Chinese may need 98,000 new pilots in 20 years

Beijing : China will need 98,000 more pilots and 101,000 maintenance technicians in the next 20 years, according to latest estimates of Boeing.

According to the 2014 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook, for the whole Asia Pacific region the demand for pilots and technicians over the same period is forecast to be 216,000 and 224,000, respectively, Xinhua reported.

From now to 2033, the Asia Pacific region will account for 39 percent of the world's total demand for new commercial airline technicians, more than Europe and North America combined, it said.


Israeli drone crashes in Lebanon

Jerusalem: The Israeli military Saturday confirmed that one of its surveillance drones crashed in southern Lebanon due to a technical malfunction.

The miniature drone was on a routine patrol along the Israel-Lebanon border where it experienced a technical malfunction and fell into the Lebanese side, Xinhua quoted an Israeli military spokeswoman as saying.

Earlier in the day, Lebanese media said an Israeli drone crashed inside southern Lebanese Marjayoun area, 15 km from the border with Israel.

Pakistan to get 160 IED-resistant vehicles from US

Islamabad: The US government will give 160 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and spare and repair parts worth 198 million dollars to Pakistan, a media report said Saturday.

The US State Department has approved the sale of 160 MRAP vehicles, spare and repair parts to Pakistan at an estimated cost of $198 million, Dawn Saturday quoted the US' Defence Security Cooperation Agency as saying in a release.

Eight members of Ebola fact-finding mission killed in Guinea

Dakar: Eight members of a government team were killed with machetes and knives by residents of a village in a remote area of Guinea where they had gone to gather data about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease, African media outlets said.

The reports Friday said the incident occurred Wednesday in the town of Wome in the rainforest region of the West African country, where the Ebola outbreak emerged last March and then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, the two countries most seriously affected.

Free British hostage, clerics appeal to IS

London: Two clerics from Britain have made a direct appeal to the Islamic State (IS) to free British hostage Alan Henning.

In a YouTube video, Shakeel Begg, Imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre in south London and Haitham al-Haddad, Imam from the Islamic Sharia Council, said that there was no justification for holding the 47-year-old, who was captured in Syria, BBC reported.

Henning, a taxi driver from Eccles in Salford, was delivering aid when he was abducted last December.

Holding him captive is "totally haram (forbidden)" under Islamic law, the clerics said.

Vatican security doubled over possible terror attack

Vatican City: Security around St Peter's Square in Vatican City has been doubled due to concerns about possible terrorist attacks targeting Pope Francis or the Vatican.

Additional Italian police personnel were deployed across the city, ANSA news agency reported.

Last week, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Italy and Rome, as the cradle of Christianity, were not "non-secondary" targets of the Islamic State (IS) group.

However, Alfano also stressed there was not as yet any "investigative evidence of terrorist plans in our country".


Typhoon kills eight in China

Beijing: At least eight people were killed and two were missing as typhoon Kalmaegi hit China, officials said Saturday.

On Sep 17, a group of 395 students and teachers, who got trapped on the first floor of a school building in Yunnan province, were rescued, Xinhua reported.

Heavy rainfall since Wednesday has flooded 53 counties and cities in Yunnan with over 390,000 people affected, causing an economic loss of 343 million yuan ($55 million).


Modi too shrewd to be derailed by nationalist symbolism: Zakaria

Washington: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "far too shrewd" to be distracted by nationalist symbolism which would derail his growth agenda and embroil him in unwanted controversies, well known Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria suggests.

But Zakaria, who interviewed him for CNN last weekend, also wonders in an opinion piece in the Washington Post if the problem with the new prime minister "turns out to be not that he is too bold but rather that he is not bold enough."

Pakistan says it values China's support for SCO membership

Islamabad: Pakistan Friday said it appreciates China's support for the country's quest to become member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as the group has agreed to expand its membership.

On Thursday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his country welcomes and supports India and Pakistan to become new formal members of the SCO at the earliest possible date, Xinhua reported.

The agreement on new members came in a legal document passed at the 14th SCO summit held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan Sep 12.

Spanish PM congratulates Scots for rejecting independence

Madrid : Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Friday congratulated Scotland for the independence referendum result and for its contributions in "respecting legitimacy" which prevented it from the "dangerous consequences" of splitting from the United Kingdom.

Rajoy's remarks came in a video posted by the Spanish government after it was announced that Scottish residents rejected independence.