IAEA report clears Iran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday reported that it has found no violations of a deal meant to crimp Tehran’s ability to make atomic arms. However, touching on one potentially sensitive area, the agency said that Iran had begun manufacturing rotor tubes for centrifuges. For the 5,060 low-tech centrifuges now producing limited amounts of fuel-grade enriched uranium in Iran, Tehran must use spare parts stripped from old or idle machines. In a report obtained by The Associated Press, the atomic energy agency said it wants to keep a close eye on how many rotor tubes are being made and for what models of centrifuges, to make sure they are being produced only in quantities and for machines allowed under last year’s nuclear agreement.
Stockholm not wooing NATO
The government yesterday reiterated its stance that the country should not seek NATO membership, following an opposition push to join the military alliance in light of increased tensions with Russia in the Baltic region. As part of a defense agreement between the center-left government and three opposition parties the government had commissioned a report evaluating the country’s defense and security stance. While the report is still to be published later today, the government said the nation would not change its long tradition of neutrality by joining the organization.
Sixth suspect arrested
Authorities said they have arrested the sixth, and last, suspect among those sought for allegedly carrying out the killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres last March. Caceres led the defense of the Gualcarque River, which is considered sacred by the Lenca people, and her fight succeeded in blocking the proposed Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam. The activist, who had been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to preserve land, was shot to death on March 3 by assailants who invaded her home. Announcing the latest arrest, Ricardo Castro, head of Honduras’ criminal investigation unit, identified the suspect as 21-year-old Elvin Heriberto Rapalo Orellana, also known as “El Comanche.”
Man hid wealth, police say
Police said an Ohio man who claims he is worth US$120 million and is the son of a late Iranian prince hid his wealth in order to collect food stamp payments and Medicaid. WKYC-TV reported (http://on.wkyc.com/2cytPTL) authorities last week raided the sprawling, 743m2 suburban Cleveland home of Ali Pascal Mahvi. For two years Mahvi’s family collected about US$300 per month in food stamps. They also received Medicaid. However, officials said the family has numerous bank accounts with a combined value of more than US$4 million that were not disclosed when he applied for benefits.
Grackles fall from the sky
Health officials in Massachusetts are trying to figure out what caused a large flock of birds to fall out of the sky and onto a Boston street. NECN (http://bit.ly/2cdLHTc) reported that 46 songbirds were found on Thursday in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood. Some of the grackles were found dead, while others were sick. The Animal Rescue League of Boston said it went to the neighborhood after residents reported birds falling from the sky and a sick cat. The cat was later euthanized.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear