Noriega critically ill
Former dictator Manuel Noriega, 83, is in critical condition after undergoing two brain surgeries at a Panama City hospital. Noriega underwent the first procedure on Tuesday morning to remove a benign tumor, but a second surgery was needed after a hemorrhage that afternoon, his daughters and lawyer said. While the tumor was detected several years ago, it grew unexpectedly recently, threatening Noriega’s life, his doctors said. Noriega is serving a long prison term for corruption and the killings of political opponents during his administration in the 1980s. He was transferred from prison to house arrest on Jan. 29 to prepare for the surgery, which was originally scheduled for the middle of last month.
Statue of Liberty goes dark
For several hours on Tuesday night, Lady Liberty did not shine so brightly, after what a spokesman called an “unplanned outage.” WCBS-TV reported that the statue was dark except for the crown and torch. The lights returned shortly before midnight. The outage triggered rumors on social media that perhaps it was done deliberately for yesterday’s “A Day Without Women” protest, but National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said the outage was probably related to a project for a new emergency backup generator.
Ready for airport’s closure
Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi on Tuesday said that “everything is ready” for the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, despite worries about limited capacity at the alternative hub and security for passengers forced to go by road between Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna. However, all international airlines serving Abuja, except Ethiopian Airlines, have refused to go along with the plan to shut the airport for six weeks to allow for runway repairs, and canceled their flights instead. Amaechi said there was no cause for concern. “We have set up the roads, the railway, the buses and everything is ready,” he said.
Church sets up fund
The Roman Catholic Church on the island has established a US$1 million settlement fund for victims of child sexual abuse. Archbishop Michael Byrnes yesterday announced the fund at a news conference with his nine-member archdiocese finance council, and said that the church is seeking an administrator and an independent third party to operate the fund. Once those are in place, victims can contact the administrator directly, he said. The US$1 million is a start and shows the archdiocese’s “serous intent” to aid victims whether they file a lawsuit or not, he said. To date, 24 people have filed a lawsuit for clergy child sexual abuse against the archdiocese.
Hunt for alleged murderer
Police on Tuesday launched a manhunt for 19-year-old Marcel Hesse, who is suspected of stabbing a nine-year-old neighbor to death and bragging about the murder in an online video. Police said they were alerted on Monday by people who had viewed the clip on the Darknet, a hidden online arena notoriously used by criminals to trade weapons, drugs and child pornography. A child’s corpse was found at about 7:30pm on Monday in the basement of Hesse’s house in Herne. Based on another conversation Hesse had on the Internet, investigators said they could not rule out that he had also killed a woman. Police said they did not have a motive for the boy’s killing.
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of