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Hourly News updated 21:00 2016/02/13
   2016-02-13 20:55:44   CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Bin




Taiwan quake death toll rises to 116


There are now 116 confirmed deaths in southern Taiwan, one week after an earthquake toppled several buildings.

114 of those deaths happened at the site of the Wei Guan building, an apartment complex that came crashing down during the shaking, early in the morning last Saturday.

The body of the last missing resident of Weiguan Building was retrieved this afternoon.

The police received a report that one person was disappeared after he went out exercising on Feb. 6, but he is not a resident of the building and whether his missing was caused by the quake remains unknown.



HK sees largest drop of mainland tourists during Spring Festival holidays


Hong Kong has seen a 10 percent year-on-year decline in the number of mainland tourists during the Spring Festival holiday, while the number of mainland tourist groups plummeted by 70 percent.

Hong Kong's Travel Industry Council says that local tourism will go through a tough time for quite a while, but the recent violence in Mong Kok does not appear to have put tourists off from coming to the city.

The first week in the lunar new year in Hong Kong, which was supposed to be a time of celebration and happiness, has proven to be eventful.

On Saturday morning, a large fire, suspected to be arson, broke out in a parking lot, following a similar incident where dozens of rubbish bins near Mong Kok were set on fire during the week.



Beijing sees less fireworks sold during 2016 Spring Festival


Fireworks sales in Beijing during Spring Festival are down significantly compared to previous years.

The number of fireworks outlets in the capital declined by 20 percent compared to last year, and the official permit period for fireworks sales has ended two days earlier than what it did in 2015.

Fireworks have long been blamed for the city's worsening smog problem, prompting the government to take harsher measures forbidding or limiting firework displays.



10 million rail trips on the last day of Spring Festival holiday


Railway authorities say more than 10 million trips are expected to be made by train in China today, the final day of the Spring Festival holiday.

It's an one-million increase from Friday, as more people are heading home and going back to work following a week of family gatherings.

Some expressways in eastern China were temporarily closed to traffic because of snowstorms and dense frog.



Deployment of THAAD in South Korea Damages Regional Stability: Chinese FM


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says the joint deployment of a missile defence system by South Korea and the United States is harmful to regional stability.

Wang Yi made the remark while meeting with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry on the sideline of the Munich meeting on the Syrian crisis.

Wang Yi says the deployment of the so-called THAAD system in South Korea is poised to further complicate the security situation in the region and damage China's security interests.

Seoul and Washington are set to discuss the deployment as early as next week.



Peace talks do not mean an end of fighting with terrorism: Syrian President


Syria's President says the peace talks to end the country's years long conflict do not mean his government's fight against terrorism will stop.

Bashar al-Assad made the remark during an interview with AFP, as international powers press for a ceasefire.

He also vows to retake the entire country.

The comment comes as woorld powers meeting in Germany have reached agreements to bring about a cessation of hostilities and allow more access for humanitarian aid.



Pope Francis in historic meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba


Pope Francis is reported to have held a three-hour landmark meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Havana.

Francis was welcomed at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport by President Raul Castro, before being led to the Protocol Room to hold the historical meeting with the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The two religious leaders will discuss relations between the two churches, the international situation and the protection of Christians under the threat of persecution and genocide in the Middle East and North Africa.

A joint statement will be issued after the meeting.

This is the first meeting between the two churches since Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago.



Mexico relocates 233 prisoners after riot


More than 230 inmates have been relocated from the overcrowded Topo Chico prison in northern Mexico, following a riot on Friday that resulted in the deaths of 49 prisoners.

Leaders from two gangs, thought to be responsible for causing the riot, are among those who have been transported to other facilities.

The governor of Nuevo Leon says a shortage of funds and a lack of custodians, along with other irregularities at the prison, contributed to the deadly riot.



Suspected microcephaly cases in Brazil rise to 5,079


The number of suspected cases of Microcephaly reported in Brazil is now more-than five thousand.

The total has increased by six percent in the last 10 days.

The rapid increase is attributed to the Zika virus, which has been spreading across the country.

However, for the moment, no formal link has been established between the congenital malformations in newborns and the virus.

Additionally, 24 babies in Brazil have died due to microcephaly and accompanying damage to the nervous system.




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