NATO soldier killed in blast
A bomb blast killed another NATO soldier in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest month for foreign forces fighting in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion, the military said yesterday. “An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed yesterday as a result of an Improvised Explosive Device strike in southern Afghanistan,” a statement that gave no details said. Another NATO soldier, a Canadian, was killed in fighting on the same day in southern Afghanistan, the military said from Ottawa. Thousands of US soldiers have pushed into the south, notably Helmand and Kandahar provinces, in one of the biggest operations in Afghanistan to quell Taliban strongholds in a bid to smooth key presidential elections next month.
Police set for more violence
Jerusalem police say they are standing by for more violence after a third straight night of street battles with ultra-Orthodox Jews enraged by the arrest of a mentally ill Hasidic woman who authorities said was starving her child. The woman was due to appear in court yesterday and the outcome could either defuse or further inflame tensions in the city. Police said that if her family and lawyers agree to a psychiatric evaluation she could be released quickly. They have so far refused and demand her unconditional release. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 18 police officers were injured and 50 protesters were arrested during street battles overnight.
The latest test of advanced submarine-launched ballistic missile Bulava has failed, with the missile self-destructing, the Defense Ministry said — another setback for the Russia’s efforts to upgrade its aging arsenal. The failure was the seventh in 11 test launches for the Bulava and could have consequences for top missile designers and missile force commanders. The Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the missile was fired the day before from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi, but its first-stage malfunctioned and the weapon self-destructed.
Molave brings floods
Overnight storms brought havoc to Manila yesterday, causing widespread flooding and forcing schools, offices and the country’s stock exchange to close, officials said. Heavy overnight rains forced all government offices to close and the suspension of elementary and high school classes in the capital and surrounding districts. The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended operations mid-morning “because of a lack of clearing facilities,” as the central bank had curtailed its activities because of the weather. Tropical Storm Molave off the north of Luzon island was reported to be packing maximum winds of 85kph at its center, with gusts of 100kph.
Thieves steal baby gibbons
Thieves broke into a French zoo and snatched year-old twin baby gibbons after throwing their mother into the moat around their island home, the site’s manager said on Thursday. Keepers at the Frejus Zoological Park discovered what had happened on Tuesday morning after finding the female ape, 15-year-old Micha, soaking wet and in distress. “She was distraught,” zoo director Guy Mascheffa said after making a formal police complaint. “The babies are in danger of dying because any change in their diet can be fatal and provoke serious diarrhea.”