Aussie scrutiny for Mid-East flights
SYDNEY • Australia said yesterday that it will increase security checks for flights from some Middle East airports, but stopped short of implementing the ban introduced by the United States and Britain, which blocked laptops and tablets in cabins on flights from some countries in the Middle East and North Africa last month.
Cabinet reshuffle in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG • South African President Jacob Zuma sacked his finance minister and made 10 new Cabinet appointments in a reshuffle widely seen as an attempt to control the selection of his successor.
Thursday's late-night move caused a sharp drop in the rand as investors reacted to concerns that Mr Zuma, whose term has been tainted by corruption scandals, would have a free hand over government finances. He is due to step down as party head in December, ahead of a 2019 general election.
Sturgeon seeks second referendum
WASHINGTON • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday formally demanding that she allow a second referendum to be held on Scottish independence ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union. On Tuesday, Scotland's devolved Parliament voted to hold a referendum next year or in 2019.
Venezuela 'coup' after court move
CARACAS • The Venezuelan Supreme Court's move to seize power from the opposition-led legislature, in what several officials and analysts branded a coup, has tightened socialist President Nicolas Maduro's grip on power after more than a year in a political struggle with the centre-right opposition.