CHINA AND TAIWAN MEET FOR HISTORIC GOVERNMENT TALKS
Representatives of the China and Taiwan governments met today in the Eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, the first face-to-face meeting of cross-strait officials since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, which saw the separation of the two states. While no official agenda was released for the talks, which are mainly aimed at building confidence between the two, China is expected to raise the issue of a future reunification. Read the full story from the South China Morning Post.
NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA OFFICIALS TO MEET TOMORROW
Government officials from South and North Korea are due to meet tomorrow for rare high-level talks ahead of the planned family reunions for the end of the month, AP reports. This comes as Seoul’s Defense Minister told the National Assembly yesterday that Pyongyang was ready for its fourth nuclear test, although there appears to be no sign that a new test will take place soon, newspaper The Chosunilboreports.
For more on the North-South Korea divide, we offer this KBR/Worldcrunch piece: North Koreans In The South Who Want To Go Back Home.
15 SOLDIERS KILLED IN IRAQ
Fifteen Iraqi soldiers were killed in a pre-dawn attack on an army camp in the northern part of the country, AFP reports. In January alone, over 1,000 people died in attacks.
SYRIA: BOTH SIDES MEET AT GENEVA
The Syrian government and its opposition are sitting together with the UN and Arab League Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi during the Geneva peace talks, news agency Itar-Tass reports. Meanwhile, according to the BBC, some 450 more civilians were evacuated from Homs yesterday, after the ceasefire was extended until Wednesday. Fighting is, however, continuing in the city of Hama, where fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra front have killed 42 women, children and elderly people, state news agency Sana reports.
Philippine demonstrators are calling for the repeal of the country’s 2012 Cybercrime Prevention Act, which they say provides a backdoor for mass surveillance by the government and its foreign allies.
FIRST CASE OF POLIO SINCE 2001 IN KABUL
A 3-year-old girl has been diagnosed with polio in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, the first case recorded in the city since 2001, prompting the country’s health ministry to order a vaccination campaign across the city, according to the BBC. Afghanistan is, with Pakistan and northern Nigeria, the only region in the world where polio remains endemic, a situation likely due to Islamists’ refusal to vaccinate. Meanwhile, in India today, leaders are expected to celebrate the country’s eradication of the disease.
An Italian farmer was so angry over a neighboring farmer’s wandering sheep that he ran the animals over before threatening their owner with a gun.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani celebrated the 35th anniversary of the country’s Islamist Revolution with some live tweeting. See what he had to say.
BY THE NUMBERS
Barclays Bank has announced a sharp rise in bonuses, even amid poor performance and an announcement that it will sack at least 10,000 employees.
Shirley Temple Black, the Hollywood actress who found unequaled fame as a child star, including a special “juvenile” Oscar at just six years old, died at her home Monday in Woodside, California, at the age of 85.
IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., which launched Beatlemania just two days after the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Here’s an expand=1] excerpt of the famous concert, in which you can just make out “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Twist and Shout” amid screams from the crowd.