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The government noted the scheme had not been withdrawn and that schools could introduce it as they saw fit.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.
While the outbreak appears to be coming under control in Liberia, infection rates have accelerated in Sierra Leone.
Moualem's two-day visit to Russia, a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict, appears to be the latest move in a renewed diplomatic effort by Moscow to restart peace talks aimed at seeking a solution to the Syria crisis.
The parliament's decision is non-binding as it only has the power to recommend fines to the government and cannot enforce them.
The Dec. 3 meeting, chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, is expected to review progress in the fight against ISIL and to discuss how coalition members will coordinate politically in future.
Officials fear the incident could stoke mistrust of the peacekeepers, who have already faced violent protests by locals who say they and the Congolese army are not doing enough to stop attacks by unidentified rebels
Russian Foreign Ministry said the United States should "focus on large-scale domestic problems with safeguarding human rights" rather than preach to others.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also defence minister, said elections will take place in 2016, citing groups opposed to the junta as one reason for the delay.
Ruling Socialist Party leaders in May accused a group of opposition activists including Machado of planning Maduro's assassination to pave the way for a coup
The squabbling between India and Pakistan has held back SAARC for years, with the two sides' disagreements preventing progress in the consensus-based grouping.
Wong, Leung and Lester Shum were among more than 100 people arrested in Mong Kok over the past two days. Wong's student group Scholarism confirmed the court ban.
Demonstrations spread to a dozen or more major U.S. cities by Tuesday, culminating in at least 400 arrests nationwide.
Media reports said the commission, set up after the referendum, would recommend that Scotland should be given control over income tax rates, tax bands and parts of the welfare budget.
Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand at Human Rights Watch, said the sentence drew attention to double standards in the state's law enforcement.
Two months before 43 students disappeared in Iguala, 31 high school students in Cocula, were captured.
The blast wounded 33 Afghan bystanders and destroyed three cars, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Abu Marzouq said the current unity government was unable to run the affairs of the Gaza Strip due to "lack of a political will"