Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khana pologised in court over his outburst against a female judge during a rally last month that was seen as a threat to the judiciary and judges in general. The apology may allow Khan to stay out of jail and avoid contempt charges. Khan has been campaigning for early elections. The development came just days after Pakistani police were ordered by a judge to drop terrorism charges against Khan in a separate case over threats to the same judge and also to police. The legal cases followed a speech Khan gave in Islamabad, during which he vowed to bring a lawsuit against the Islamabad police chief and a judge for allowing police to question Shahbaz Gill, chief of staff at Khan’s Tehreek-e Insaf political party.
6 Pak army men killed in copter crash
A Pakistani military helicopter crashed during a nightly mission in Harnai district of restive Balochistan province in the country’s southwest on Sunday, killing all six on board, including two majors flying the aircraft. The military’s media wing confirmed the crash and identified the two pilots as Major Khurram Shahzad and Major Muhammad Muneeb Afzal, but didn’t say how the helicopter went down. The Inter-Services Public Relations was also silent on the purpose of the “flying mission” in the area. The crash site was near Khost, about 121km from Balochistan’s capital Quetta. This was the second crash of an army helicopter in as many months and it triggered a debate on their safety, with former information minister Fawad Chaudhry demanding an evaluation.
Man rescued 17 days after China quake
A Chinese worker who tended to his injured colleagues following a deadly earthquake and then got lost in the mountains has been rescued 17 days later.
The 6. 6-magnitude quake struck southwestern Sichuan province earlier this month, killing at least 93 people and forcing thousands to be resettled into temporary camps. Gan Yu, an employee at Sichuan’s Wandong hydropower plant, was found alive but injured by a local villager, state-owned China National Radio (CNR) said, calling the rescue a “miracle of life”.
Man sets himself on fire to ‘protest Abe funeral’
A man set himself on fire near the Japanese PM’s office in Tokyo in an apparent protest against the state funeral for former leader Shinzo Abe, officials and media reports said. The man, believed to be in his 70s, sustained burns on his body but was conscious and told police that he set himself on fire after pouring oil over himself. A note found with him said, “Personally, I am absolutely against”
Abe’s funeral. Police called it an attempted suicide. The planned state funeral for Abe has become increasingly unpopular among Japanese as more details emerge about the governing Liberal Democratic Party’s and Abe’s links to the Unification Church, which built close ties with lawmakers over their shared interests in conservative causes.
Israeli PM meets Turkish president
Israel’s PM has met with Turkiye’s president for the first time in 14 years, the latest sign of warming ties between the two regional powers after a long and bitter rift. The office of Israeli PM Yair Lapid said he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. In his meeting with Erdogan, Lapid said he “commended” the recent restoration of full diplomatic ties between the countries and the appointment this week of a new Israeli ambassador to Turkiye.
Thailand bars model who blasted Myanmar junta
A beauty queen who spoke out against Myanmar’s military rulers was stranded at Thailand’s international airport for a third day, hoping to be granted entry, as activists and her employer urged authorities not to send her back to her homeland. Han Lay, who gained global attention last year with her pageant speech on the army’s deadly suppression of anti-junta protests in her native Myanmar, has been denied entry by Thai authorities despite having taken refuge in Thailand for the past year. The 23-year-old model was stopped at Bangkok’s Suvarnhabhumi airport, when returning from a brief visit to Vietnam.
Washington Monument defaced
A man has been taken into custody after the Washington Monument was vandalized, police said, adding that the area around the base of the monument has been temporarily closed. “NPS (National Park Service) conservators will work on restoration process,” the US Park Police (USPP) said on Twitter. Images posted on Twitter by local media showed red paint smeared on the west side of the monument’s base. The 550 feet tall monument is a popular tourist attraction in Washington DC.
Gunman kills 13 at Russia school
A gunman with a swastika on his t-shirt killed 13 people, including seven children, and wounded over 20 at a school in Russia before shooting himself dead, investigators said. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said it was looking into the attacker’s suspected neo-Nazi links. It named him as Artem Kazantsev, a man in his early thirties, and said he was a graduate of the school. “Currently investigators. . . are conducting a search of his residence and studying the personality of the attacker, his views and surrounding milieu,” the agency said. “Checks are being made into his adherence to neo-fascist views and Nazi ideology.” No details about his motives have been released. The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said the gunman, who he said was registered as a patient at a psychiatric facility, killed himself after the attack.
Blinken to host ‘Blue Pacific’ nations event
US secretary of state Antony Blinken will host the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) countries with the aim of better coordinating assistance to the region in the face of competition from China, a White House official said. The group was formed in June and includes US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. India has an observer status with PBP, White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said in remarks at an event in New York. A few other countries would join too, he said. Campbell said circumstances for the Pacific islands countries were “much more dire” than in the past.
Bus crash sparks fury over China's ‘zero Covid’ plan
A night time bus crash that killed 27 people in southwest China has set off a storm of anger online over the harshness of the country’s strict Covid policies. The initial police report did not say who the passengers were and where they were going, but it later emerged they were headed to a quarantine location outside their city of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province. The bus with 47 people on board crashed at night. City officials announced many hours later that the passengers were under “medical observation,” confirming reports they were being taken to quarantine. Following public anger, Guiyang fired three officials in charge of Yunyan district.