Merkel computer hacked
A computer in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s legislative office was hit by a cyberattack that targeted the lower house of parliament last month, the Bild reported yesterday. The daily, which did not cite its sources, said the cyberattack was broader and greater than originally anticipated and the Bundestag struggled to control it. The attack “infected” one of the computers in Merkel’s Bundestag office. Bild said the computer was one of the first on which the Trojan Horse-style attack was discovered on Friday. The Trojan Horse software was found on five computers.
Hurricane warning issued
A hurricane warning has been issued as Hurricane Carlos is expected to strengthen and increase its forward speed over coming days as it heads toward the southwest of the country. The US National Hurricane Center said the hurricane’s eye was slowly drifting north on Saturday night and was about 170km south of Acapulco and that Carlos’ winds had increased to 140kph. Carlos is expected to produce 5cm to 10cm of rain across the southwestern coast through tomorrow, which forecasters warned could cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Voters go to the polls
Voters went to the polls yesterday in local polls that are seen as a test of whether the nation is committed to European integration or will move closer to Russia. The elections came two days after pro-European Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici resigned after he was questioned about the authenticity of his high school diplomas and university degree. About 2.8 million eligible voters are choosing mayors and local councils. A runoff is slated for June 28 for seats with no candidate who secures 50 percent of the vote.
UN help sought
The government said it plans to formally ask the UN to intervene and help resolve an escalating border dispute with Venezuela. Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge on Saturday said in a statement that it was time for what he called a “judicial settlement.” Venezuela has long claimed about two-thirds of the nation west of the Essequibo River, as well as a large marine area where Exxon Mobil Corp has said it made a significant oil discovery.
The body of a Massachusetts man killed while fighting alongside the Kurds against the Islamic State group has been returned home. WBZ-TV reports a Turkish Airlines plane on Saturday arrived at Logan Airport in Boston carrying the body of 36-year-old Keith Broomfield, who was killed on June 3 in Syria. His parents told the television station that he had no military training, but he felt compelled to fight against what he considered “evil.” He went overseas in February.
Soldiers quizzed on beating
Seven soldiers yesterday were to face a disciplinary hearing after video emerged of troops beating an unarmed Palestinian in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In the footage, men in military uniforms were seen repeatedly striking the civilian, including with a rifle butt near the back of the head and a punch in the face. The beating was accompanied by the chanting of obscenities. The army said seven soldiers were being investigated for possible disciplinary action over the alleged assault on Friday in the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah.
US rower rescued
A US woman attempting to cross the Pacific by rowboat has ended her solo attempt because of expected bad weather. Sonya Baumstein was rescued off the Japanese coast on Saturday after sending out a distress signal, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday. The 30-year-old Baumstein departed from Choshi, Japan, one week ago, hoping to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. She was headed for San Francisco but sent out the signal on Saturday at 2:20pm about 250km off the coast of Japan. A freighter traveling nearby rescued her at about 5 pm on Saturday and passed her on to a coast guard ship around 8:55pm the Japanese coast guard said.
Man dies in ethnic conflict
A man who was injured in clashes in southern Algeria, site of frequent confrontations between Berber and Arab communities, has died of his wounds, the country’s national news agency said on Saturday. The 33-year-old was wounded during clashes between groups of youths that began late on Friday in Berriane, according to the APS news agency, and later died in the hospital. Four other people were wounded in the clashes, APS reported. It added that riot police used tear gas to disperse the groups. Berriane lies near the southern town of Ghardaia, in the M’Zab valley on the edge of the Sahara desert. The region has seen tensions rise sharply between its Mozabite, or Berber, and Chaamba, or Arab, communities after vandals destroyed a historic Berber shrine in December 2013.
Thousands rally for pacifism
Thousands of Japanese rallied yesterday in protest at plans by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bolster the role and scope of the pacifist nation’s military. The protest, which surrounded the parliament building, was held as the nationalist premier tries to force through parliament a set of controversial bills making the changes. The bills are a pet project of Abe, who said Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the security umbrella provided by the US. The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces. It would allow them to go into battle to protect allies — so-called “collective defense” — something which is banned by a strict reading of Japan’s pacifist constitution. Opponents of the bills accuse Abe of trying to move the country away from pacifism, while three scholars summoned to parliament testified this month that the bills are unconstitutional.
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Palestinian killed by jeep
An Israeli army jeep struck and killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank yesterday, with the military and locals giving conflicting accounts of the circumstances. A military spokeswoman said the jeep, which was in Qafr Malik village as part of an operation to arrest suspected militants, accidentally hit the Palestinian after he threw a petrol bomb at it. “The driver was startled and swerved, hitting the man,” she said, adding that a military investigation would be launched. Local resident Nail Abdul Latah al-Hajj denied the Palestinian had attacked the jeep, however, saying the man was walking to work at a chicken farm when he was run down on the main street and then crushed as the vehicle crashed into a wall and overturned.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of