Gunmen kill tourists
Police say militants have killed a German tourist and an Afghan civilian in a relatively stable area in the center of the country. Deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir said the German man was riding in a vehicle with three Afghans when they were ambushed late on Saturday afternoon by two armed gunmen on a motorbike in Dawlat Yar District of Ghor Province. After a small argument, the gunmen fatally shot the German and an Afghan man. The two other civilians were wounded in the attack. Bashir says the group had traveled from Herat Province in the west and was heading to Bamiyan Province.
Land sales probe promised
Officials promised an investigation into land sales to defuse days of large, sometimes violent protests by villagers in the south who say they are being pushed off farmland for property development, state media and villagers said yesterday. Government officials struck a compromise with leaders from Wukan village on Saturday, promising a full investigation of all land sales if locals would halt the protests, according to a report in the official Southern Daily posted late on Saturday on the Web site of Shanwei city, which oversees Wukan. The strategy appeared to work. While villagers gathered to protest for a fourth day on Saturday as negotiations took place, no one congregated to do so as of midday yesterday, villagers contacted by telephone said. However, locals said they remain angry and expect the government investigation to expose what they say is an unfair transfer of farmland to build factories. “We want our land returned to us,” said a woman who took part in the protests and would only give her surname, Yang.
Head of gang chapter killed
Police say the head of a California chapter of the Hells Angels was killed in a gun battle between two rival motorcycle gangs at a Nevada hotel-casino. Sparks deputy police chief Brian Allen said Jeffrey Pettigrew died late on Friday in the shootout with members of the Vagos club at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. Two Vagos members were hospitalized and were in a stable condition. Pettigrew was in charge of the Hells Angels’ chapter in San Jose. The town of Sparks is on edge amid fears of retaliation. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini says a drive-by shooting just hours after the fatal gunfight was apparently such an attack. Martini has declared a state of emergency to help speed up state assistance if backup law enforcement is needed.
‘Ladies in White’ heckled
About 300 activists backing the nation’s communist government shouted down 35 relatives of political prisoners, some of whom were roughed up, a journalist witnessed on Saturday. A crowd of university students and members of the Union of Communist Youth massed outside the Havana home of “Ladies in White” leader Laura Pollan and blocked group members from marching to attend mass nearby. The Ladies in White, mainly the wives and mothers of political prisoners, won the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize in 2005. The women were targeted for more than three hours with shouts and insults. “These are the same people as ever,” Pollan told reporters. “They are not the ‘enraged Cuban people’ [as the government calls the pro-regime activists] — they are not spontaneous. They are brought in here.”
Journalist found decapitated
The decapitated body of a female journalist was found on Saturday in the northeast of the country near the US border, along with a message attributed to an organized crime gang, state prosecutors said. The victim found in the city of Nuevo Laredo was identified as Maria Elizabeth Macias, the 39-year-old chief editor of the newspaper Primera Hora, prosecutors in Tamaulipas state said in a statement. Next to the body was a note “attributed to a criminal group,” the statement said, without offering further details. Two weeks ago, the half-naked bloodstained bodies of a man and a woman were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, along with messages threatening those who report drug violence on social networks.
Banned journalist deported
The country deported a French journalist on Saturday who had been placed on a banned list for allegedly insulting the country, security sources said. They identified the journalist as Marie Edmee Josette Duboc and said she was held at Cairo’s airport terminal after flying in from Paris on Friday evening when officials found her name on a list of people banned from entering the country. “The journalist had deliberately tried to discredit Egypt,” one security source said without giving any further details. “Thus, she had been put on the list of those banned from entry.”
Rifle assembly plant opens
The army has opened a plant to assemble Galil assault rifles for export, particularly in Latin America, the Defense Ministry said on Saturday. “The weapons and munitions factory will be able to assemble 2,000 Galil ACE [assault rifles] a month for the international defense market,” a statement said.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
China is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized — and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed