Country seeks Nazi war debt
Greece has set up a “working group” to scour historical archives and tally how much Germany might owe in outstanding reparations for Nazi war crimes during World War II, the finance ministry announced on Monday. Greece has said in recent years that it reserves the right to claim reparations worth an estimated US$7.5 million, saying it was forced to accept unfavorable terms during negotiations in the 1950s. “The matter remains pending,” Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said. “Greece has never resigned its rights.”
Starving rooftop tigers found
Thai police said they had discovered six underfed tigers in specially built cages on the roof of an apartment building on Monday, arresting a man who claimed he had been planning to open a zoo. Four adult cats and two cubs were found at the property on an industrial estate in Pathumthani province, north of Bangkok, in the raid by police from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division. A 28-year-old man, who lives in the building, was arrested at the scene and claimed to own the animals. “The man said that he was preparing to open a zoo in the province,” said police Captain Montri Neepasee, who said the animals had not been given enough food and did not look “completely healthy.” He added he believed the tigers would have been sent to Vietnam, where there is demand for “their meat and skins.”
Casino tycoon wins case
US casino tycoon Steve Wynn won US$20 million in defamation damages on Monday after he was accused of planning to have a businessman killed and buried in the desert over a bad gambling debt. Wynn was awarded the damages after taking legal action against Joe Francis, founder of the entertainment group Girls Gone Wild. The week-long trial heard evidence from both men, as well as legendary music producer Quincy Jones. Francis first made the comments in court in April 2010 — where they were immune from legal action. That trial was about a US$2 million gambling debt, which Francis allegedly ran up at one of Wynn’s Las Vegas casinos, but he was accused of repeating them once outside court when he was overheard by an online gossip reporter and again on a recent morning TV show.
Hackers hit Web site firm
A member of a hacker collective claimed credit on Monday for downing the Web hosting firm GoDaddy, which manages millions of Web sites around the world. Credit was claimed on Twitter by AnonymousOwn3r, identified as the “security leader” of the loosely organized hacker group known as Anonymous. When some news sites blamed the attack on Anonymous, the same individual responded on Twitter by saying: “it is not Anonymous coletive it’s only me don’t use Anonymous coletive name on it, just my name.”
UK royals start Asia tour
Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, arrived in the city state on Tuesday to start a Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The nine-day trip through Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu is to feature sentimental stops as well as the former Kate Middleton’s first overseas speech as she settles into her duties with the British monarchy. The glamorous couple’s first visit will be to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens.
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
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and