CHINA

Easing of residency rules

set, to spread public perks

China plans to loosen its stringent regulations on urban residency to allow more people to enjoy public services such as housing, education, and health care.

Chinese have for decades been limited in public services they can access by their household registration, known as a hukou.

The problem is especially acute for the millions of migrant workers who are often forced to either leave their children in the countryside during their employment or place them in unregistered and often substandard schools in the city.

Details of the changes were not immediately released, although a statement posted on the cabinet's official website Sunday said they would take effect from Jan. 1.

Following three decades of economic reforms, the world's most populous country became predominantly urban in 2011, and officials are encouraging the trend.

- AP
NIGERIA

Extremists kill 16

Boko Haram Islamist insurgents killed 16 people including a soldier in two attacks in northern Nigeria. A military group was ambushed while transporting food, with two casualties, the Nigerian army said in an emailed statement Saturday. An attack on the village of Kumaya left 14 more dead, according to Isa Mohammed, a vigilante who helps the military fight Boko Haram. The Islamist group has waged a six-year campaign of killings and kidnappings to impose its version of Islamic law on the region. - Bloomberg
KENYA

Railroad construction

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said 60 percent of his country's China-financed railroad from Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, is complete. "We have begun the process of extending it to Naivasha, and eventually to Kisumu and Malaba," he said at a rally in Nairobi to mark 52 years of self-rule. A copy of his speech was emailed by his office Saturday. The railroad runs 378 miles between Mombasa and Nairobi, and is planned to extend to Malaba, near neighboring Uganda. - Bloomberg