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Zimbabwean nurses have called off a strike against poor working conditions and will return to work on Monday, a nurses union said on Sunday.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga last week announced the sacking of 16,000 striking nurses, accusing them of a “politically motivated” walkout.

Zimbabwe National Union (ZINA) said on Saturday that the strike by its members had become “politicized”.

“To pave way for the re-opening of negotiations and protection of our workers, we have decided to call off the industrial action,” ZINA said in a statement, calling on its members to report for duty by Monday.

The union said it had filed a court application to force the government to reverse its decision to fire the nurses.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is seeking to keep a lid on labour unrest in the build-up to the first elections since the fall of Robert Mugabe.

The elections, which will pit Mnangagwa against several opposition candidates, are set for July.

The nurses strike came days after junior doctors wrapped up a month-long walkout over pay and working conditions.
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A view shows the oil port of Es Sider, Libya, March 16, 2017. Picture taken March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

A fire that broke out on a pipeline operated by Libya’s Waha Oil Co that feeds Es Sider port has been brought under control, an engineer at the port said on Sunday.

Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) had said it expected a loss of production of 70,000-100,000 barrels per day (bpd) because of the fire which broke out on Saturday.

NOC said it was investigating the fire 21km (13 miles) from North West Marada. A source from Waha said militants were suspected of attacking the pipeline.

Militants were blamed for a previous attack on the pipeline in December, when the NOC also reported a production loss of 70,000-100,000 bpd.

Fighters loyal to Islamic State are present in the area, Libyan officials have said.

The pipeline was repaired within a few days after the December attack.
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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China later this week for an informal meeting with President Xi Jinping, as efforts at rapprochement gather pace following a testing year in ties between the two giant neighbours.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said the two will meet on Friday and Saturday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Wang was speaking after meeting Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in Beijing.

“This year, under the guidance of our leaders, the China-India relationship has realised good development and shown a positive momentum,” Wang said.

Both countries must now work hard to ensure the leaders’ meeting becomes a “new milestone” in ties, Wang added, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Going forward, China and India should also deepen their cooperation and appropriately handle differences, he added.

Modi has sought to re-set ties after disputes over issues including their disputed border with Tibet and other issues.

The Asian giants were locked in a 73-day military stand-off in a remote, high-altitude stretch of that boundary last year. At one point, soldiers from the two sides threw stones and punches.

The confrontation between the nuclear-armed powers in the Himalayas underscored Indian alarm at China’s expanding security and economic links in South Asia.

China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative of transport and energy links bypasses India, apart from a corner of the disputed Kashmir region, also claimed by Pakistan, but involves India’s neighbours Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives.

Modi’s previously unannounced Wuhan trip is even more unusual in that he will visit China again in June for a summit in Qingdao of the China and Russia-led security grouping, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which India joined last year.

It is almost unheard of for foreign leaders to visit China twice in such close succession. Xi is also extending Modi the rare honour of a meeting outside of Beijing, which almost never happens unless there is a multilateral summit taking place.

Modi’s nationalist government has reversed course on its relationship with Beijing apparently after realising its hard line on China was not working.

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who lives in India and who China considers a dangerous separatist, is also facing the cold shoulder.

In March, India issued an unprecedented ban on Tibetans holding a rally with the Dalai Lama in New Delhi to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Other areas of disagreement remain however between Beijing and New Delhi.

China has blocked India’s membership of a nuclear cartel and it has also been blocking U.N. sanctions against a Pakistan-based militant leader blamed for attacks on India.
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The United Arab Emirates said Qatari fighter planes intercepted a civilian aircraft carrying 86 passengers to Bahrain on Sunday, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

Quoting its civil aviation authority, the agency said the UAE civilian craft had to take evasive manoeuvres to avoid a collision. It did not name the airliner involved.

Both countries have accused each other of a series of mid-air incidents since Abu Dhabi and other powers imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar in June.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, accuse Qatar of supporting regional foe Iran as well as Islamist extremists. Qatar has denied the charge and accused the four countries of trying to curtail its sovereignty.

There was no immediate comment by Qatari officials on the accusation.