China accused of using Twitter, Facebook against Hong Kong protests

by Glenn CHAPMAN SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Twitter and Facebook said Monday they had uncovered a campaign by China to use the social media platforms against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “We are disclosing a significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong, specifically the protest movement and their calls for political change,” Twitter said in an online post. Facebook said a tip from Twitter led to the removal of […]

5,000 evacuated as Canary Islands wildfire rages

LOMO DEL PINO, Spain (AFP) — A raging wildfire on the Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria forced the evacuation of some 5,000 people, authorities said Sunday, warning it could take days for the blaze to be brought under control. The fire, which has spread to the mountainous Cruz de Tejeda region popular with tourists for its breathtaking views, is “extremely fierce” and “unstable”, said Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres in a statement. No […]

Filipino, not Chinese, sailors kidnapped off Cameroon: document

DOUALA, Cameroon (AFP) — Most of the sailors kidnapped off the Cameroon coast last week were Filipinos, not Chinese as first reported, according to an official document seen by AFP Sunday. On Friday, an official in the port of Douala told AFP that 17 crew had been abducted, including “nine Chinese civilian sailors” from one of the two ships attacked, along with Ukrainians. The attacks took place on Thursday in Cameroonian waters off Douala, located […]

Iran tanker departs after Gibraltar rejects US demand

GIBRALTAR, United Kingdom (AFP) — The Iranian oil tanker at the center of a diplomatic dispute has departed from Gibraltar after the British overseas territory rejected a US demand to seize the vessel. According to the monitoring website Marine Traffic, the supertanker — which had been detained since July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar — lifted anchor Sunday evening and started sailing south. Authorities in the British overseas territory have not confirmed its departure. […]

‘Tiananmen Square’ crackdown in Hong Kong would harm trade deal: Trump

by Chris STEIN WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump on Sunday warned China that carrying out a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters would harm trade talks between the two countries. “I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it’s another Tiananmen Square,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey. “I think it’s a very hard thing to do if there’s violence.” The months-long […]

10,000 homeless after fire razes Bangladesh slum

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AFP) — At least 10,000 people are homeless after a massive fire swept through a crowded slum in the Bangladesh capital and destroyed thousands of shanties, officials said Sunday. The fire broke out at in Dhaka’s Mirpur neighbourhood late on Friday and razed around 2,000 mostly tin shacks, fire services official Ershad Hossain told AFP. “I could not salvage a single thing. I don’t know what will I do,” 58-year-old Abdul Hamid, who […]

Hong Kong protesters flood city streets for largest rally in weeks

by Yan ZHAO / Catherine LAI HONG KONG, China (AFP) — A sea of democracy activists flooded the streets of Hong Kong Sunday under torrential rains in a peaceful demonstration to city leaders that their movement still draws wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing. Hundreds of thousands of umbrella-carrying protesters poured across the heart of Hong Kong island, defying both the downpour and a police order not to march […]

Sudanese celebrate transition to civilian rule

by Abdelmoneim Abu Idris Ali and Jean-Marc Mojon Agence France Presse KHARTOUM, Sudan (AFP) — Rapturous crowds filled the streets of Khartoum Saturday as Sudan’s generals and protest leaders signed a historic deal paving the way to civilian rule. Thousands of cheering people gathered around the Friendship Hall next to the Nile, where the documents that will govern Sudan’s 39-month transition were signed. “This is the biggest celebration I have ever seen in my country. […]

Rival rallies as Hong Kong’s divisions deepen

  by Jerome TAYLOR / Elaine YU / Yan ZHAO Agence France Presse HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh rallies on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week — and as concerns mount over Beijing’s next move. The new marches came as thousands of pro-government supporters — many waving Chinese flags — gathered in a park […]

US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar

  by Paul HANDLEY with Amir HAVASI in Tehran Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US Justice Department issued a warrant Friday for the seizure of the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, one day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel. The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme “to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by […]

DFA reminds Filipino travelers of restrictions imposed by S. Korean gov’t when carrying animal products

(Eagle News)–The Department of Foreign Affairs is reminding Filipinos traveling to South Korea of the restrictions being enforced by its government when carrying animal products into their country. In a statement, the DFA said based on an advisory from the  Korea Immigration Service–Ministry of Justice, the carrying of animal products like raw meat, processed meat, canned meat, eggs and poultry products, milk and dairy products, pet food and supplies to South Korea is restricted and […]

DFA to Filipinos: Avoid Hong Kong International Airport as destination, transit airport

(Eagle News)–The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday, Aug. 16, advised Filipinos to avoid traveling to Hong Kong International Airport due to  violent protests there. In an advisory, the DFA urged travelers to avoid HKIA also as a  transit airport for the meantime. Those departing from Hong Kong are also urged to call their airlines five hours before to determine if their flights will push through. Filipino travelers departing from Hong Kong should contact their […]