Breathing new life into a case that has strained relations with the US, Colombia's attorney general has charged three air force members with involuntary manslaughter for dropping a bomb that killed 17 civilians during a 1998 battle with leftist rebels. \nThe three helicopter crew members -- air force Captain Cesar Romero, 1st Lieutenant Johan Jimenez and an enlisted man, technician Hector Mario Hernandez -- will face trial in a civilian court on involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the December 1998 attack near the northeastern village of Santo Domingo, the attorney general's office announced. \nIn a statement released late Friday, the attorney general's office said it appeared the air force members did not realize there were civilians in the area when they dropped the bomb during a battle with a group of rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The bomb killed 17 civilians and wounded 25 others, the attorney general's office said. \n"Evidence shows that [they] did not intend to inflict harm upon the civilian population," the statement said. "Rather, it shows a lack of foresight in using this type of war equipment." \nConstant delays in the case prompted Washington to suspend military aid to the First Aerial Command Unit, the outfit involved in the attack, earlier this year. In August, General Hector Velasco retired as commander of the air force amid US complaints that he had stalled probes into the attack. \nFor nearly five years, the air force denied responsibility for the attack. Velasco said the deaths were caused by a rebel truck bomb, even though a forensic analysis by the US FBI concluded the shrapnel was consistent with that of a fragmentation bomb dropped from the air. \nThe new air force chief, General Edgar Lesmez, finally acknowledged in October that the helicopter did indeed drop a bomb, but said it was aimed at a group of FARC rebels.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made