News In Brief
Taliban warn against US-Afghan pact
Taliban leader Mullah Omar warned Sunday an agreement between Washington and Kabul on maintaining a US military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 would have "serious consequences".
The United States and Afghanistan are negotiating the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) on the future of US forces in Afghanistan when Nato's mission ends in late 2014, including the number of bases and the status of any soldiers remaining there.
Britain to ease China visa applications
Britain says it will make it easier for China's citizens to obtain visas, as it seeks a bigger share of the multi-billion-dollar Chinese traveller market against stiff European competition.
Chinese tourists visiting the European Union using selected travel agencies will no longer have to file a separate application to visit Britain, which is not part of the EU's "Schengen Area" for border-free travel. Business people will also be able to apply for a "super-priority" visa, which will be processed within 24 hours rather than a week.
Powerful sect shuts down Manila
More than 1.5 million people converged on the Philippine capital yesterday for a powerful Christian sect's evangelical event, causing traffic chaos that shut down large parts of the megacity.
The gathering of the secretive and politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in the historic district of Manila forced all schools and some government offices to close.
The Supreme Court were also suspended, while Manila's governing authority urged private employers to give their staff a paid day off to avoid the traffic.
The event is one of many ostentatious displays of faith in the mainly Catholic Philippines, where religious leaders also wield heavy political influence.
Vietnam braces for Typhoon Nari
Vietnam is evacuating tens of thousands of people in the path of Typhoon Nari, state media said yesterday, after the powerful storm left 13 dead in the Philippines.
Nari is expected to slam into central Vietnam today morning, after ripping off rooftops, toppling trees and triggering flash floods in the northern Philippines over the weekend.