At least 14 passengers were killed while around 16 others injured in a bus crash at Sindhupalchowk district in central Nepal on Sunday morning, authorities confirmed.
Ganesh Khanal, spokesperson at district police office Sindhupalchowk, told Xinhua, "12 passengers died on the spot while two breathed their last in the hospital. The injured have already been sent to the hospitals."
According to the police, the ill-fated bus fell few hundred meters down the road at Sunkoshi rural municipality of the district located in Province 3. The bus was en-route to the capital city Kathmandu from Dolakha's Kalinchowk, a popular religious and tourism destination.
"We have estimated that at least 32 people were travelling in the bus. The driver flew from the scene after the accident, while the assistant is seriously injured," Khanal said.
The injured have been rushed to the nearby local hospital and Kathmandu for treatment. The police, which were yet to ascertain the identities of all the deceased, said they were investigating the reason behind the accident.
Over-crowded vehicles, poorly-maintained roads and shoddy conditions of public vehicles have significantly led to frequent road accidents in recent years in Nepal.
According to the Nepal police, more than 22,000 lost their lives in the past 10 years in road accidents.
Three women were killed and four people injured in a fire that engulfed a four-storey residential building in the Indian capital on Saturday, police said Sunday.
The fire broke out Saturday evening at Shalimar Bagh locality, northwest of Delhi.
"Last evening a fire broke out inside a residential building which resulted in the killing of three women," a police official said. "Four people including two children were rescued."
Reports said two policemen and a firefighter were also injured during the rescue.
Atul Garg, director of Delhi Fire Services (DFS), told media the three dead women aged between 57 and 75.
"Though the women were rushed to a nearby hospital but doctors there declared them brought dead," the police official said, adding that they did not suffer burn injuries but died of asphyxiation.
According to the DFS, preliminary investigations revealed fire broke out in the kitchen on the ground floor of the house, which was locked from outside. It suddenly spread to the upper floors and trapped the occupants.
Last week a devastating fire inside an old building in the city killed 43 people and injured many others.
Chances of fire in Indian buildings are usually high as people ignore safety standards.
China's Ministry of Justice on Friday began soliciting public opinions on a draft law aiming to promote the country's cultural industry.
According to an introduction to the draft law, legislation is needed to help tackle the challenges facing China's emerging cultural industry in terms of supply, structure and enterprise development, among others.
The draft states that the country encourages and supports the production of quality cultural works such as those dedicated to promoting core socialist values and Chinese culture, the innovation of cultural expressions and the protection of the lawful interests of practitioners in cultural sectors.
The draft stipulates that the country shall establish a financial service system for the industry and improve relevant mechanisms under which the development of the cultural industry is backed by financial support. Preferential tax policies shall be put in place to boost the growth of the industry.
With regard to the development of the cultural market, the draft makes it clear that the country will establish a credit system and form an incentive and punishment mechanism in a bid to maintain market order.
Authorities in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Friday temporarily closed a major university following overnight armed clashes between rival groups that left one student dead and and several others wounded.
Police said the decision to close the International Islamic University was made by university administrators to avoid more clashes.
Authorities have deployed additional police to the campus to avoid further violence.
The decision came after clashes Thursday night in which both sides used batons and guns, spreading panic among students and prompting parents to ask their children to leave the hostels at the campus for their safety.
Police said the fighting was sparked when two groups of students disagreed over the organizing of a book exhibition. But the melee came amid a broader campaign by students across the country to lift a decades-long ban on peaceful political activities at educational institutions.
Slain student Syed Tufail belonged to the student wing of a radical Islamic party.
Hong Kong's much-maligned police force has slipped on a banana peel by trying to make light of its liberal use of tear gas during the territory's protest movement.
Mimicking an artist who duct-taped a banana to a wall, the force tweeted a photo of a canister similarly taped, with the words: "Say NO to violence. Let's leave the tear gas cartridge on the wall forever."
"For a Police officer, using force, including tear gas, is always the last resort. If rioters don't use violence, Hong Kong will be safe and there's no reason for us to use force," the post on its Twitter account said.
Respondents to the post called it crass. Some, in turn, posted videos of Hong Kong police officers' use of gas and other riot control measures, which protesters say have been excessively violent.
The police force has fired nearly 16,000 tear gas rounds and made more than 6,000 arrests during the six months of pro-democracy demonstrations that have at times been marked by violent clashes and vandalism of government buildings, transit hubs and commercial spaces.
The protesters' demands include an independent investigation of police actions, amnesty for protesters who have been arrested and retraction of the description of protesters as "rioters." They say the label characterizes peaceful demonstrators as criminals who could face long imprisonments.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has refused to meet those demands, saying an internal police investigation is sufficient and that dropping criminal cases against the protesters would not follow the rule of law.
The police watchdog agency that is investigating suffered a blow this week when foreign experts it recruited to bolster the credibility of its work quit, saying its probe lacked the powers and tools it needs.
The police force's make-light tweet about tear gas initially included a "Bananaart" hashtag, but that was then deleted. The force then reposted its tweet without it.
The hashtag referred to a talked-about artwork from artist Maurizio Cattelan that stole the show at Art Basel Miami. Titled "Comedian," it was a spotty banana duct-taped to a wall.
Despite online incredulity, the police force stuck by its tweet.
"Police respect the public's freedoms of expression and welcome public's feedback for further constructive discussion," it said in response to an Associated Press question about the reaction.
Policing the protests has stretched the force's resources. The government said in a briefing paper for a legislative meeting Friday that the bill for police overtime from June, when the mass demonstrations began, to November was about 950 million Hong Kong dollars (US$122 million).
"More than 900 protests, processions and public meetings have been staged in Hong Kong, many of which eventually turned into illegal acts of violence," the government note said. "During the ongoing conflicts in the past few months, front-line police officers had to handle massive and unlawful violent acts in various districts on the one hand, and to maintain regular police duties and public services in the territory on the other."
Courts are being kept busy, too. A 13-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to one year of probation for burning China's flag at a protest in September, her lawyer, Douglas Kwok, said. The court also sentenced to her an overnight curfew between the hours of 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., he said.