HK youth groups spurn China foot drills
HONG KONG • Military-style youth groups in Hong Kong rejected Chinese foot drills at an annual flag-raising ceremony yesterday, despite pressure to change their marching traditions inherited from the British colonial era.
The groups had received requests from China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong in recent weeks to change their foot drills to follow those used by the People's Liberation Army.
This comes as Hong Kong's freedoms are under increasing pressure from an assertive Beijing, with the authorities accused of trying to rewrite history.
14 die in Myanmar jade mine landslide
YANGON • A jade mine slag heap collapsed in northern Myanmar yesterday, killing at least 14 people, rescue officials said, the latest in a series of disasters to hit the largely unregulated gem industry.
Myanmar is a major gemstone producer and the civilian government led by Ms Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to tighten controls after a landslide in a jade mine killed more than 100 people in 2015 in Kachin state, the site of yesterday's collapse. Yesterday's accident happened in the early morning in the village of Wai Hka, when workers were scavenging through heaps of mining debris for discarded jade.
Cambodian campaign to get voter turnout
PHNOM PENH • Cambodia's election panel yesterday began a campaign to get voters to turn out for a July 29 general election, despite the concerns of some Western nations and the United Nations that the vote might not be free or fair after a key opposition party ban.
The campaign comes amid repeated calls from former opposition leader Sam Rainsy for Cambodians to boycott the election if his dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party is not allowed to take part. In a Facebook post yesterday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said urging people not to vote was illegal.