NEWSLINE

China may be installing new radar on S China Sea outposts
Recent satellite images show China may be installing a high-frequency radar system in the Spratly Islands that could significantly boost its ability control the disputed South China Sea, a US think tank reported on Monday. The Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies said the images showed that construction of facilities at Cuarteron Reef appeared nearly complete and that the artificial island now covered an area of about 52 acres. ‘Two probable radar towers have been built on the northern portion of the feature, and a number of 65-foot poles have been erected across a large section of the southern portion,’ the report said. — Reuters, Washington

Israel razes homes of two Palestinians
Israel has destroyed the homes of two Palestinians accused of separate attacks that left five people dead, the army said Tuesday, the latest in a series of punitive demolitions that have drawn criticism from rights groups. The overnight demolitions west of Hebron targeted the homes of two men said to be behind November 19 knife and car-ramming attacks in Israel’s commercial capital Tel Aviv and at a junction in the occupied West Bank. Mohammed al-Harub is accused of opening fire at a junction near Israeli settlements in the West Bank then ramming his car into a group of pedestrians. An Israeli, a Palestinian and an American were killed. — AFP, Jerusalem

Fiji cyclone death toll hits 29
Humanitarian aid began pouring into Fiji Tuesday, as the death toll from super-cyclone Winston rose to 29 and officials warned the devastated Pacific nation’s recovery could take months. With authorities still struggling to grasp the scale of the disaster on remote island communities, Australian and New Zealand planes arrived with desperately needed supplies of food, water and medicine. Government spokesman Ewan Perrin said the news was grim from the few isolated villages which had managed to restore communications after the storm hit last weekend. — AFP, Suva

Nepal lifts months-long fuel rationing
Nepal has lifted its months-long rationing of fuel following the end this month of a border blockade by people protesting against a new constitution, officials said Tuesday. The months-long blockade caused a crippling shortage of fuel and other vital supplies in the landlocked Himalayan country. But members of Nepal’s ethnic Madhesi community decided to call off their protest at a key border post which began last September, allowing trucks to resume crossing over from India. — AFP, Kathmandu

Mars, Snickers chocolate bars recalled in Germany
US chocolate maker Mars Inc announced a recall of Mars and Snickers bars as well as some other products in Germany on Tuesday after bits of plastic were found in one of its products. ‘We want to avoid having consumers who bought one of the (affected) products consume them,’ Mars said in a statement on its German web site. It said the recall affected all Mars and Snickers products, Milky Way Minis and Miniatures as well as certain kinds of Celebrations confectionery boxes with best-before dates ranging from June 19, 2016 to January 8, 2017. — Reuters, Frankfurt

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