the world today

Typhoon kills two and batters islands

TAIPEI — The most powerful typhoon of the year swept through the Luzon Strait separating the Philippines and Taiwan on Saturday, battering island communities with heavy rains and strong winds as it headed for Hong Kong. Typhoon Usagi weakened from a super typhoon and veered westward, likely sparing southern Taiwan from the most destructive winds near its eye. At least two people were killed in the Philippines, and two others were missing. (AP)

South Korea

North postpones family reunions

SEOUL — North Korea on Saturday indefinitely postponed reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War scheduled to start Wednesday, after weeks of improving ties following springtime threats of war. North Korea said the six days of reunions, which last happened three years ago, could not be held because of South Korean conservatives’ ‘‘reckless and vicious confrontation racket’’ against Pyongyang. It vowed to ‘‘take strong and decisive counteractions’’ against South Korea. (AP)


Woman, 5 rebels killed in fighting

ZAMBOANGA — Five rebels and a 71-year-old woman were killed Saturday as fighting dragged on between government troops and Muslim insurgents holding out with about 20 civilian hostages, officials said. The woman was killed when a stray mortar shell allegedly fired by the rebels loyal to Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari hit her house in Zamboanga city. A military spokesman said five rebels were killed and two soldiers wounded. (AP)


Farmer arrested over military insult


CAIRO — A farmer in southern Egypt was arrested Saturday after putting the military leader’s name and an army-style cap on his donkey, and eight people were detained elsewhere in the country for spraying antimilitary graffiti. Omar Abul-Magd, was charged with insulting General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the defense chief. (AP)