Climate talks end

BANGKOK: Two weeks of crucial UN climate talks concluded on Friday after exposing huge rifts between rich and poor nations, just weeks ahead of the deadline for sealing a planet-saving global deal. Only five negotiating days remain, in November, before 192 nations converge for a critical December showdown in Copenhagen. The key stumbling blocks are how to share out the job of slashing the heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and how much money wealthy nations will stump up to help developing ones fight climate change and cope with its consequences. — AFP

W Asia violence

JERUSALEM: Israeli security forces on Friday clashed with stone-throwing Palestinians near Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound as authorities limited access to the flashpoint site sacred to Muslims and Jews. Eleven officers were injured and two Palestinians arrested after the scuffles, which came as Palestinians staged a one-day strike in defence of the compound they claim is threatened by right-wing Jews. The trouble started in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood just outside the gates

of the Old City following Friday prayers when a dozen masked

youths hurled stones at police. As police moved deeper into the neighbourhood to arrest the youths, residents threw stones, water and even chairs at them. — AFP

Indian PM on flood

NEW DELHI: Indian PM Manmohan Singh on Friday called deadly floods in the country’s south a “national calamity” and assured victims they would receive full support in rebuilding their lives. “The central government stands beside the state government in meeting this challenge of unprecedented tragedy,” said Singh. More than 300 people died and close to 1.5 million others have been displaced by flooding after heavy rains which lashed Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. — AFP