Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Tuesday he had information that Iraq recently transferred weapons of mass destruction to Syria while Iraq expressed confidence it will come clear after UN inspections. \n"There is information we are verifying. But we are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria," Sharon told the private Channel Two television station. \n"Saddam Hussein wanted to hide his weapons, and I think that the Americans know that," said the Israeli leader, who has strongly backed US threats to topple the Iraqi leader's regime over its alleged weapons off mass destruction programs. \nHe added that "Iraqi experts and scientists are working in the nuclear industry in Libya" and recalled that Israeli forces had recently arrested members of a Palestinian militant group in the West Bank who had allegedly received training in Iraq. \nIraqi leader Saddam Hussein said in a nationwide broadcast message he was confident the outcome of the inspection operations "will be a big shock to the US and will expose all American lies, if things remain on a technical and professional course with no hidden agendas." \n"Then the world will discover the falsehood of the US claims and see the real intentions of wickedness and perfidy harbored by US officials," Saddam Hussein said. \nBoth the US and Britain, two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, have already said gaps in Iraq's arms declaration were a "material breach" of the resolution, which could trigger military action. \nThe Iraqi leader also referred to the "growing" military threat against his regime and repeated Baghdad's allegation that Washington and its allies -- "the forces of evil" -- were really after the nation's oil wealth. \n"It is in this context the American-Zionist campaign against Iraq is being launched, while the tone of a threatened, large-scale military aggression against our peace-loving people is growing louder," he said. \nUN weapons inspectors would find no evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear arms program if they "rid themselves of pressures put on them by the United States, Britain and Zionism." \nAs talk of war built a head of steam, a top Israeli army commander said the US would attack Iraq at the start of February. \nMajor General Aharon Zeevi, chief of army intelligence, told a parliamentary committee he expected war to begin just after the US administration reviews a UN weapons inspectors report, due to be submitted by January 27, according to the daily newspaper Haaretz. \nMeanwhile, Baghdad reveled in Monday's shooting down of an unmanned US drone in the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. \nRuling Baath Party official Saad Qassem Hammudi that the "heroic operation" that led to the shooting down of the drone aircraft was just a taste of things to come for any invaders of its territory. \n"It's a message that any assault against Iraq will not be the picnic they imagine," he said, adding the operation demonstrated Iraq's ability to stand up to sophisticated technology. \nWashington has already deployed 65,000 troops to the Gulf region, with another 50,000 due in January.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Two US senators were critical of the WHO after a senior WHO official appeared to hang up on a Hong Kong reporter who asked about Taiwan’s membership status in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. During a video interview with Radio Television Hong Kong’s Yvonne Tong (唐若韞) on Saturday, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward first claimed not to have heard her question on whether the WHO would consider giving Taiwan membership. When Tong repeated the question, he asked her to “move on to another one.” The video then showed the line disconnecting after Tong said she would like to hear more about Taiwan.