Xinhua News Agency

Regional News • Asia • China
Electoral reform: China's People's Congress votes to change Hong Kong's electoral law
Hong Kong skyline
Hong Kong skyline Credit: Mark Huguet

According to the decision of the People's Congress, which was published by the state news agency Xinhua, the committee to elect the Hong Kong chief executive should be enlarged from 1,200 to 1,500 members. "This is the latest move by Beijing to erode space for democratic debate in Hong Kong, contrary to promises made by China," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, according to a statement. Following the enactment of the controversial security law last year, the election reform is another blow to Hong Kong's liberal system.

Regional News • Asia • China
11 of 22 Chinese miners trapped in gold mine rescued after two weeks
11 of 22 Chinese miners trapped in gold mine rescued after two weeks
Credit: Xinhua/Chen Hao

Efforts have been underway to reach the workers since the blast occurred about 240 meters from the mine's entrance, but Chinese officials had said Thursday it could take 15 days to drill through 70 tons of debris trapping many of the miners. Xinhua quoted the note as saying: "We are heavily exhausted and in urgent need of stomach medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people have high blood pressure."

The miners became trapped on Jan. 10 following an unexplained explosion at the Hushan gold mine located in the city of Qixia in China's eastern province of Shandong. It was not until 30 hours later that the accident was reported, leading to at least two local officials' firings.

In September, at least 16 workers in southwestern China died after they became trapped underground in a coal mine and exposed to unsafe carbon monoxide levels, state media reported.

Regional News • Asia
Myanmar: New restrictions to curb the rise of Coronavirus cases
Street in Yangon, Myanmar
Street in Yangon, Myanmar Credit: Dudva

Parts of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, have been put under a stay-at-home-order. The country has seen a rise in Coronavirus cases, reported 115 new infections of Friday morning.

"It took five months to discover 374 infection cases in the first wave of the disease. The number of infections quadrupled now although it's been only 24 days since the second wave started on Aug 16," said Dr Khin Khin Gyi, director of Contagious Disease Prevention and Eradication Division of Public Health Department under the Health and Sports Ministry, told Xinhua. "Active cooperation and participation of the public are needed to reduce the number of infections by following the preventive measures and guidelines by the ministry."

Suspected case of bubonic plague in China's Inner Mongolia region
Model of bubonic plague bacteria - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Model of bubonic plague bacteria - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Credit: Tim Evanson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A new case of bubonic plague was reported in the Chinese city of Bayannur, Inner Mongolia, located northwest of Beijing, leaving authorities on high-alert. According to the Xinhua news agency, a hospital alerted municipal authorities of the patient's case on Saturday.

The local government urges the population to take precautions to minimize the risk of human-to-human transmission and to avoid hunting or eating animals that could cause the infection.

Bayannur health authorities said: "At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city. The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly,"