Egypt court jails 56 over capsized boat
RASHID (Egypt) • An Egyptian court sentenced 56 people to jail terms of up to 14 years yesterday over the capsizing of a boat that killed more than 200 people, one of the deadliest disasters in the Mediterranean crossings of migrants to Europe. The boat capsized off the Egyptian coast on Sept 21. At least 169 people were rescued but at least 202 died.
NZ won't 'choose sides' between US and China
WELLINGTON • New Zealand said yesterday it did not plan to "choose sides" on trade between the United States and China, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived for a visit focused on the issue.
Wellington in 2008 became the first developed nation to sign a free trade agreement with Beijing and China is New Zealand's second-largest commercial partner now, with two-way trade worth NZ$23 billion (S$22.6 billion) last year. Both sides agreed last year to upgrade the deal and Mr Li's visit is seen as a way to speed up negotiations.
Australians brace for Cyclone Debbie
SYDNEY • Australians are preparing for the worst cyclone in the nation's north-east in several years, with residents evacuated and schools closed amid forecasts of destructive winds and rain.
Cyclone Debbie has been forming off the coast of Queensland state in recent days, the Bureau of Meteorology said yesterday.
It is expected to hit land early tomorrow.