Cult members jailed

SHANGHAI: A court in China’s northeast Liaoning province has sentenced five members of a banned religious cult to prison for trying to spread rumours and recruit believers, state media reported on Saturday. China’s Communist Party, obsessed with social stability, brooks no challenge to its rule. It has cracked down on cults, which have multiplied in recent years.

Demonstrations have been put down with force and some sect leaders executed. The official Xinhua news agency reported that the five accused, who live in the city of Panjin, were members of the group Quannengshen, or the Church of Almighty God. It said they were caught with proselytising materials in their possession. Quannengshen gained notoriety in 2014 when a video distributed online appeared to show group members beating a woman to death at a McDonald’s food chain. That incident led to two members being sentenced to death for murder.

Air strikes kill 80

SANAA: The death toll from Saturday’s Saudi-led airstrike on the central Yemeni city of Taiz rose to 80 with at least 150 people injured, local medical sources said. A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been bombarding Iran-allied Houthi forces in Yemen since late March in a bid to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh. The Saba agency had quoted a local source in Taiz as saying that the bombing early on Saturday morning had targeted the Mokha area inhabited mostly by engineers and workers of a power station and some displaced families.