Police arrested two men on Sunday who are suspected of being members of al-Qaeda, saying they were planning suicide bombings in Iraq. \nThey said the suspects had also tried to buy a small amount of enriched uranium from a contact in Luxembourg for undisclosed purposes. \nOne of the men, whom the authorities identified as Ibrahim Mohamed K., a 29-year-old Iraqi who lives here, is suspected of having recruited suicide bombers in Germany, and has had contacts with senior al-Qaeda leaders, a German prosecutor, Kay Nehm, said on Sunday at a news conference in Karlsruhe. By German custom, the surnames of suspects in criminal cases are not disclosed. \nNehm said the Iraqi man had trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and spent a year there afterward fighting US troops. \nWhile in Afghanistan the suspect had contact with Osama bin Laden and Ramzi Binalshibh, who acted as a link between bin Laden and the men in Hamburg who are believed to have carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in the US, Nehm said. \nBack in Germany, Ibrahim Mohamed K. found a willing recruit in Yasser Abu S., 31, a Libyan-born Palestinian, Nehm said.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,