President leaves hospital
President Cristina Fernandez, who has faced recurring medical problems, was released from hospital on Sunday after a new health crisis that forced her to cancel a trip to this week’s G20 summit. The Argentine leader, 61, who was hospitalized the previous week with fever and stomach pains, was diagnosed as having an intestinal infection. Doctors allowed her to leave hospital, but have ordered her to rest for 10 days, her office said. Fernandez had to cancel her attendance at the G20 summit later this week in Brisbane, Australia. The nation is to be represented instead by Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. It is the third time in less than a year that Fernandez, who is in her last year in office, has been sidelined by health issues. She was waylaid for several days last month by pharyngitis and in July Fernandez was sidelined for several days by laryngitis, forcing her to cancel a trip to Paraguay.
Seven guerrillas jailed
An indigenous court convicted seven Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas of murdering two leaders of the Nasa tribe in western Colombia on Sunday, sentencing them to between 40 and 60 years in jail, and 20 lashes. The harshest sentence — 60 years in prison — was handed down to Carlos Ivan Silva, who confessed to killing two native leaders on Wednesday. The victims were removing billboards praising late FARC leader Guillermo Leon Saenz, also known as Alfonso Cano, when they were murdered. Four other defendants were sentenced to 40 years each for having “fired indiscriminately on other members of the community” alongside Silva. Two teenagers also arrested were sentenced to 20 lashes and will be held at a rehabilitation center until they are 18, at which point a new assembly will reconsider their cases. When crimes are committed in Aboriginal territory, the punishment for the accused is decided by the community and not the justice system.
Bomb attacks kill 10 cops
Bombs struck three cities, including the capital Kabul, on Monday, killing at least 10 police officers, officials said, a day after a Taliban suicide bomber penetrated police headquarters in Kabul killing at least one person. In Kabul, a magnetic bomb planted in a flower bed near a university wounded three people, while seven police were killed in Logar Province when a suicide bomber blew himself up at police headquarters, echoing Sunday’s attack in the capital. In Nangarhar Province, three policemen were killed by a bomb planted in a rickshaw, officials said.
Group pledges IS allegiance
The nation’s deadliest militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), in a recording posted on its Twitter account on Monday. “We announce our pledge of allegiance to the caliph Ibrahim Ibn Awad... to listen and obey,” the audio recording said, referring to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group has waged a campaign of violence from its Sinai Peninsula stronghold that has killed scores of police officers and soldiers since the Egyptian army ousted former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in July last year. Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said the announcement would make no difference to the fight against the militants. “They are just different names for the same terrorists,” he said.
Warning shots fired in DMZ
Troops yesterday fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers approached too close to the border separating the two nations, Seoul defense officials said. About 10 North Korean soldiers retreated without returning fire after troops fired 20 rounds of warning shots, the officials said. There were no reports of casualties. The incident happened near the military demarcation line inside the 4km wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Murder suspect faces tests
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court yesterday adjourned the case against a British banker Rurik Jutting for two weeks of psychiatric exams. Jutting, a 29-year-old securities trader, is accused of killing two young Indonesian women whose mutilated bodies were found at his apartment. The law requires reports by two different doctors, prosecutor Louise Wong said. Jutting will next appear on Nov. 24, principal magistrate Bina Chainrai said. Wong told the court that a reconstruction of the crime “has not yet been conducted because the defendant did not give consent.” Defense lawyer Tim Parker said that Jutting had not agreed to a reconstruction “yet” — but may do in future. Jutting is being held at the maximum security Siu Lam psychiatric center, Wong said.
Dog alerts handler to bomb
A police dog handler in Zamboanga narrowly avoided death after his dog alerted him just before a bomb exploded, police said yesterday. Officer Manuel Ynid was slightly injured when a bomb hidden in a cardboard box exploded late on Sunday, police spokesman Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca said. The dog has been given a week to recover from the stress, officials said.
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
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: In its tender, the Hong Kong administration said that it had failed to ‘mobilise the community to support law enforcement actions’ The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to a discreet London-based PR firm to counter coverage of the territory in the international media. Consulum, which has also represented Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was on Monday awarded the ￡5 million (US$6.2 million) one-year contract to improve Hong Kong’s reputation — the same day that China passed national security legislation targeting the territory. The Mayfair-based PR business was founded by Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell, two former employees of Bell Pottinger, an agency that has been criticized for representing some governments and leaders that other businesses