LIU’S ASHES SCATTERED INTO SEA OFF CHINA
Family members of Liu Xiaobo scattered the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s ashes into the sea on Saturday in funeral proceedings closely orchestrated by the Chinese government following his death from cancer while in custody.
Liu’s supporters said the move was intended by the authoritarian government to permanently erase any traces of China’s bestknown political prisoner, who died Thursday at the age of 61.
The sea burial took place Saturday at noon, just hours after his cremation, a spokesman for the northeastern city of Shenyang, where Liu died, told reporters.
Liu’s elder brother, also addressing reporters at the briefing, thanked the ruling Communist Party and the government for its handling of his brother’s funeral. The brother, Liu Xiaoguang, is regarded by Liu’s friends as having long been unsupportive of Liu’s political advocacy.
Two German tourists fatally stabbed in Egypt.
The Egyptian university graduate who stabbed two German women to death at a popular Red Sea resort first sat and spoke to them in fluent German before producing a large kitchen knife and attacking them, security officials said Saturday.
Leaving them for dead, 29-year-old Abdel-rahman Shaaban fled the scene, chased by hotel workers and security guards. He rushed into the hotel next door where he attacked and wounded four female tourists who, according to local media reports, included two Armenians, one from Ukraine and another from the Czech Republic.
“Stay back, I am not after Egyptians,” Shaaban shouted at his pursuers, according to the officials. They eventually caught up with him, disarmed and pinned him down and later handed him over to the police. Shaaban stabbed the women in the face, neck and feet.
Insurgents battle each other in Syria.
Clashes have broken out in northwestern Syria between two of the most powerful insurgent groups there raising fears of widespread violence in the rebel-held province of Idlib, the groups and an opposition monitor said Saturday.
The fighting between the ultraconservative Ahrar al-sham and the al-qaida-linked Hay’at Tahrir al Sham — Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee — that is also known as HTS, are the first serious acts of violence since both sides reached a truce in February. Wider clashes between the two former allies could affect their fight against President Bashar Assad’s forces who have been gaining ground over the past year under the cover of Russian airstrikes.
U.S. journalist missing after Congo attack.
Six Congolese rangers were found Saturday in a large forest reserve in Congo’s northeast a day after a security station was attacked by militia, but an American journalist and at least three other security guards remain missing, a local official said Saturday.
Mambasa territory administrator Alfred Bongwalanga Efoloko confirmed that the six had been found. At least 10 people had gone missing after an attack Friday by the Mai Mai militia outside the town of Mambasa in Congo’s Okapi Wildlife Reserve, he said.
No details about the missing journalist were immediately available and authorities had no proof the attack was an abduction, he said.
Blair says Brexit should be stopped. LONDON» There’s a chance Britain won’t leave the European Union, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday, arguing that stopping Brexit is “necessary” to avoid severe economic damage.
In an article published by Blair’s Institute for Global Change, he wrote that EU leaders might be willing to “reform and meet us half way” to keep the U.K. in the bloc. He said that might include compromise on freedom of movement — a key EU principle that conflicts with Britain’s goal of placing limits on immigration.
Blair also told Sky News that “every day is bringing us fresh evidence” of Brexit’s harm to Britain.
Leader: No gays in Chechnya. MOSCOW» In an interview, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denies reports that gay men are being detained and tortured in the Russian republic — not because such abuses would not be allowed, but because he thinks there are no gay men in Chechnya.
“This is nonsense,” Kadyrov said when asked about the allegations. “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”
“Praise be to God,” the Chechen leader adds. “Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.”
Kadyrov’s comments came during an interview for the show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
Self-fueling boat begins journey. PARIS» A boat that fuels itself is setting off around the world from Paris on a six-year journey that its designers hope will serves as a model for emissions-free energy networks of the future.
Energy Observer will use its solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system to power its trip.