Thu, Sep 17, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Tokyo objects to intrusion

Tokyo has lodged a protest with Moscow after it scrambled four fighter jets to intercept a foreign aircraft — believed to be Russian — which briefly violated its airspace, government officials said yesterday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the protest shortly after the airplane entered Japanese airspace off the coast of the northernmost home island of Hokkaido, near a disputed island chain, on Tuesday afternoon. “We made the protest through the Russian embassy in Tokyo,” a ministry official told reporters. “The Russian side did not confirm the case, only saying they will check facts.”

UNITED STATES

Utah flash floods kill 12

Flash floods have killed 12 people near Utah’s border with Arizona after a “large wall of water and debris” triggered by heavy rain pounding nearby canyons swept them away in their cars, officials said on Tuesday. In Zion National Park to the north, four people died and three were missing after going to explore canyons on Monday, officials said. “Another tragedy for our state. Reeling right now,” Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox said on Twitter. In the small city of Hildale, Utah, hundreds of volunteers were helping search for one person still missing, Washington County officials said, after floodwaters swept through streets. Crews have been searching the banks of Short Creek amid sporadic showers, while contractors using heavy equipment have worked to clear thousands of tonnes of mud and debris. The National Guard has been called in to help with the cleanup.

RUSSIA

Putin denies Elton John call

It was a story that seemed almost too good to be true. President Vladimir Putin, celebrated for his macho bravura, and pop star Elton John, known for his elaborate costumes, ballads and gay activism, coming together in a telephone conversation that the singer said had been initiated by the Kremlin. “Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today,” John said on Instagram on Monday afternoon, a post that went largely unnoticed for a day. “I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.” The only problem is that, according to the Kremlin, the telephone call never happened. Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri Peskov, late on Tuesday said that Putin had never spoken to John. He also said his office could not be sure the Instagram post was actually John’s. However, he said Putin was open to discussion about everything and that he did not doubt the president would be willing to speak with the singer.

UNITED STATES

Russian hacker pleads guilty

A Russian citizen accused of hacking payment systems of major retailers and the NASDAQ stock market, resulting in US$300 million in losses, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to US criminal charges. Prosecutors said Vladimir Drinkman, 34, pleaded guilty in a New Jersey federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to unauthorized access of protected computers. Drinkman was arrested in the Netherlands in 2012 and extradited to the US in February of this year. He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 15 next year, according to the Department of Justice. Drinkman was accused of leading what officials called “the largest international hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.”

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