Jordan's military prosecutor indicted 13 alleged Muslim militants yesterday, including fugitive Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, for an al-Qaeda linked plot to attack targets in Jordan with chemical and conventional weapons, government officials said yesterday. \nLieutenant Colonel Mahmoud Obeidat summoned the nine terror suspects who are in custody and read them the charges listed in the indictment, the officials said on condition of anonymity. \nThey said the four at large, including al-Zarqawi, were also charged and would be tried in absentia. The trial was expected to begin next month. \nAl-Zarqawi, the best-known figure indicted, is thought to be directing anti-US attacks and kidnappings in Iraq, where he leads the Tawhid and Jihad group. \nSecurity officials have said the plot targeted the Jordanian prime minister's office, the secret service agency, the US Embassy in Jordan and other sites. \nAzmi al-Jayousi, the alleged mastermind of the cell who was captured in April, has confessed to military prosecutors plans for a chemical attack, the officials said. \nThe military court is expected to issue a 10-day grace period this week for the four fugitives to surrender to authorities -- a process which precedes the opening of the trial. In Jordan, charges become formal when read aloud at the opening of the trial. \nThe charges on seven counts include conspiring to commit terror attacks in Jordan, possessing and manufacturing explosive material and affiliation with a banned group, the officials added. The group in question has been identified as Kata'eb al-Tawhid (Battalions of Monotheism), a previously unknown group said to be linked to al-Qaeda. If convicted on all counts, defendants could be sentenced to death. \nSecurity officials and, in televised confessions some of the detained suspects themselves, have said the plot was linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. \nBesides the 13 suspects, four were killed in a police shootout on April 20, when the terror plot was uncovered and foiled with most members of the Jordanian cell arrested. \nJordan announced in April it had foiled a terrorist plot blamed on al-Zarqawi.
China reported 45 new COVID-19 cases for Saturday, down from 54 the previous day, with all but one involving travelers from overseas, the country’s health authority said yesterday. In the past seven days, China has reported 313 imported cases of the novel coronavirus, but only six confirmed cases of domestic transmission, Chinese National Health Commission data showed. Most of those imported cases have involved Chinese returning home from abroad. Airlines have been ordered to sharply cut international flights from yesterday, while restrictions on foreigners entering the country went into effect on Saturday. Five more people died on Saturday, all of them in Wuhan,
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
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
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt