International

‘Critical moment’ for Hong Kong protests after new clashes

Hong Kong: Pro-democracy activists on Sundayaccused police of using excessive force against protesters after violent clashes in Hong Kong, as a senior politician said weeks of rallies have reached a “critical moment”. Dozens of police with shields and helmets pushed into a crowd of demonstrators gathered at barricades in the Mongkok district early today, striking at them repeatedly with batons. Twenty people were injured [Full Article...]

Hopes fade for 40 missing after Nepal blizzard

KATHMANDU: Hopes faded on Sunday for survivors of one of Nepal’s worst mountain disasters as villagers joined an intensive search by troops and government officials for as many as 40 people missing after an unseasonal blizzard killed 39. More than 500 people have been rescued from a route popular with foreign adventure tourists that circles Annapurna, the world’s tenth-tallest peak, among them 230 foreigners. [Full Article...]

‘We will take Kashmir from India’

Karachi: In a fresh rant against India, Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto vowed to wrest Kashmir from India. “When I raise Kashmir, the entire Hindustan screams. They know when a Bhutto speaks, they (Indians) have no answer,” the 26-year-old Bhutto scion said during his first public rally here on Saturday. “We will take back Kashmir from India,” he said amidst thundering applause by [Full Article...]

Bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

Vatican City: Catholic bishops have scrapped their landmark welcome to gays, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops on Saturday approved a final report covering a host of issues related to Catholic family life, acknowledging there were “positive elements” in civil heterosexual unions outside [Full Article...]

Biggest strike in years cripples German rail service

Berlin: Millions of travellers have been hit by one of the largest railway strikes in Germany which crippled train services across the country. More than 70 per cent of train services were cancelled yesterday, the first day of a two-day strike, making it biggest since 2008. The strike has been called by the locomotive drivers’ trade union GDL to press its demands for higher [Full Article...]

Potpourri

Human-powered water vehicle aims to break world speed record Toronto: An ambitious group of students in Canada is developing a new human-powered water vehicle which it hopes will break a 23-year-old world speed record. The students will attempt to reach a blistering pace of 37 km/h with the vehicle called Leviathan, breaking the current speed record of 34 km/h set by the Massachusetts Institute [Full Article...]

Hong Kong activists regroup; police chief warns safety at risk

HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists recaptured parts of a core protest zone from police early on Saturday after hours of turmoil that the city’s police chief warned undermined order and jeopardised public safety. Dozens of people were injured in the skirmishes, including 18 police, which raged through the night as several thousand protesters squared off again police in the densely populated Mong Kok [Full Article...]

In blow to Abe, Japan trade minister to resign over funds scandal

TOKYO: In a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s newly appointed trade and industry minister plans to resign following reports that some of her support groups misused political funds, Japanese media said on Saturday. Yuko Obuchi, the 40-year-old daughter of a former premier, has told people close to Abe that she plans to resign and take responsibility for a furore she caused, the [Full Article...]