Brexit challenge

BELFAST – Northern Ireland’s High Court on Friday rejected an attempt to block Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying that neither the province’s parliament nor its laws could override a decision by the British government.

Myanmar rapes

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department said on Friday that it had voiced concern to Myanmar’s foreign ministry about the reported rape of Rohingya Muslim women by soldiers during a recent upsurge in violence against the persecuted minority.

Valls ‘anger’

PARIS – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls voiced anger over unguarded comments by Socialist President Francois Hollande published in a recent book, Le Monde reported on Friday, dealing a further blow to the embattled leader.

Disputed shoal

MANILA – Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on Friday, calling the Chinese departure a “welcome development”.

Birth control

NEW YORK – Injecting men with two different hormones every eight weeks suppressed their sperm production enough to act as birth control, according to a new study.

Uzbek poll

ALMATY – Uzbekistan’s election authorities registered four candidates on Friday for a Dec.4 presidential election, including acting president Shavkat Mirziyoyev who is seen by most observers as a clear favourite to replace Islam Karimov who died last month aged 78.

Tata claims

NEW DELHI – Ratan Tata may have dumped Cyrus Mistry as chairman of his 148-year-old family empire, but will find it harder to expunge the ex-manager’s accusations that his acquisitive habits and lack of focus on returns have destroyed billions of dollars in shareholder value.

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