district’s top administrative official.

Members of the Muslim community retaliated by throwing stones, and police used teargas and fired seven rounds to disperse the crowd and control the violence, Nirala said.

History of violence

Gujarat has a history of serious communal trouble.

Rioters killed about 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, in the state 2002, according to estimates.

Modi was chief minister at the time, and he was accused of turning a blind eye to one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in independent India.

Modi denied any involvement in the unrest, and in 2013 a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Nirala said the situation had been brought under control and three companies of the State Reserve Police have been asked to stay in the village to maintain peace. 

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Hong Kong Electors Choose Carrie Lam to Lead City

A Beijing-backed civil servant, Carrie Lam, was chosen to be Hong Kong’s next leader Sunday amid accusations that Beijing is meddling and denying the financial hub a more populist leader perhaps better able to defuse political tension.

The majority of the China-ruled city’s 7.3 million people have no say in deciding their leader, who is chosen from several candidates by a 1,200-person “election committee” stacked with pro-Beijing and pro-establishment loyalists.

Lam, who will become Hong Kong’s first female chief executive when she takes office July 1, won 777 votes compared with 365 for her closest rival, former financial secretary John Tsang, who polls show is more popular.

A third candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, got 21 votes.

Protesters scuffle with police

Some scuffles broke out outside the voting center between protesters and a large contingent of police, who used metal barricades to keep the demonstrations well away.

The activists denounced Beijing’s interference amid widespread reports of unprecedented lobbying of voters to back Lam, rather than Tsang, chanting “I want universal suffrage” when the result was announced.

“Lies, coercion, whitewash,” read one banner. A big yellow banner calling for full democracy was hung from the Lion Rock peak overlooking the city.

“The central government has intervened again and again,” said Carmen Tong, a 20-year-old student. “It’s very unjust.”

China’s unwelcome hand

Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, Beijing has gradually increased control over it, even though China had promised wide-ranging freedoms and autonomy not allowed on the mainland under the formula of “one country, two systems.” There was also an undated promise of universal suffrage.

Many, including opposition democrats, fear Lam will continue the tough policies of staunchly pro-Beijing incumbent Leung Chun-ying, a controversial figure who ordered the firing of tear gas on pro-democracy protesters in 2014 and who was not seen to be defending Hong Kong’s autonomy and core values.

“She doesn’t have a strong foundation, nor will she have a honeymoon after she’s elected,” said political scientist Ivan Choy. “But whether she will further divide society, we still have to wait and see what she does, whether she will continue the approach of Leung.”

Difficult line to walk

All of Hong Kong’s three other post-handover leaders have struggled to balance the demands of China’s stability-obsessed Communist Party leaders, with the wish of many residents to preserve the global financial hub’s liberal values and rule of law that have long underpinned its economic success.

In late 2014, parts of the city were paralyzed when tens of thousands of protesters blocked major roads for nearly three months to demand Beijing allow the city full democracy; demands that were ignored amid some violent clashes.

Some see China’s creeping interference in many areas of the city including business, media, politics, academia and the judiciary as tarnishing the city’s international business allure.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Twin Bombings in Bangladesh Leave 6 Dead, Scores Wounded

At least six people, including two police officials, were killed and scores wounded in two bomb blasts in Bangladesh Saturday near a militant hideout that was raided by commandos, police said.

The explosions in the northeastern district of Sylhet came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint near the country’s main airport in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

“At least six people including two police official were killed in two explosions, one near the hideout and another in front of the building,” said Sylhet police spokesman Zedan Al Musa.

More than 40 people were wounded, several critically, he added. About a dozen army and police personnel were among the injured.

IS claims responsibility

Islamic State claimed responsibility “for a bombing on Bangladeshi forces in Sylhet,” the SITE monitoring service said, citing the militant group’s news agency Amaq.

Army commandos had stormed the hideout, belonged to a domestic Islamist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The group was blamed for a cafe attack last July in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners.

On Saturday, commandos rescued all 78 people trapped inside the five-story building for more than a day in an operation that was still underway.

The raid came after a string of suicide attacks on security bases this month.

Three recent suicide blasts

A forensic report confirmed that Friday’s attack was a suicide blast that was the third incident involving explosives in the capital, Dhaka, in a week.

Islamic State and al-Qaida have made competing claims over killings of foreigners, liberals and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh, a mostly Muslim country of 160 million people.

The government has consistently ruled out the presence of such groups, blaming domestic militants instead.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Tiny ‘Election Committee’ Begins Vote for Hong Kong Leader

A small electoral college began voting for a new Hong Kong leader Sunday amid accusations that Beijing is meddling and denying the Chinese-ruled financial hub a more populist leader perhaps better suited to defuse political tension.

The majority of the city’s 7.3 million people have no say in their next leader, with the winner to be chosen by a 1,200-person “election committee” stacked with pro-Beijing and pro-establishment loyalists.

Three candidates are running for the top post, two former officials, Carrie Lam and John Tsang, and a retired judge, Woo Kwok-hing. Lam is considered the favorite.

Hundreds protest

Several hundred protesters marched Saturday denouncing Beijing’s “interference” in the election amid widespread reports of lobbying of the 1,200 voters to back Lam, rather than the more populist and conciliatory former finance chief, Tsang.

Other democracy activists hung a large, yellow banner from a peak called Lion Rock, overlooking the city, with the slogan, “I want universal suffrage.”

Security was tight around the voting center with 2,000 or so police officers expected to be deployed in the vicinity in case of unrest.

China increases control

Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, Beijing has gradually increased control over the territory even though China had promised wide-ranging freedoms and autonomy under the formula of “one country, two systems,” along with an undated promise of universal suffrage.

Many fear that Lam will continue the tough policies of staunchly pro-Beijing incumbent Leung Chun-ying, a divisive figure who ordered the firing of tear gas on pro-democracy protesters in 2014 and who was not seen to be defending Hong Kong’s autonomy and core values.

The political upheavals with Beijing over the city’s autonomy and democratic reforms — that many hoped would have allowed a direct election this time round — have roiled a new generation and weighed on the city’s economy, ranked 33rd globally by the World Bank in 2015.

Politics stalling progress

Political and social divisions, mainly over democracy and anxieties over China’s creeping influence, have dominated political debate leading to some legislative and policy-making paralysis and the stalling of major projects, including a cultural hub and high-speed rail link to China.

While Hong Kong’s proximity to China has been a boon for the city, bringing in Chinese investment and spending, businesses have also faced growing competition from mainland Chinese firms in core sectors like services and property.

Housing prices, now among the world’s highest, are widely seen to have been pushed up by an unrelenting wave of buying from rich Chinese, intensifying anti-mainland China sentiment.

Many observers, businessmen and politicians have warned Hong Kong can’t afford another period of upheaval if it is to regain its former capitalist allure.

Beijing’s detention of five Hong Kong booksellers in late 2015, and the disappearance of a Chinese billionaire this year, have also undermined confidence in the “one country, two systems” formula.

While Beijing has not explicitly backed any candidate, senior officials have stressed certain conditions must be met including a new leader having the “trust” of China’s Communist leaders.

“Just because a candidate is leading popularity polls doesn’t necessarily mean you should vote for (that person),” said outgoing city leader Leung on Friday.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

US Says Strike Killed al-Qaida Figure in Afghanistan

The Pentagon said Saturday that a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan this week killed an al-Qaida militant who was responsible for the death of two American service members and accused of involvement in a deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009.

The Pentagon said in a statement the strike took place March 19 in Paktika province and killed Qari Yasin, “a well-known al (Qaida) terrorist leader,” who had ties to the Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the Pakistan Taliban.

“The death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in the statement.

Yasin, a senior terrorist figure from Balochistan, Pakistan, had ties to Tehrik-e Taliban and had plotted multiple al Qaida terror attacks, including the Sept. 20, 2008, bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens of innocent people, a Defense Department statement said.

Among those killed were U.S. Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez and Navy Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J. O’Bryant, the statement said.

On Sunday, Pakistani security sources and Islamist militants said that a U.S. drone air strike in Afghanistan had killed Yasin, also known as Ustad Aslam.

Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department had offered a bounty of 2 million rupees ($19,000) for Yasin, saying he was involved in the 2009 bus attack in the northeastern city of Lahore, allegedly organized by militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus led to Pakistan’s exclusion from the role of hosting major international tours. At least 10 gunmen fired on the bus with rifles, grenades and rockets, wounding six players and a British coach, and killing eight Pakistanis.

Since then, Pakistan has been forced to play most of its “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.

 

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Chinese Court Rules in Favor of Apple in Patent Disputes

A Chinese court has ruled in favor of Apple in design patent disputes between the Cupertino, California company and a domestic phone-maker, overturning a ban on selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in China, Xinhua news agency reported.

Last May, a Beijing patent regulator ordered Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and a local retailer Zoomflight to stop selling the iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged a complaint, claiming that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales.

Apple and Zoomflight took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to court.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday revoked the ban, saying Apple and Zoomflight did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones.

The court ruled that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban while there was no sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.

Representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili said they would take time to decide whether to appeal the ruling, according to Xinhua.

In a related ruling, the same court denied a request by Apple to demand stripping Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phones.

Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board’s decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

US Military Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Indonesia

Indonesia’s air force says an American military plane made an emergency landing at an airport in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

 

Air Vice Marshall Jemi Trisonjaya says the U.S. Air Force plane requested permission to land Friday after one of its four engines failed.

 

Trisonjaya said Saturday that permission was granted and the Boeing 707 successfully landed at Sultan Iskandar Muda airport in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province. The plane was carrying 20 military personnel to Japan’s Haneda airport from Diego Garcia, an American military base in central Indian Ocean.

 

Trisonjaya said no one on board the plane was injured.

 

The cause of the plane’s engine failure was unclear.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!
Posted by Worldkrap on

Maldives’ First Democratic Leader, Ex-Strongman Sign Pact

The first democratically elected president of the Maldives said Saturday that he has signed an agreement with his one-time archrival and former strongman to try to restore democracy in the archipelago state.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed told The Associated Press that the immediate goal of the agreement, which was also signed by two opposition party leaders, is to form a majority in a parliament now controlled by lawmakers supporting President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Nasheed said that as a result, they would be able to reform institutions like the elections commission and the judiciary, which he says are politicized, to enable a free and fair presidential election next year.

The 85-member parliament’s majority will be tested when a vote to oust the speaker is taken up on Monday. Currently there are 21 lawmakers supporting Nasheed and eight votes with the two other parties, which are party to the agreement.

Former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom runs a rival faction within the Progressive Party of Maldives, which is led by the current president, his half brother. The PPM has 48 lawmakers and the former strongman’s faction says it has enough support within the party to give the opposition a majority.

The agreement says that the parties will work to safeguard civil and political rights, ensure that free and fair elections are held, and ensure that those jailed on politically motivated charges are released.

Nasheed was jailed in 2015 for 13 years for ordering the arrest of a senior judge when he was president in 2012. However, he traveled to Britain last year on medical leave and received asylum there.

Three other leading politicians have also been jailed after trials criticized internationally for a lack of due process.

A 2015 constitutional amendment allowing foreigners to purchase land in the Maldives will also be reversed, Nasheed said. His party has accused President Gayoom of planning to sell 21 tiny islands to a member of the Saudi royal family.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ruled the Maldives with tight controls from 1978 to 2008. Nasheed, who was a pro-democracy activist, was jailed many times under his administration. Gayoom led democratic reforms in his later years as president and lost to Nasheed in the Maldives’ first democratic election, held in 2008.