World briefs

CHINA A freight truck lost control and crashed into a bus stop in a northern Chinese city, killing eight people and injuring six others.

SINGAPORE-HK Starting next week, eligible Singapore passport holders will be able to clear immigration faster in Hong Kong – and vice versa. Singaporeans aged 11 and above who have visited Hong Kong three times or more in the past year will be able to use Hong Kong’s automated clearance gates, or e-Channel. Free enrolment for the service starts next Monday (Sep 22), and Singaporeans can bring their passports to do so at the Hong Kong International Airport or Macau Ferry Terminal, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced yesterday.

KOREAS A US man apparently trying to swim across river into North Korea is detained by South Korea.

JAPAN-N KOREA A Japanese Cabinet minister has urged North Korea to quickly release the results of a new investigation into the fate of dozens, possibly hundreds, of Japanese believed to have been abducted by the North’s agents in the 1970s and ‘80s. Minister in charge of abductions Eriko Yamatani told reporters yesterday she finds it regrettable that N Korea hasn’t informed Japan of the timing or other details of its expected announcement.

FIJI’s elections after eight years of military rule bring excitement to thousands of voters and relief to an international community prepared to drop sanctions once the South Pacific nation officially restores democracy.

PHILIPPINES The Philippines’ most active volcano has sent more huge lava fragments rolling down its slopes in an ongoing gentle eruption that has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of villagers. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned that a “hazardous eruption” of Mount Mayon, located in the eastern Philippines, is possible within weeks.

PAKISTAN’s military says it has launched airstrikes on five militant hideouts in a troubled tribal region near the border with Afghanistan, killing 40 suspected fighters as part of a massive operation begun in June. The military said “precise” air strikes were carried out in Datta Khel, a Taliban stronghold in North Waziristan, and that ammunition depots were destroyed.

Nigeria Building CollapseNIGERIA The death toll in the collapse of a building in Nigeria last week rose when the South African president said 67 South Africans died and dozens were injured in the accident. Separately, a Nigerian official said 63 bodies had been recovered at the site of the disaster in the city of Lagos, but it was not immediately clear whether the bodies were those of the South Africans cited by President Jacob Zuma.

USA-ISLAMIC STATE Wary House lawmakers are on track to give President Barack Obama authority to order U.S. military training and arms for moderate rebels confronting the growing danger of Islamic State militants making gains in Iraq and Syria. Obama was likely to get his wish despite worries from hawks in both parties that his response was insufficient to battle terrorists who have overrun wide swaths of Iraq and Syria.

UK Excitement and anxiety are mounting in Scotland on the final day of campaigning before an independence referendum. Supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory, but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough.

BRAZIL The race for Brazil’s next president is a toss-up, with late entrant Marina Silva polling ahead of incumbent Dilma Rousseff in a second-round vote. Who becomes the next leader of Latin America’s biggest nation could have a big impact on Brazil’s regional stance. Silva has signaled that she would lessen the importance of Mercosur and focus on bilateral trade agreements with the U.S. and Europe. Her political program also indicates she would give less support to leftist governments like Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Categories World