Nuclear talks slow going
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana ruled out yesterday any "great breakthrough" in his talks with Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani on Tehran's controversial nuclear program. "We had a constructive meeting [but] we will not be in a position to make a great breakthrough during this visit," he told reporters. Solana and Larijani arrived on Wednesday and had a five-hour meeting about ending the stand-off resulting from Iran's defiance of UN Security Council demands for it to stop enriching uranium. Speaking to reporters late on Wednesday, Larijani reported some progress, telling reporters: "There are ideas on the table ... In about two weeks time again we would be having some more talks."
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Blaze halts trains
Trains stopped running and more than 200 people evacuated yesterday because of a large fire near railway tracks in south London, the fire brigade and Southeastern trains said. "A range of buildings of one or two floors in an area of 150 by 50m, 60 percent of buildings are alight," a fire brigade spokeswoman said. The fire took place in Lewisham. The spokeswoman said a 200m exclusion zone had been thrown up around the area and about 200 people evacuated by police. No one was hurt and about 40 firefighting trucks were on the scene.
■ UNITED STATES
Calls for Wolfowitz to quit
Calls for the resignation of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz grew on Wednesday as the European Parliament voiced its displeasure over allegations that Wolfowitz showed favoritism in arranging a promotion and pay package for his girlfriend. The demand by the EU's legislature that the development chief step down comes as a special panel at the bank is investigating whether Wolfowitz violated any bank rules in his handling of the promotion of bank employee Shaha Riza to a high-paying job at the State Department in 2005. The World Bank's 24-member board will ultimately decide what action, if any, to take.
■ UNITED STATES
Cops nab Captain America
A man dressed as the comic book hero Captain America was arrested after allegedly grabbing a woman inappropriately at a Florida bar and fighting with her boyfriend. Raymond Adamcik, 54, was arrested on Saturday night. He later tried to flush marijuana he had likely hidden in his costume down a toilet at a police station, police spokeswoman Jill Frederiksen said. She said a number of patrons at the bar were dressed in costumes as part of a bar crawl. A handful of people dressed as Captain America were asked to step outside so the woman could identify the individual, Frederiksen said.
AIDS expert speaks out
One of Africa's leading AIDS specialists, Souleymane Mboup, has accused the Gambian government of covertly obtaining blood tests from his laboratory to try to convince the world of the efficacy of the Gambian president's herbal remedy for the disease. President Yahya Jammeh has been treating people with HIV in the compound of the presidential palace with herbal rubs and drinks, which he claims are a cure. To the alarm of the International Aids Society (IAS) his patients have stopped taking antiretroviral drugs.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around