World briefs

JAPAN was bracing for destructive winds and huge waves as a powerful typhoon churned yesterday toward the southern islands of Okinawa after sparing the Philippines. Typhoon Neoguri is expected to reach Okinawa early today, packing sustained winds of 198 kilometers per hour and gusts up to 270 kph the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It said the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, generating waves up to 14 meters high.

AUSTRALIA Canberra confirmed yesterday that it had handed over a boatload of asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea, drawing outrage from human rights groups who fear those on board could face persecution when they return to their home country. More on p13

THAILAND Thai navy has inaugurated a state-of-the-art headquarters and training center for its submarine squadron, even though it lacks any vessels to command. The squadron and its facilities, including a submarine simulator from Germany, was established yesterday at an existing naval base in Sattahip, east of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. The navy, which has had no submarines in its fleet since 1951, has been seeking for several years to acquire some, but has faced budgetary restraints.

VIETNAM A Vietnamese military helicopter on a parachute training mission crashed close to the Vietnamese capital yesterday, killing 16 people on board and wounding five others, officials and state-controlled media said.

AFGHANISTAN Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani is leading the race to replace Hamid Karzai as president, according to preliminary results. Mr Ghani won 56.44% of votes cast in the 14 June second round, the election commission said. His opponent Abdullah Abdullah had 43.56%, the commission said.

ISRAEL Three Israeli suspects in the vigilante-style killing of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned to death last week confessed to the crime yesterday and were re-enacting the incident for authorities, an official said, as the country’s leaders raced to contain a public uproar over the slaying. More on p15

UK British officials are promising to investigate whether the government and other institutions in the 1980s and 90s covered up child abuse by politicians and others in positions of power. Home Secretary Theresa May is due to announce details of the inquiry yesterday. It follows allegations that abuse claims that were handed to authorities were lost or destroyed to protect wrongdoers. Prime Minister David Cameron said investigators would leave “no stone unturned to find out the truth about what happened.”

UK-FRANCE Hundreds of passengers have been evacuated from a shuttle train and thousands more are experiencing delays after an electrical fault brought a train to a halt in the Channel Tunnel. The shuttle train carrying passenger vehicles was traveling from Britain to France and was a quarter of the way through the tunnel when it encountered a problem with an overhead power line. Eurotunnel says travelers will encounter delays of between two and four hours as traffic is re-routed around the train.

UK Novak Djokovic’s large lead in the rollicking Wimbledon final was slipping away, due in no small part to Roger Federer’s regal presence and resurgent play. No man has won the oldest major tournament more often than Federer, and he was not about to let it go easily. But Djokovic held on for a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory to win Wimbledon for the second time — and deny Federer what would have been his record eighth championship at the All England Club.

Spain Alfredo Di Stefano has died at age 88. As far as Real Madrid are concerned, there is no debate to be had – Di Stefano was, quite simply, “the best footballer of all time,” reads the headline the club put atop their profile of him on their official website. With him, Real claimed five successive European Cups from 1955/56 to 1959/60; Di Stefano scoring in each final and notching a hat-trick in the last one.

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