Car bomb wounds police
A car bomb wounded six policemen yesterday as it exploded in front of a police building in Cairo, the Ministry of the Interior said, the latest in a wave of militant attacks that has rocked the country. The powerful blast in northern Cairo’s Shubra District came in the middle of the night, a journalist said. The blast made a wide crater near the four-story building, shattered its windows and destroyed a major part of the front portion of a surrounding wall, a correspondent reported from the site.
Election date proposed
The Higher Election Board has proposed Nov. 1 as a possible date for early elections after the failure of attempts to form a coalition government following June 7 polls, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. The proposal, presented to political parties before a final decision is made, came three days ahead of Sunday’s deadline for forming a new government. The election board is set to determine an exact date for elections after the parties give their opinions, Anatolia said.
Ex-PM’s conviction upheld
The nation’s first female prime minister, Han Myung-sook, is to be sent to prison after the Supreme Court upheld her bribery conviction, court officials said yesterday. The court said it had rejected the appeal by the 71-year-old Han, who was sentenced to two years in prison for taking kickbacks from a businessman in a 2013 ruling by the Seoul High Court. Han has avoided jail since 2013 while she appealed the prison sentence. Supreme Court officials said their ruling is final.
Actress found guilty of abuse
Veteran actress Maggie Kirkpatrick, who played a violent and sadistic warden nicknamed “The Freak” in a cult soap opera set in a women’s prison, was convicted yesterday of molesting a 14-year-old psychiatric hospital patient in her home more than 30 years ago. The series was known as Prisoner in Australia, and Prisoner: Cell Block H or Caged Women overseas. Kirkpatrick, 74, had pleaded not guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to two counts of indecently assaulting the young fan in 1984 and one count of gross indecency.
Axing of US singer slammed
The government has condemned a reggae festival’s decision to boot a Jewish-American singer from the line-up after he declined to state his position on a Palestinian state. Matisyahu, who fuses reggae and hip-hop with Jewish influences in his songs, had been due to perform at the weeklong Rototom SunSplash festival, one of Europe’s largest reggae festivals in Benicassim on Saturday. However, a local branch of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement accused Matisyahu of being anti-Palestinian and a “Zionist” who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
Spacesuit work Web-funded
The Smithsonian’s first shot at online crowdfunding ended on Wednesday after raising a hefty US$719,779 to restore the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon. A total of 9,477 people contributed to the month-long Kickstarter “Reboot the Suit” campaign, which surpassed its US$500,000 goal on July 24.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big