World briefs

CHINA Part of a railway tunnel has collapsed in the southwest of the country, trapping an estimated 14 workers, Xinhua says. According to the official news agency, the collapse happened yesterday afternoon in Yunnan province. It said the tunnel was on a pivotal railway linking Yunnan with neighboring Guangxi region. The cause of the collapse was unclear.

S KOREA Samsung Electronics Co. says it has suspended business ties with a Chinese supplier that allegedly hired children. The Korean company, which is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, said in its blog yesterday that it had found possible evidence of child labor and illegal hiring at Dongguan Shinyang Electronics Co.

Philippines Asia StormPHILIPPINES Typhoon Rammasun’s impact is expected to be felt in Manila starting this morning and will be over the capital by tomorrow before moving into the South China Sea through either Bataan or Zambales province in the northwest, forecasters said. It is expected to be out of Philippine territory by Thursday, moving toward southern China.

ISRAEL The military says it downed a drone in the country’s first encounter with an unmanned aircraft since the campaign against Gaza Strip militants began last week. The use of drones with an offensive capacity could inflict significant casualties — something the rockets from Gaza have failed to do, largely because the military’s air defense system has succeeded in shooting them down.

UKRAINE A Ukrainian military transport plane was shot down along the country’s eastern border with Russia, the defense minister said. Rebels in conflict-wracked eastern Ukraine immediately claimed responsibility for downing the Antonov-26 but Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey said the rocket may have been fired from Russia. Ukrainian authorities say plane may have been carrying around 20 people but there was no immediate word on casualties.

IRAN Secretary of State John Kerry will hold in-depth discussions yesterday with Iran’s top diplomat in a bid to advance faltering nuclear negotiations, with a deadline just days away for a comprehensive agreement. The scheduled talks come a day after Kerry and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany failed to reach a breakthrough on uranium enrichment and other issues standing in the way of a deal that would curb Iran’s nuclear program.

UK The head of an inquiry into allegations of past child sex abuse high up in Britain’s parliament has stepped down after criticism of her links to leading establishment figures at the time. Elizabeth Butler-Sloss resigned as chair of the inquiry yesterday following controversy over the fact her deceased brother Michael Havers was the government’s top legal adviser in the period under scrutiny. Most of the reported incidents happened in the 1980s.

USA Banking giant Citigroup will pay USD7 billion to US authorities to settle an investigation into risky sub-prime mortgages. Citigroup will pay $4b to the Department of Justice and $2.5b for “consumer relief”.  Consumer relief includes investment in affordable homes and mortgage relief. The settlement stems from the sale of securities made up of sub-prime mortgages, which were at the centre of the 2008 financial crisis.

SOUTH AFRICA Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer has died at the age of 90 in South Africa, her family said. Gordimer, who won the literature prize in 1991, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg on Sunday, the family said in a statement. Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane were with her at the time, it said. Gordimer wrote 15 novels as well as several volumes of short stories, non-fiction and other works, and was published in 40 languages.

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