Aussie navy pilots hit by lasers in South China Sea
SYDNEY • Australian navy pilots were hit by lasers during flights in the hotly contested South China Sea, national broadcaster ABC reported yesterday.
Informal Chinese militia vessels are believed to be behind the attacks.
Defence sources said the helicopters were targeted during night flights, forcing the pilots to temporarily return to their ship for medical check-ups.
Jaitley opts out of Modi's new Cabinet, cites health
NEW DELHI • India's finance minister Arun Jaitley yesterday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to give him a ministerial position in the new government due to ongoing health problems.
Mr Jaitley's absence will leave Mr Modi without one of his most important lieutenants as he begins his second five-year term, following the Bharatiya Janata Party's landslide election victory earlier this month.
Teachers' mega-strike shuts NZ public schools
WELLINGTON • More than half of New Zealand's public schools closed their doors yesterday amid a mass walkout by teachers over pay and conditions.
The Education Ministry estimated that almost 60 per cent of schools were closed as some 50,000 teachers staged a "mega-strike".