Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
China has closed down nearly 70 "illegal" golf courses, a government statement said, in what appears to be the first sign of enforcement of a decade-old ban. The announcement by China's ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is both a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.
The co-pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings plane into the French Alps was classified as suicidal "several years ago" but had appeared more stable of late, German prosecutors said Monday. As investigators in both countries tried to zero in on a potential motive, it emerged that that the first officer, Andreas Lubitz, was receiving treatment from neurologists and psychiatrists who had written him off sick from work a number of times. Meanwhile investigators sifting through the wreckage and hundreds of body parts in the French Alps were forced to resume the hunt on foot as bad weather hampered helicopter flights. Authorities are hoping to identify more DNA from the 150 people who died, as well as locate the jet's second black box that should provide more clues as to the circumstances of the tragedy.