World News Roundup: Taiwan wants independence from China, Khashoggi death
Several countries including the United States and China agreed "in principle" on Saturday to multilateral guidelines to manage unexpected encounters between their military aircraft, joining 10 Southeast Asian nations already in the pact.
U.S., China, others tentatively agree to multilateral air encounter code
Several countries including the United States and China agreed "in principle" on Saturday to multilateral guidelines to manage unexpected encounters between their military aircraft, joining 10 Southeast Asian nations already in the pact. The world's two biggest economies as well as Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea tentatively joined the agreement, which was initially adopted on Friday by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to a joint statement issued after a meeting of defense ministers from the 18 countries in Singapore.
Thousands rally in Taiwan, call for a referendum on independence from China
Several thousand pro-independence demonstrators rallied in Taiwan's capital on Saturday to protest against Beijing's "bullying" and called for a referendum on whether the self-ruled island should formally declare independence from China. The rally, one of the largest seen on Taiwan this year, was organized by a group called Formosa Alliance founded six months ago, and the protesters gathered near the headquarters of President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in the consulate, Trump says Saudi account credible
Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate - Riyadh's first acknowledgement of his death after two weeks of denials that it was involved in his disappearance. Saudi King Salman dismissed five officials over the incident, which has sparked an international outcry and thrown Western relations with the Middle East power into turmoil.
Exclusive: the U.S. weighs new warship passage through Taiwan Strait
The United States is considering a new operation to send warships through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials told Reuters, a mission aimed at ensuring free passage through the strategic waterway but which risks heightening tensions with China. The U.S. Navy conducted a similar mission in the strait's international waters in July and any repeat would be seen in self-ruled Taiwan as a fresh expression of support by President Donald Trump's government.
India to put former top climate change official on trial for sexual harassment
An Indian court has ordered the trial of sexual harassment charges against one of the world's leading climate change experts, Rajendra K. Pachauri, his lawyer said on Saturday. The 78-year-old Pachauri, who had previously chaired the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, had stepped down from the panel in 2015 following a sexual harassment complaint by a researcher at Pachauri's Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Migrants camp on the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico as U.S. pressure mounts
Hundreds of Central American migrants bedded down overnight on a bridge separating Guatemala and Mexico, many squeezed against a metal border gate, as efforts to halt a trek north by a caravan of thousands of people gathered pace under U.S. pressure. U.S. President Donald Trump has warned the Central American caravan must be stopped before it reaches the United States, and Honduras and Guatemala said late on Friday they were mobilizing to return Honduran migrants to their homeland.
Indian officials exchange blame for train ploughing into a festival crowd
India's railway officials and local community leaders traded blame on Saturday over an accident in which a train ran over scores of people gathered on the railway tracks for a festival in the northern city of Amritsar. Punjab state's Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told reporters on Saturday that 59 people had died with 57 injured in the accident and that an official inquiry would be carried out over the next four weeks.
Trump a reluctant critic of Saudi Arabia despite pressure to act
Six days after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, U.S. President Donald Trump tried to play down the crisis, saying "hopefully that will sort itself out". It did not, and on Oct. 10, amid a growing outcry, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton pressed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in what one U.S. official described as a "stern" phone call, to identify who was responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance or death.
Afghans vote amid chaos, corruption and Taliban threats
Afghans voted on Saturday in parliamentary elections overshadowed by the chaotic organization, allegations of corruption and violence that has forced a postponement of the vote in the strategic southern province of Kandahar. With Taliban insurgents in control of large areas of the country, thousands killed in the fighting and doubts about the success of the U.S. strategy to force the insurgents to accept peace talks by stepping up air strikes, the credibility of the Western-backed government is at stake.
Assad, Russian officials meet in Damascus, discuss the situation in Syria
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met representatives of Russia's foreign and defence ministries in Damascus on Friday, Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday. During the meeting, they discussed the development of the situation in Syria and reaffirmed their commitment to the "destruction of terrorist presence" and advancement toward a long-term political settlement in the interest of all Syrians.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)