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46 Racehorses Killed In Southern California Wildfire Tragedy

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 00:08

At least 46 racehorses at a training center in San Diego County were killed by flames or smoke inhalation in a particularly heartbreaking result of the fires raging through southern California.


Teng bong! Minority languages on the rise in Singapore

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 23:12

Kevin Martens Wong reels off sentences in Kristang, which is among several minority languages in Singapore enjoying a new lease of life after a decades-long drive to encourage the use of English and Mandarin. A former British colonial trading post that has long been a melting pot of different cultures, Singapore has an ethnically diverse population whose ancestors mostly came from across Asia, principally China, India and the Malay archipelago. On independence in 1965, Singaporeans spoke an array of tongues.


China Is Now Making Some of the Most Powerful Guns on the Planet

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 20:56

Like the rest of China’s military revolution over the past quarter century, its small-arms revolution is a remarkable achievement. China’s People’s Liberation Army has traditionally relied on foreign and Communist bloc weapons manufactured in China under license—or not. Now, however, as the PLA undergoes an unprecedented modernization, a new generation of locally designed and manufactured light weaponry is arming China’s armed forces, from handguns to light machine guns.


Top Asian News 12:34 a.m. GMT

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 19:34

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump's U.N. ambassador recently urged the world to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea, she was sketchy on the details: Should all embassies close? How about those providing the U.S. intelligence from the largely inscrutable country? And what of Sweden, which helps with imprisoned Americans? Nikki Haley's recent call to action underscores the challenge for the United States as it tries to advance a nonmilitary strategy for resolving the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Isolating the reclusive, totalitarian state has been a central component of the U.S. plan, even though Washington says it remains open to talks.


Ryan Zinke Dismisses Reports On His Use Of Helicopters As ‘Fabricated’

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Saturday swung back at recent media reports about his costly use of government helicopters, calling them “total fabrications and a wild departure from reality.”


Thousands march in Tel Aviv to protest against corruption and Netanyahu government

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 18:48

Thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday for the second consecutive week against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under criminal investigation over allegations of abuse of office. Police estimated the number of demonstrators at about 10,000 and they followed last Saturday's demonstration, which was by far the largest of the recent weekly anti-corruption protests when an estimated 20,000 people participated. The protests have been sparked by corruption allegations against Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing. The four-term leader is suspected of involvement in two cases. The first involves receiving gifts from wealthy businessmen and the second involves negotiating a deal with a newspaper owner for better coverage in return for curbs on a rival daily. Israelis take part in a demonstration under the name "March of Shame" to protest against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  Credit: Jack Guez/AFP If charged, he would come under heavy pressure to resign or could call an election to test whether he still had a mandate to govern. Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party said in a Facebook post that the protest was a left-wing demonstration. It called on all Israelis to back their prime minister as he defends Israel against international criticism following U.S. President Donald Trump's acceptance of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Instead of uniting with all the people behind Jerusalem and showing the world a unified front, the left cannot contain itself and it prefers to create division," part of the statement said. Over weeks of demonstrations, protesters have identified themselves as supporting both left- and right-wing parties. On Saturday they held banners reading: "Neither left, nor right (we demand) integrity," "We are fed up with corrupt (politicians)" and "Sweep the corrupt away."  


First Fatality In Southern California Wildfires Confirmed

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 18:12

Medical officials confirmed the first fire-related fatality in Southern California’s most recent spate of wildfires to HuffPost on Saturday.


DNC Unity Commission Agrees On Slate Of Historic Reforms

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 18:00

WASHINGTON ― At its final meeting on Friday and Saturday, the Democratic National Committee’s Unity and Reform Commission agreed to a set of dramatic revisions aimed at restoring faith in the presidential nomination process and the management of the DNC.


Montreal Is Ending Its Ban On Pit Bulls

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:30

A ban on pit bull-type dogs in Montreal that’s been slammed by animal protection groups will be rolled back later this month.


Priest who used to be KKK member apologizes 40 years later

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:11

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A former Ku Klux Klan member who burned a cross on a black couple's lawn 40 years ago, before becoming a Roman Catholic priest, has finally written his victims an apology.


Ukrainian author of Manafort op-ed says sought input to avoid errors

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 16:50

By Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - The author of an article that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller believes Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort ghost-wrote in violation of a gag order said on Saturday he had sought input on the op-ed before publishing to avoid errors. On Friday, Mueller unveiled evidence against Manafort to convince a judge that he wrote the article to improve his public image. Manafort is facing charges as part of an investigation into accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.


Fox News Corrects Story Claiming Roy Moore Accuser ‘Forged’ Candidate’s Signature

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:49

Fox News updated a story that erroneously claimed one of Roy Moore’s accusers had “forged” evidence she’d presented to bolster her claim against him.


California's Getty museum survives wildfire, ready for quakes

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:32

Southern California's Getty Center, one of the world's wealthiest art institutions, said it had survived a wildfire tearing through Los Angeles thanks to a disaster plan that has it ready for earthquakes as well. Fires that have chased almost 200,000 Californians from their homes covered the Getty's hillside location in smoke this week. Perched above the busy 405 freeway, an artery of California's traffic system, the Getty is among the most visited U.S. museums and reopened on Friday after two days closed.


White Nationalists Have Been Saying 'Diversity Is Not Our Strength' For Years

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:24

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has again flirted with being an open white nationalist.


China's 'tiger mothers' rebel against punitive homework for parents

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:33

Fed up with picking up the slack in terms of helping her son with his heavy school workload, 39-year-old mother, Mrs Wang, has joined millions of like-minded parents who are calling for something that China’s ‘tiger mothers’ would have considered unthinkable only a few years ago – a break from homework. The campaign focuses on the frustrations of parents who believe they shouldn’t be spending their evenings tackling arithmetic questions or reciting complex sentence structures when they could be watching a soap or reading a magazine. It was triggered by a viral post titled: “Goodness, what have I done wrong to have to do homework with my kids.” After millions on views on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, parents flocked to social media to share their own stories. Since then, three Chinese provinces have issued regulations banning schools from giving out homework which would involve parents. Three years ago, Mrs Wang’s family spent their life savings to move to a desirable catchment area where they could enroll their son, now aged nine, at an elite primary school that would compel him to work long hours. Like the majority of Chinese parents, she believed she was doing the best for her family by helping him attain the grades needed to enter a top secondary school. But after becoming heavily involved in helping her son meet those tough demands – usually after a ten-hour day at her busy Beijing office - Ms Wang now views the school as a source of conflict in her house and a major drain on her own time. “Sometimes all I think about when I am at work is my son’s homework,” said Mrs Wang, who only provided her surname. Chinese social media is full of stories from parents sharing experiences of screaming and shouting their way through homework with their offspring. One post said: “When I returned from school when I was young, my parents watched TV while I did my homework. “Now when I get home from work... I still have to do homework.” Other parents told how homework-related stress had caused them serious health problems or driven them to the brink of madness. “Come homework time, the whole yard knows my howls,” one said. Opposition from parents stunted previous attempts by the government to soften China’s notoriously high-pressure education system. A programme dubbed ‘happy education’ was rolled out four years ago, but there was resistance to slashing levels of homework, which is said to be around three hours a day in China - twice the global average. Consequently, the 2013 reforms resulted in teachers facing pressure from both sides. They were being told by education officials to relax academic learning, but parents were telling them to push their children harder. The teachers responded by involving parents more in the challenging topics. However, things didn’t go to plan. “It has become a vicious cycle because students submitted homework that had been polished by their parents, so teachers assigned more difficult homework,” one teacher told local media. Some parents choose to send their children to one of a growing number of expensive after-school institutions where they can finish their homework before being picked up. But education chiefs are already fighting back against challenging workloads, with officials in the eastern Jiangsu  and Zhejiang provinces, and also the northern Ningxia province, ruling that homework should not become “parental homework” or be set “above the level of the curriculum or the ability of the student”. Mrs Wang, meanwhile, has recently adopted a new daily regime. When she returns home from work, she instantly kicks off her shoes, makes a cup of green tea and changes into her pyjamas. She has decided that she won’t let her son’s academic frustrations affect the relationship she has with him, or her own work-life balance. Additional reporting by Christine Wei


Detainees on agenda as top British diplomat arrives in Iran

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:22

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived in Tehran on Saturday, where he is was expected to discuss the fate of detained dual nationals, including a woman serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly plotting to overthrow Iran's government.


Substitute Teacher and Custodian Hailed Heroes After Gunman Opens Fire At School, Killing 2

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:28

A 21-year-old opened fire and then killed himself.


Lebanon's Hariri denounces Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary's visit to border

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:42

The head of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shi'ite militia has visited Lebanon's border with Israel accompanied by Hezbollah fighters, a video released on Saturday showed, in a show of Iranian influence that Lebanon's prime minister called illegal. Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Iraqi paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, declared his readiness "to stand together with the Lebanese people and the Palestinian cause", in the video footage widely circulating on social media.


Opera student raises $40,000 in performance for college tuition

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:09

Drew Anthony raised enough money in a single opera performance to pay for a year of college tuition. After hearing his story, several prestigious universities have tapped him for spots at their school.


Trump’s visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum underscores national tension

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:03

President Trump delivered remarks at the opening event for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—while Congressman John Lewis—a civil rights icon -- boycotted the President’s visit as an “insult” to the people commemorated there.


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