Sabtu, 7 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: World Updates

South Korea to make announcement on air zone; expansion is anticipated


SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea was scheduled to make an announcement on Sunday amid anticipation that it will expand its air defence zone south into a zone newly declared by China that has spurred regional tensions.

South Korea's defence ministry said the announcement at 0500 GMT/Midnight ET would be about its Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), but declined to comment on the details.

South Korea has said China's move is unacceptable because its new zone includes the maritime rock named Ieodo which it controls, with a research station platform built atop it. China also claims the submerged rock as its own.

China's decision on November 23 to declare an air defence zone in an area that includes islands at the centre of a territorial dispute with Japan has triggered louder protests from Tokyo and Washington.

The decision was the subject of a tense disagreement as U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden visited China last week, stressing Washington's objections to the move that he said caused "significant apprehension" in the region.

Beijing said its zone was in accordance with international law and Washington and others should respect it.

Under the zone's rules, all aircraft have to report flight plans to Chinese authorities, maintain radio contact and reply promptly to identification inquiries.

U.S., Japanese and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without informing Beijing since it was announced. South Korean and Japanese commercial planes have also been advised by their governments not to follow the rules.

South Korea's reaction to the Chinese zone has been more measured than the protests from Tokyo and Washington. Officials have said they are reviewing a series of options that will ensure its national sovereignty is protected.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Jane Chung; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Bashir announces resignation of Sudan vice president - state media


KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced the resignation of First Vice President Ali Taha on Saturday, state media reported, the first move in a Cabinet reshuffle announced early on Sunday that brought in younger members of the ruling party.

Taha held the country's second-highest political position as first vice president and was the main negotiator of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that brought an end to the Sudanese civil war.

"(He) resigned to make space for the youth and there are no conflicts between us," state media quoted Bashir as saying on Saturday.

Taha was replaced by Lieutenant General Bakri Hassan Saleh.

Bashir held a meeting with ruling National Congress Party leaders to approve the Cabinet reshuffle that introduced at least five ministers from the younger generation of the ruling party.

An hour after midnight, an official announced the second vice president as Hasbo Mohamed Abdulrahman and the parliament head as Alfateh Ezziddin.

Ibrahim Ghandour, head of the labour union, was named assistant to the president. Badr El-Din Mahmoud, who was the deputy central bank governor, became finance minister.

Abdel Wahid Youssef replaced former Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud, who is now minister of agriculture. The new oil minister is Mohamed Awad Makawi, former Sudan Railways manager.

Another new minister from the ruling party is Salah Wanasi, who became minister of the presidency. Tahani Abdullah and Altayeb Hassan Badawi were named minister of telecommunications and minister of culture, respectively.

Minister of industry is al-Sameeh al-Seddiq and minister of higher education is Sumaya abu Kashawa.

Taha had announced in November that the government planned to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle, a move apparently aimed at appeasing protesters after fuel price increases provoked the country's worst unrest in years.

The government cut fuel subsidies to ease a financial crunch aggravated by the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011. Dozens of people were killed and more than 700 arrested when protests erupted after pump prices doubled overnight.

(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Pravin Char and Peter Cooney)

Obama to attend Mandela memorial Tuesday in Johannesburg


Washington (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will attend the national memorial service in Johannesburg on Tuesday for former South African President Nelson Mandela who died on Thursday, the White House said.

Other details of the trip and the U.S. delegation will be announced soon, the White House said on Saturday.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, will be joined by former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, on Air Force One on the trip to South Africa next week, the White House said on Friday. Former President Bill Clinton will also attend Mandela events in South Africa, but his travel plans have not been announced.

There has been an outpouring of tributes from Americans to the 95-year-old Mandela, whose battle against white minority rule in South Africa was followed closely in the United States and helped fuel Obama's interest in politics.

A state funeral will take place on Sunday, December 15, at Mandela's home.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Jackie Frank)


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