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World News Quick Take



One detained over fire

Police yesterday detained one person in connection with a fire at a foot massage parlor in Zhejiang Province that killed at least 18 people and injured 18, Xinhua news agency said. The fire broke out at about 5:26pm on Sunday. It was extinguished in less than two hours. Eight lost their lives in the fire, while another 10 died in hospital, Xinhua said. The cause of the fire is unclear, it said.


Longest flight arrives

The world’s longest commercial flight yesterday landed in Auckland, with the arrival of Qatar Airways’ 14,535km from Doha, the airline announced. “We’ve officially landed in Auckland,” the airline tweeted as Flight QR920 landed at 7:25am, five minutes ahead of schedule after a 16-hour, 23-minute flight. The long-range Boeing 777-200LR crossed 10 time zones on its marathon flight. There were four pilots on board as well as 15 cabin crew who served 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals during the flight.


Record cocaine haul

Police have made their largest cocaine haul ever after seizing a yacht carrying 1.4 tonnes of the drug with an estimated street value of A$312 million (US$239 million). The boat was stopped off the New South Wales coast on Thursday and six men were arrested, police said yesterday, following a two-and-a-half-year joint investigation with New Zealand. “This is the largest cocaine haul ever seized in a single operation in Australia’s history,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said. A New Zealand man, 63, and a Swiss-Fijian dual national, 54, who were aboard the yacht were taken into custody, while four men aged between 32 and 66 were arrested in Sydney.


Uranium shipment expected

Tehran is to receive the final part of a 149-tonne shipment of uranium from Russia as part of its nuclear deal with world powers, it was announced yesterday. “The first shipment arrived on Jan. 26 by plane and the last will arrive tomorrow [today], Tuesday,” Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi said, according to Fars news agency. Under the nuclear deal signed with world powers in July 2015, Tehran has the right to enrich uranium to a level of 3.5 percent and sell it abroad, as part of efforts to develop its civilian nuclear program. With the latest shipment, which was authorized by the US and the other five signatories to the deal, Salehi said Tehran has imported 359 tonnes of concentrated uranium, also known as yellow cake, since the nuclear deal came into effect in January last year.


Louvre suspect silent

The suspected Louvre Museum attacker refused to talk to police during two rounds of questioning on Sunday, a judicial source said. The man, believed to be an Egyptian national, was shot in the stomach and seriously wounded after lunging at soldiers with two machetes on Friday. Investigators questioned him twice at his Paris hospital bed where he is receiving treatment after his condition improved, but he “still refuses to speak,” the judicial source said.


Poll decision weeks away

A decision on calling a new independence referendum could be made within weeks, said a Scottish Greens lawmaker whose party is a key ally of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The timing of a potential new referendum — which polls say most Scots do not want — would be determined by the process of Britain’s exit from the EU, said Ross Greer, a lawmaker and a key campaigner in the 2014 vote in which Scots rejected independence by a 10-percentage-point margin. “We are working on a timescale now where Article 50 [which triggers Britain leaving the EU] will be activated next month — that’s the timescale when it will almost certainly become clear whether there’s going to be a referendum or not.”

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