World Bulletin/News Desk
The Hong Kong government said on Saturday schools did not have to adopt a China-backed curriculum from 2015 in an apparent backdown following protests by tens of thousands of people who described it as an attempt to brainwash students.
Parents, teachers and students have staged a week-long protest, claiming the curriculum amounts to Communist Party propaganda that glosses over the darker aspects of Chinese rule.
The decision comes on the eve of elections in Hong Kong, a former British territory handed back to China in 1997, that will see a legislature expanded from 60 to 70 seats, with just over half of them to be directly elected.
Hong Kong's embattled new leader Leung Chun-ying called the move on the education plan a "major policy amendment", saying he had heard and understood the public's criticism.
The government noted the scheme had not been withdrawn and that schools could introduce it as they saw fit.
"We don't want the recent controversy to affect the operations of schools, nor do we want to see the harmony of the education environment to be affected (by the scheme)," said Leung.
The Beijing-backed Hong Kong leader has drawn criticism over a series of issues since he took office on July 1, including the national education programme, sky-high property prices and concerns about an influx of mainland Chinese visitors to the former British colony.
Australia will be joining Japan and US in the South China sea for a major military exercise for the first time, signalling the growing security of the three nations amidst tensions over China's island building.
Japan and Malaysia have agree to beef up their defence ties and have begun talks on transfers of defence equipment
A Myanmar court has sentenced Wai Yan Aung, 3 months jail with hard labor for leading student protests.
The Philippines and US defense chiefs are to come together ascountries express increasing concern amid Beijing's reported massive island creation projects.
Myanmar has introduced a new law saying that Muslim women cannot have children less than three years apart.
Police have opened fire and 2 lawyers were killed during argument with police.
The home minister of Indonesia has demanded an investigation into the suspected contamination of rice with plastic.
China should "carefully prepare" for the possibility of a conflict with the United States, the newspaper said.
Armed forces have attacked a Kashmiri telecom company, accusing them of providing information to Indian intellgence.
President Aquino has said that the Philippines will continue to fly over the disputed seas and has warned of damage to China's reputation if the nation engages in direct confrontation with Philippines.
Malwai is climbing up in its deforestation rate as power deficit force people to hack the forests to make charcoal.
Key factors of economy, reform and nationalism have featured in the first year since Indian PM Modi swept to office promising sweeping change with analysts debating his change.
A carb bomb has exploded in Afghanistan, targetting provincial government headquarters in southern Afghanistan's Zabul province
Pakistan Defence Minister slams his Indian counterpart’s recent statement about sponsoring terrorism
The quake was centred in Ibaraki prefecture just northeast of the Japanese capital. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and no reports of abnormalities at any nuclear facilities.
President says country calculating budget for sheltering Rohingya; military launches search and rescue operation.