Sun Feb 5, 2017 8:20AM
People wave flags during a protest in front of the government headquarters against controversial decrees to pardon graft offenders, in Bucharest, February 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
People wave flags during a protest in front of the government headquarters against controversial decrees to pardon graft offenders, in Bucharest, February 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

Turmoil in Romania

Chaotic scenes have erupted in Romania as hundreds of thousands of protesters demonstrate against government plans to free or reduce the sentence of officials jailed for graft. In the capital, Bucharest, demonstrators hurled firecrackers and stones at police, who fired tear gas in response. The protesters called on the government to step down immediately. The rage has spilled into dozens of cities, making the demonstrations the largest Romania has seen since the fall of communism in 1989. What triggered the crisis was the prime minister's emergency decree.

Scottish referendum in the making?

Disputes appear to be emerging between Scotland and Britain over a second Scottish independence bid, which is being sought by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has reportedly told the media that London would not give Scotland the necessary legal power to stage another referendum. This has already triggered a row with Sturgeon, who has warned that any move by London to block Scotland’s second referendum bid would be disastrous. Sturgeon – who says she will call for Scotland’s independence within the next few weeks – says blocking the bid by London would be a democratic outrage. 

US-South Korea drills

South Korea and the US have held a combined winter military exercise in Pyeong-chang with the stated aim of strengthening the bond between the two militaries. Soldiers participated in a skiing drill, search and destroy exercise, and hand-to-hand combat training. A commander for the US Marines said the purpose of the combined drill has been to increase combat proficiency "in the event that we ever have to fight a war together." The military drills between the US and South Korea come amid speculations that the North will conduct another missile test. Pyongyang has condemned the joint exercises by the US and the South, threatening retaliation for what it called "madcap mid-winter" exercises.