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The government noted the scheme had not been withdrawn and that schools could introduce it as they saw fit.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.
As the French and German foreign ministers arrived in Switzerland on Saturday to join talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Western and Iranian officials familiar with the negotiations cautioned that they could still fail.
The spokesman said that no Sudanese plane has come under fire since the beginning of the anti-Houthi campaign on Wednesday.
Deaths have been reported at Aden where witnesses have reported explosions at Adens largest arms depot
Syrian state television said the army was engaged in fierce fighting and have managed to halt the insurgents advances on the northern, eastern and southern sides of the city.
Merouane Ghalmi made subject to 'peace bond' over police concerns of possible future crimes, despite not being charged with any offense.
Egypts Sisi has said that he backs calls for a unified Arab force to defend Arab countries.
Raids target Houthi strongholds across country while ground fighting reported in the southern city of Aden.
The source said the staff, numbering more than 100, were heading to the airport and were expected to relocate to several countries including Jordan.
The two Czech women were kidnapped two years ago by an al-Qaeda linked group in Pakistan
Council reaffirms commitment to fight Daesh in Libya while keeping four years of arms embargo in place.
The ad’s sponsor, political blogger Pamela Geller, said on Friday she was pleased by a ruling by Philadelphia District Court Judge Mitchell Goldberg that a rejection of the ads would violate her First Amendment right of free speech.
Hundreds of demobilized child soldiers still need education, rehabilitation
The Philippines said on Thursday it would resume repair and reconstruction works in the disputed South China Sea.
Pakistan army fights off attack by dozens of fighters in Khyber Agency region, according to military agency.
The Saudi navy has evacuated 86 Saudi, Arab and Western diplomats from the southern Yemeni port city Aden, reported Al Arabiya News Channel on Saturday.
Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saturday claimed to have shot down a warplane from a Saudi-led coalition and captured its pilot during a bombing mission in the capital Sana'a.