By Donny Kwok and Michelle Price HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands of pro-democracy protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in the first large-scale rally since demonstrations rocked the global financial hub late last year. Some 2,000 police flanked thousands of protesters who marched on the city's glitzy shopping and financial districts, seeking to avoid a repeat of the so-called Occupy Central campaign that saw demonstrations shut down key roads for 2-1/2 months. Last year's protests for a fully democratic vote to choose Hong Kong's next leader were the most serious challenge to China's authority since the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations and crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Packed streets resembled rivers of yellow as protesters carried yellow banners and umbrellas - a symbol of last year's campaign after protesters used them to fend off police pepper spray attacks.
Nigeria’s military on Sunday repelled a Boko Haram assault on the key northeastern city of Maiduguri, as violence raged across the region just two weeks before national elections. The hours-long attack on the strategic capital of Borno state was the Islamists’ second attempt to take Maiduguri in a week. Separately, a suicide bomber killed seven people in Potiskum, the economic capital of neighbouring Yobe state, while two blasts -- one also carried out by a suicide bomber -- killed five people in Gombe city to the south. With near-relentless violence plaguing much of the northeast, and Boko Haram still in control of large swathes of the region, fears are mounting over the prospect of organising polls on February 14.