Asia (except ME & Indian SC)

PIA’s special flight with 245 Pakistani passengers on board to arrive in Chengdu on Friday

BEIJING, Oct 28 (APP): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) special flight with around 245 Pakistani passengers on board will arrive at Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwest Sichuan province on Friday.

In view of the disruption in commercial flight operations, it will be eleventh special flight of the national flag carrier to transport Pakistani nationals from Islamabad to China, Qadir Bux Sangi, PIA Country Manager for China said on Wednesday.

Malaysia: Airlines will not be able to slash costs sufficiently to nuetralise cash burn – IATA

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The airline industry will not be able to slash costs sufficiently to neutralise severe cash burn and avoid bankruptcies and preserve jobs in 2021, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In its new analysis, IATA reiterated its call for government relief measures to sustain airlines financially and avoid massive employment terminations.

The trade association of the world’s airlines also called for pre-flight COVID-19 testing to open borders and enable travel without quarantine.

Macron targeting radicals, not Islam, says French Embassy

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) — The French Embassy in Malaysia on Wednesday said France does not favour or stigmatise any religion and it guarantees their peaceful co-existence within the laws and principles of the republic, amid calls by Muslims to boycott French products. 

The embassy, in a statement here, said President Emmanuel Macron did not target the Muslim community in France but only an ideology – radical Islamism  – that should be isolated and fought.

China's top legislator proposes greater parliamentary cooperation among BRICS countries

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, called on BRICS countries to enhance parliamentary cooperation during a BRICS parliamentary forum via video link on Tuesday.

He suggested that the legislative bodies should strengthen cooperation in the field of public health and provide legal protection for epidemic prevention and control.

Chinese military urges U.S. to revoke Taiwan arms sales plan

BEIJING, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese military spokesperson on Tuesday voiced firm opposition to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, urging the United States to immediately stop military contact with and arms sales to the island.

Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in response to the United States' approval of a plan to sell Harpoon missile systems worth 2.37 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan.

Thai student-protesters aim for ambitious political change

BANGKOK (AP) — He was only 7 when he saw his first military coup. He was 15 during the second. Now 21, he is among those at the front of Thailand’s growing pro-democracy movement pushing for sweeping political reforms.

And because of his activities, Bunkueanun Paothong has been charged with crimes that could see him jailed for the rest of his life.

“I took a stand I know that would be risky,” Bunkueanun said. “I stand firm in my principles and beliefs. Because it’s the right thing for me to do.”

Strong typhoon leaves 1 dead, 12 missing as it nears Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Typhoon Molave roared closer to Vietnam with destructive force Wednesday, leaving one villager dead and causing two boats with 12 fishermen to sink as the country braced for the most powerful storm in 20 years, state media said.

A man died after winds of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour knocked him off his roof while trying to reinforce it in south-central Quang Ngai province, where the typhoon was forecast to make landfall later Wednesday, the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

Thousands rally in Bangladesh to protest Macron comments in cartoon row

DHAKA (Reuters) - Thousands of Muslims took to the streets of the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday to protest against remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron in a row about cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

The dispute has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils the cartoons in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.

France has allowed displays of the cartoons, which are considered blasphemous by Muslims.

Embattled Malaysian PM gets respite but survival in balance

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 27 (AP/PTI) A key ally's reaffirmed support for Malaysia's prime minister offers him a respite after his failed bid to declare a coronavirus emergency, but his political survival still hangs in the balance.

Eight months after taking office, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is being challenged by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who says he has majority support to form a new government with defections from Muhyiddin's ruling coalition.

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