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China yesterday sent a warship to help in the search for the missing AirAsia plane, which a top official warned was probably at the bottom of the sea.

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For the black community of Ferguson, the killing of Michael Brown was the last straw in a long train of abuses that they have suffered daily at the hands of the local police.

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The former royal editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid admitted for the first time at a London court yesterday that he had hacked the voicemails of Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry, and William's wife Kate Middleton.

Six Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a rebel ambush between the insurgent bastions of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in the east of the country yesterday.

Swiss surrealist designer Hans Ruedi Giger, who won an Oscar for the monster he created for Ridley Scott's Alien, has died, a museum dedicated to his work said yesterday.

At least 14 migrants have died after a boat carrying hundreds of people sank in international waters north of Libya, according to the Italian navy.

Prosecutors will apply to have Oscar Pistorius committed for one month of mental evaluations after a psychiatrist told his murder trial the Paralympian suffered from an "anxiety disorder".

Dutch police stormed a Greenpeace ship yesterday and ended environmentalists' attempts to block a Russian tanker carrying oil from the Arctic Ocean from mooring at Rotterdam Port. In all, 31 activists were detained.

Abe's nasty track record - his denial of the aggressive nature of Japanese intrusions during WWII, his lack of remorse for Japan's historical sins, and his crooked approach to territorial disputes - disqualifies him from having an opportunity to explain, face to face, to Chinese and South Korean leaders his motive and purpose. His tribute to Yasukuni has slammed the door to dialogue shut.

Joseph Nye Jr, American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, will discuss "soft power" during the Nu Skin Master Forum at the Asia World Expo, Lantau.

As a businessman who has dealt with the Filipino people for more than 20 years, I share the views of Renata Lopez ("Some things never change in the Philippines", November 21) on their penchant for drama. Top billing must go to Joseph Estrada, the mayor of Manila.

Two "unarmed" US B-52 bombers, on a "long-planned" "training mission", made an "overflight" through China's East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone on Tuesday, according to the Pentagon.

It sounds as if Japan is telling the world that it cannot do much to cut its greenhouse gas emissions unless it revives its nuclear power generation. The government says its new goal for reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions - which aims at a 3.8 per cent cut from 2005 levels by 2020 but allows for a 3.1 per cent increase from the 1990 levels - is the best it can pledge.

The scandal-plagued Toronto mayor Rob Ford was stripped of the last of his powers at a heated city council meeting. Defiant to the last, 44-year-old Ford argued with members of the public, railed at hecklers and knocked a female council member down as he lunged across the chamber.

Turkish police arrested a "mentally unstable" man carrying a fake bomb outside the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, officials said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday backed a proposed security pact with the United States that will see up to 15,000 foreign troops stay in the country, but said it would not be signed until after next year's election.

French President Francois Hollande is in Israel as France wins praise from the Jewish state for taking a tougher line than its Western partners last week in Geneva talks aimed at resolving the impasse over Iran's nuclear programme.

No single typhoon, flood or drought anywhere in the world can be blamed on global warming, but the inexorable rise of the global thermometer is nevertheless an indicator of worse to come. Much of the developing world is within and around the tropics, where cyclones are a seasonal hazard.

Egypt planned to lift a three-month state of emergency and curfew yesterday, two days earlier than expected, government sources and a security source said.

"It was frightening. The wind was so strong, it was so loud, like a screaming woman. I could see trees being toppled down," said Liwayway Sabuco, a saleswoman from Catbalogan, a major city on Samar, in the path of Typhoon Haiyan.

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Britain's top spy chiefs claimed in a rare televised appearance yesterday that the intelligence leaks by Edward Snowden had left its enemies "rubbing their hands with glee" and caused terror groups to change the way they communicate.

The artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet, Sergei Filin, yesterday dramatically confronted the former dancer accused of plotting to blind him with acid and rejected allegations of an affair with a top young ballerina.

Novak Djokovic reigned in Beijing for the fourth time in five years when he beat Spanish rival Rafael Nadal to win the China Open. Djokovic's 6-3 6-4 win in the final was some compensation for losing his world No1 ranking to Nadal, who had beaten him in three previous meetings.

The Nobel Prize committee in Norway awarded the peace prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The OPCW was considered a dark horse, as it saw off a better- known favourite, the Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban and seen as a heroine in fighting for girls' right to education.

Lew Mon-hung was charged with conspiracy to defraud by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Lew was already facing a charge of perverting public justice by seeking to influence an investigation into Pearl Oriental Oil.

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's monthly press conference in Brussels promises to be a a delicate matter, with defence alliance members divided over possible military attacks on Syria over alleged use of chemical weapons.

So Tsz-ling may not yet enjoy the world fame of cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze - but the 11-year-old does have more medals than her. So was the star of the 20-strong Hong Kong team at the World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.

The notoriously frugal Arsenal manager saw the fans turn on him after more than 17 years in the job.  Arsene Wenger, who has signed just one player this close-season, faced calls from supporters' groups to block his new contract until he splashes the cash on talented players.

Time and again, Chinese history has proven that the key to governing a country is not how to govern its citizens, but its officials.

The Japanese gambling tycoon had bet big on the emergence of the Philippines as Asia's new gaming hub. But prosecutors in Manila say he tried to stack the deck in his favour by cheating on Philippine laws on foreigners owning land by using dummy firms to grab real estate.

The fung shui con-artist formerly known as Tony Chan was convicted of forging the will of late Chinachem tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, after 20 hours of jury deliberation.

The July 1 march proved once again that the "Occupy Central" founder's stock is rising as a leader of Hong Kong's democracy movement.

There is no ambiguity about what happened in Egypt: a military coup against a democratically elected government and the wrong response to the country's problems

No other cities ... are like Hong Kong where the high street retail rent is affected by ... tourists from a single country.

Former development minister Mak Chai-kwong and assistant highways director Tsang King-man were convicted of defrauding the government of HK$700,000 in housing allowances.

No government or bureaucracy loves a whistle-blower. Those who leak official information will often be denounced, prosecuted or smeared. Edward Snowden is unlikely to be surprised at the clamour to have him locked up for life, or to have seen himself denounced as a traitor.

Kevin Rudd savoured sweet revenge as he was sworn in as Australian prime minister, three years after being ousted from the top job by Julia Gillard in a Labor Party showdown.

Li Keqiang's first overseas visit to India has been declared a success, not just for the diplomatic progress it achieved, but also for the personal impression he made.

Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India was an opportunity for both sides to calm troubled waters and this is evidently what they have tried to do. The decision to "encourage" the two countries' special representatives on the boundary question "to push forward the process of negotiations" towards a mutually acceptable settlement will hopefully breathe political life into a process that is at a virtual standstill.

Can we conclude that the new leaders also agree with those who oppose reform and opening up?

Police interviewed him as part of their investigation into the failure of his Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, which had to hand back its trading licence last weekend. Four people have been arrested in connection with the investigation and three have appeared in court.

The little-known restaurant Story Deli, based out of a former Scout hut in a quiet corner of London, found itself hailed by foodies for offering the world's best fast-food dish.

Facebook reported promising figures for the first quarter, but has found itself defriended by millions of users as it falls out of fashion.

The prison in Guantanamo Bay mocks American standards of justice by keeping people imprisoned without charges. As of Tuesday, 100 of the 166 inmates are participating in a hunger strike against their conditions and indefinite detention.

We have to wonder what the Shinzo Abe administration has in mind when it comes to Japan's strained relations with its neighbours. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and two cabinet members visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

If there's one job in Hong Kong that demands the incumbent be seen to be whiter than white, it's surely the leadership of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. But former commissioner Timothy Tong has found himself at the centre of a series of accusations.

All eyes turn to North Korea, which celebrates the anniversary of the foundation of its army - and may mark the occasion with a new missile test.

Professor Zhou Qi says his design for the People's Daily building in Beijing is intended to appear from above as the Chinese character for "people". From ground level, however, the 150-metre skyscraper looks like something else entirely.

Boston remembers its pain. A commitment to rise to the occasion to remember all who suffered and lost their lives in times of strife, is written into the fabric of the city.

Hu Yaobang, the late reformist leader, has been a sensitive figure on the mainland since he was purged in 1987. But state media this week broke with tradition, heaping praise on the former party general secretary on the 24th anniversary of his death.

China Guardian Auctions, a mainland auction house specialising in Chinese artwork, will hold a two-day Spring Auction Sale Series of ceramics, painting and calligraphy including Hong Kong ink paintings at the Island Shangri-La in Central.

President Xi Jinping visits Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin. In advance of his trip, Xi called Russia "our friendly neighbour", adding that his visit underscored the "great importance" China placed on relations.

In Canterbury, England, Justin Welby is enthroned as the new Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church.

Pakistani Shiites yesterday demanded that the leader of a banned Sunni militant group be put on trial, a day after his arrest following deadly sectarian attacks in the city of Quetta.

Six underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the US state of Washington are leaking radioactive waste, but there is no immediate risk to public health, Governor Jay Inslee said.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan won election to a second five-year mandate but his rival alleged violations and international observers complained the polls lacked competition.

Pakistani Shiites agreed to bury those killed in the most recent sectarian bombing, ending four days of protests, after the government said it had arrested 170 suspects linked to the attack.

Romantics around the world prepare to take their loved ones somewhere extra special for the day of the year most associated with love. 

A Pablo Picasso portrait of his mistress and muse Marie-Therese Walter titled Femme assise pres d'une fenetre (Woman sitting near a window) sold for £28.6 million (HK$347.25 million) at a Sotheby's auction of impressionist, modern and surrealist art. 

The Maldives is to hold a presidential poll on September 7, the first since the archipelago's first democratically elected leader was toppled in what he called a coup, the government said. 

The Vatican's top official on family policy has opened slightly to the possibility of rights for gay civil unions, although he also stressed that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. "Marriage is a clear legal dimension. 

An exhausted British-Australian expedition recreating Ernest Shackleton's 1916 crossing of the Southern Ocean in a small boat made landfall yesterday after a perilous 12-day journey. 

A Vietnam court sentenced a man to life in prison and gave jail terms of up to 17 years to other defendants after they were found guilty of subversive activities, state-run television announced yesterday.

Police have questioned a former head of the nuclear safety body about possible criminal charges over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, reports said. Prosecutors interviewed Haruki Madarame, former chief of the Nuclear Safety Commission, who was responsible for giving the government technical advice about the crisis, broadcaster NHK said.

Thirty French warplanes blasted Islamist extremist's training and logistics centres in northeastern Mali, hours after President Francois Hollande visited the African country, the military said. 

Sri Lanka has blocked entry of a London-based group of lawyers who planned to investigate the impeachment of the island's chief justice, the International Bar Association said.

As a police stand-off with a man accused of holding a five-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker entered its fifth day, authorities were saying little except that their talks with the 65-year-old loner were continuing through a ventilation pipe.

Fire raced through a small garment factory in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killing at least six employees and injuring 10, firefighters and witnesses said. 

Unidentified attackers blew up Yemen's main oil pipeline, forcing the country to shut down one of its most lucrative sources of income. A government source said production was halted after a device placed under the pipeline exploded. 

US President Barack Obama named Denis McDonough, his deputy national security adviser, as White House chief of staff. McDonough, 43, replaces Jack Lew, who has been nominated to be Obama's new treasury secretary. A member of Obama's inner circle, McDonough was a top national security aide during the president's first term. 

The UN said it needed another US$48.6 million to give "life-saving assistance" to survivors of Typhoon Bopha, which killed 1,060 and left 800 others missing in the south of the country. 

Fourteen people were killed and 33 injured yesterday when a bus plunged off the side of a mountain in western Myanmar, police said. The vehicle was travelling from Yangon to Thandwe in Rakhine.

A Canadian man facing charges of illegal possession of firearms opened fire in a Philippine court, killing two people before killing himself. The former journalist, John Pope, was in court in Cebu City to face the charges when he pulled out a gun and shot a lawyer and a doctor who filed a case against him. 

Pope Benedict has appointed the Holy See's first ambassador to Malaysia, 18 months after the two sides established diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Najib Razak said. The appointment of Archbishop Joseph Marino as the first Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia comes amid continued tensions between Christians and Muslims in the country.