Dozens of people have been killed in weekend clashes in northern Yemen between the army, allied tribes and Shiite Huthi rebels, military and tribal sources said Sunday. The Huthis -- also known as Ansarullah -- have advanced from their mountain strongholds towards Sanaa in a suspected attempt to expand their sphere of influence as Yemen is reorganised into six regions. The clashes intensified on Saturday in the western neighbourhoods of Amran city, as well as eastern and southern outskirts, and Yemeni fighter jets bombed rebel positions around the city, various sources said. A medical official in Amran said "at least 40 people were killed" in the western neighbourhoods of the city.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in China on Sunday for her seventh visit since 2005, with economic ties topping the agenda and a high-powered business delegation in tow. Merkel is due to arrive later Sunday in Beijing, where she will wrap up the first day of the three-day visit by meeting Premier Li Keqiang for dinner at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. For the EU's biggest economy, China is a crucial mass market. Germany last year sold goods worth 67 billion euros ($91 billion) to China, its number-two export market outside Europe after the United States.
Japan is set to approve its first arms export following relaxation of its self-imposed ban, as the nation aims to boost its global military and economic presence, a report said Sunday. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to export a high-performance sensor to the United States, which will use it in the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile defence system to be exported to Qatar, the Nikkei business daily said without citing sources. Tokyo's decision, likely to become official later this month, comes after Japan in April amended its traditional strict ban on arms exports, particularly in cases where the products might be re-exported to countries engaged in conflict. The government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe eased the rules to allow exports of military products in a move aimed at letting Japan join international joint programmes to develop weapons and to grow its defence industry.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears all but assured of winning upcoming Turkish presidential polls, but he could find himself in charge of a far more fragile economy than in the last decade of his rule. Analysts say the Turkish strongman is jeopardising the long-term health of the economy by picking a fight with the nominally independent central bank and pushing it towards a looser monetary policy at a time of stubbornly high inflation. Meanwhile, the instability in neighbouring Iraq, where swathes of territory have been taken over by Sunni Muslim militants, risks depriving Turkey of a key export market. Erdogan is credited during his more than a decade in power with turning around Turkey's economy, whose strong expansion has made it the envy of its European and Middle Eastern neighbours.
North Korea has doubled the number of its elite cyber warriors over the past two years and established overseas bases for hacking attacks, a report said Sunday. The North's cyber war unit now has 5,900 personnel, compared with 3,000 two years ago, the South's Yonhap news agency said. "The communist country operates a hacking unit under its General Bureau of Reconnaissance, which is home to some 1,200 professional hackers," a military source was quoted as saying. North Korean hackers have launched cyber attacks through overseas bases in countries such as China, the source said.