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'Harry Potter and The Cursed Child' to be published as book

Magic is in the air once more for "Harry Potter" fans.

Scholastic and author J.K. Rowling's digital arm Pottermore announced today that the upcoming "Harry Potter" stage production, "Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Parts I & II," will be published as a script book on July 31. It will be available as a "special rehearsal edition" at 12:01 am, retailing for $29.99 in hardcover or as an ebook for $14.99 via Pottermore.

The book arrives the day after the world premiere of the stage production at London's Palace Theatre on July 30.

In "Cursed Child," the story picks up 19 years later with Harry Potter now a father whose youngest son, Albus, is learning to deal with the family legacy. A press release describes it: "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places."

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Photo: Lianhe Zaobao and Dr T Selva

Will Singapore face natural disaster this year as predicted by astrologer?

A well-known Indian astrology expert has claimed that Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines are among the countries likely to be hit by natural disasters this year.

This should come as a surprise to many as Singapore is well-shielded from natural calamities like earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis.

Regarded as a Vasthu Sastra or Indian astrology expert, Dr T Selva gave his predictions in an article published in the New Sarawak Tribune on Feb 7.

Another two countries that are expected to face natural disasters are Australia and New Zealand, he said.

Singapore is well-known worldwide as one of few places on earth with a low risk for destructive natural disasters.

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Photo: The Straits Times

PM Lee's wife Ho Ching injures arm in hoverboard accident

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, Ms Ho Ching, shared that she had injured her left elbow because of a hoverboard accident on Facebook on Monday (Feb 8).

In the post, she also shared a photo of herself in a sling or a "flex frame 'cast'" posing alongside a stormtrooper, from the Star Wars saga, during her visit with PM Lee to Changi Airport on Monday.

Ms Ho wrote: "Had a difference of opinion with one of my hoverboards 3 weeks ago - i wanted to step down and it decided to do a spin!"

She ended her post by jokingly reminding herself "to respect temperamental hoverboards".


Had a difference of opinion with one of my hoverboards 3 weeks ago - i wanted to step down and it decided to do a...

Posted by HO Ching on Sunday, February 7, 2016
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Photo: AFP

Auschwitz: 94-year former Nazi guard to go on trial in Germany

A 94-year former Nazi SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp is due to go on trial in Germany over the murder of at least 170,000 people.

Prosecutors say Reinhold Hanning met Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp in occupied Poland and may have escorted some to the gas chambers.

Mr Hanning has admitted being a guard but denies involvement in mass murder.

He will be tried in the city of Detmold, in what is likely to be one of the last cases of its kind.

Mr Hanning is one of four elderly former Nazi guards - three men and a woman - who are due to go on trial in the coming months.

The Nazis killed about 1.1m people at Auschwitz, most of them Jews.

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North Korea executes army chief of staff: South Korean media

North Korea has executed its army chief of staff, Ri Yong Gil, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, which, if true, would be the latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under its young leader.

A source familiar with North Korean affairs also told Reuters that Ri had been executed. The source declined to be identified, given the sensitivity of the matter.

Ri, who was chief of the Korean People's Army (KPA) General Staff, was executed this month for corruption and factional conspiracy, Yonhap and other South Korean media reported.

The news comes amid heightened tension surrounding isolated North Korea after its Sunday launch of a long-range rocket, which came about a month after it drew international condemnation for conducting its fourth nuclear test.

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Photo: Reuters

38 charged in Hong Kong street food riot

Thirty-eight people in connection with Monday night's Mong Kok mob have been charged for participating in the riot and will appear in court today.

Among the 64 arrests made so far, the police charged 38 men and 3 women aged 15 to 70 with one count of riot yesterday.

Violence erupted overnight as a group of activists from Hong Kong Indigenous confronted police and hygiene officers to "protect" illegal street hawkers in Mong Kok.

At one point, masked activists threw bricks and bottles at police, while police used batons and pepper spray and fired two warning shots into the air.

Television news footage also showed rioters setting fire to litter bins and throwing bottles and rubbish at police.

It was the worst unrest in Hong Kong since the Occupy Central protests of 2014.

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Photo: AFP/ Royal Office for Media

Bhutan's royal couple share first photo of baby prince

When news first broke that Bhutan's royal couple had welcomed their firstborn on Feb 5, everyone was eager to see the little prince.

Yesterday (Feb), Queen Jetsun Pema finally revealed the first picture of her son on her Facebook account but even then, you don't get to see the face of the young prince in full view.

In the photo taken at Lingkana Palace to mark the Losar holiday, the prince is surrounded by the royal family.

King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck could be seen cradling the four-day-old baby, wrapped in an orange blanket, together with the king's father, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, as his mother looks on lovingly.

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