Concerts to mark Mao's death nixed after outcry
SYDNEY • Australia's two biggest cities - Sydney and Melbourne - have cancelled concerts to mark the death of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong after Chinese Australians complained that the content was insensitive.
The incident highlighted the continued divisiveness of Mao among the Chinese, both at home and abroad, four decades after his death.
Chinese in Sydney and Melbourne have said for weeks that the "Glory and Dream" concerts, slated to be held this month in both cities' town halls, lionise a leader they see as responsible for millions of deaths.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the City of Sydney said that after consulting the police, the council had "concerns regarding the potential for civil disturbance", and so cancelled the event.
France on high alert as new school term begins
PARIS • More than 12 million French children went back to school under heightened security yesterday.
The new term comes after a summer vacation marked by more deadly attacks in a country that has become one of the prime targets of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Armed police patrolled school areas around France as children, parents and teachers converged at entrance gates.
The government is under pressure to reassure the public after two attacks in July - a truck attack in Nice that killed 86 people and the killing of a priest in Rouen.