- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 7, 2011

CHINA

Typhoon hits Shanghai, heads for northeast port

BEIJING — A typhoon blew down power lines and billboards in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai on Sunday and aimed at a northeast port city where beaches were closed and sandbags were piled on the waterfront.

High waters and heavy surf already were battering Qingdao’s coastline as Typhoon Muifa hugged China’s eastern seaboard, weakening as it approached the industrial port city. Muifa was expected to make landfall as a severe tropical storm Monday morning near Qingdao, home to 7 million people and the Chinese navy’s north sea fleet.

Evacuations were ordered for 600,000 people, including in Shandong province surrounding Qingdao and points to the south. About 20,000 Shandong fishing boats were ordered into port and some were lifted out of the water for safety.

EGYPT

Palestinian rivals seek reconciliation deal

CAIRO — Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas ended talks in Egypt on Sunday aimed at implementing a reconciliation deal struck in April, with an agreement to release political prisoners and passports for Gaza residents, a spokesman said.

The discussions were “positive,” and both parties agreed to meet again in early September in Cairo, according to Egypt’s Middle East News Agency.

The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to work for the release of political prisoners of both movements in Gaza and the West Bank. They also agreed to solve the issue of passports for Gaza residents by the end of Ramadan, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri said in Gaza.

YEMEN

President leaves hospital after recovering from attack

SANAA — President Ali Abdullah Saleh has left a hospital in Saudi Arabia more than two months after being severely wounded in an attack on his palace compound in Sanaa, Yemen’s state news agency said Sunday.

Mr. Saleh, who was badly burned in the June 3 blast, was discharged from the hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and moved to a government residence in the city to further recuperate, the SABA news agency said.

It was not immediately clear when or if Mr. Saleh will return to Yemen, which has been rocked by more than six months of mass protests calling for his ouster.

A Yemeni government official said the ailing president will remain in Riyadh for the time being because he is “still under medical supervision.”

SWAZILAND

Civil servants face pay cut despite bailout

MBABANE — The government will go ahead with planned salary cuts of civil servants despite receiving a $355 million bailout loan from neighboring South Africa, a document obtained by Agence France-Presse revealed Sunday.

The document, which details salary cuts as part of the government austerity measures to trim the country’s bloated wage bill, was tabled in parliament Thursday and distributed to unions for their consideration.

Swaziland, which is ruled by Africa’s last absolute monarchy, King Mswati III, has been on a brink of economic collapse after a 60 percent drop last year in revenues from a regional customs union, its main source of income.

PAKISTAN

Three police killed in troubled border area

QUETTA — Three policemen were gunned down in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.

The shooting took place in New Saryab, a suburb of Quetta, the provincial capital.

“A police station chief, his guard and drivers were martyred on the spot when unknown gunmen on motorbikes sprayed bullets on a police vehicle,” said Hamid Shakil, a senior police officer.

Officer Shakil said the attack “was an act of terrorism” and added that no group had yet claimed responsibility for the shooting.