PM has hernia procedure
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent successful hernia surgery yesterday and was set to be discharged from hospital the same day, but will require several days rest to make a full recovery, aides and doctors said. During the overnight procedure, Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon temporarily assumed the 63-year-old prime minister’s powers, Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. Yaalon was also slated to head a Cabinet-level meeting yesterday to select Palestinian security prisoners for release as part of US-sponsored peace negotiations, the second round of which are to take place on Wednesday in Jerusalem. Yuval Weiss, director of the Jerusalem hospital where the surgery took place, said the operation was ordered at short notice as a precaution against Netanyahu’s condition deteriorating.
US teacher deported
A US nursery-school teacher has been deported for allegedly writing articles on social media sites linked to radical groups and for violating the terms of her work permit as the kingdom intensifies its crackdown on dissent. The Ministry of State for Communications did not identify the woman, but said she wrote under a pen name and had broken the law by working as an unaccredited journalist. The teacher wrote articles for online publications including As-Safir newspaper, which is linked to the Shiite group Hezbollah, and the outlawed Bahrain Center for Human Rights newsletter, the state news agency said on Saturday. The ministry had received a complaint about the woman who used Twitter and other social media to write articles “deemed to incite hatred against the government and members of the Royal family, as well as spreading misinformation and encouraging divisions in Bahraini society based on religious sect,” it said.
Nation braces for typhoon
Officials say more than 3,000 passengers have been stranded on piers in the northeast of the nation as ferry services were suspended due to an approaching typhoon, the strongest to threaten the country this year. Government forecasters told reporters yesterday that Typhoon Utor, with winds of 150kph gusting up to 185 kph, could gather strength over the Philippine Sea before it slams into northeastern Aurora province today. Utor, moving west-northwest at 19kph, was forecast to dump up to 25mm of rain an hour within a 600km diameter of the typhoon, the bureau said. “Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas ... are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides,” it stated in an advisory. The bureau also warned seafarers to remain at port due to strong waves.
Chinese killed at Kabul party
Police say that three Chinese citizens found dead in an apartment building in Kabul last week were shot to death during a party. General Mohammad Zahir, chief of the criminal department of the Kabul Police, yesterday confirmed reports in the Chinese media that authorities found four bodies, including three Chinese citizens — two women and one man — in an apartment on Thursday. “They had a party and what happened during their party? Who shot and killed four people? We have to find out and we will come up with the answers after we complete our investigation,” he said. Zahir also confirmed that two more Chinese went missing, but one had been found. He said the fourth body was an Afghan, without giving further details.