Moon to visit US next month
President Moon Jae-in is to travel to the US for a summit with US President Donald Trump late next month, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said yesterday, amid high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Details of the precise date and agenda are to be decided later, Yoon said. Moon backs engagement with the North to try to reduce tensions, while Trump’s administration has said military action is an option under consideration. “We will prepare the summit as an opportunity to cement personal ties and friendship between the two leaders,” Yoon said.
Ex-minister’s homes raided
The Central Bureau of Investigation yesterday raided the homes of former minister of finance P. Chidambaram and his son in what it said was a probe into suspected criminal misconduct related to approvals of investment deals. At least 14 locations in Chidambaram’s home city of Chennai were searched by the bureau, TV news channels reported. A bureau spokesman in New Delhi confirmed a raid was taking place at the home of Chidambaram’s son, Karti, but gave no further details. Chidambaram, who served in the Congress government that was voted out of office in 2014, declined to comment when asked about the raids by reporters.
Millions of trash found
When researchers traveled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches. Almost all of the garbage they found on Henderson Island was made from plastic. There were toy soldiers, dominos, toothbrushes and hundreds of hardhats of every shape, size and color. The researchers said the density of trash was the highest recorded anywhere in the world, despite the island’s extreme remoteness. Henderson is located about halfway between New Zealand and Chile and is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. University of Tasmania research scientist Jennifer Lavers was the lead author of the report, which was published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
More arrests ordered
The government has ordered the arrest of 85 energy and education ministry staff in an investigation targeting the network of a US-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating an attempted coup in July last year, broadcaster CNN Turk reported yesterday. About 50,000 people have been formally arrested in court cases targeting supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen. President Tayyip Erdogan, who was to meet US President Donald Trump in Washington yesterday, is seeking Gulen’s extradition. No details were immediately available on the latest arrest warrants.
Orangutan named ‘Alba’
A conservation group said that a rescued rare albino orangutan has been named “Alba” after thousands of suggestions were sent from around the world. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation said the name means “white” in Latin and “dawn” in Spanish. It hopes the animal will be an ambassador for the critically endangered species. The five-year-old female was rescued after being captured by villagers in the Indonesian part of Borneo Island on April 29. The foundation is collecting information on albinism in great apes to help decide the primate’s future.
Minister cancels Jordan visit
A Cabinet minister has called off a long-planned visit to Jordan for a joint scientific venture following a spat between the countries over a deadly shooting in Jerusalem. Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis said he was to skip yesterday’s event in Amman marking the launching of the “Sesame” particle accelerator because of Jordan’s reaction to the killing of a Jordanian who stabbed a police officer. Video footage shows the 57-year-old man swiping a knife before knocking the officer to the ground. Police say the officer shot the attacker dead. Jordan said it holds Jerusalem responsible for killing its citizen and denounced it a “crime.” The government called the Jordanian reaction “outrageous.”
Serial killer Ian Brady dies
Ian Brady, a British serial killer notoriously known for the “Moors Murders,” died on Monday at the age of 79 in a high-security psychiatric hospital, authorities said. Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley — who died in prison in 2002 — tortured and murdered five children between July 1963 and October 1965 near Manchester. Both were jailed in 1966 for three murders before later confessing to another two. They became known as the Moors Murderers after four of their victims were found buried in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor, a national park 26km east of Manchester. “We can confirm a 79-year-old patient in long-term care at Ashworth High Secure Hospital has died after becoming physically unwell,” a spokesman from the Merseyside health service near Liverpool told reporters. Lawyers representing Brady had announced in February that he had been bed-ridden for years and it was “fair to say” that he was terminally ill. He was reportedly receiving palliative care for emphysema. Brady had repeatedly asked to be allowed to die and had been force-fed since 1999 when he started a hunger strike.
Russian sues over AP story
A Russian billionaire is suing The Associated Press for defamation over a story about his connections to a former campaign chairman of US President Donald Trump. Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska on Monday filed a federal defamation and libel lawsuit over the March 22 story about his business ties with Paul Manafort. Deripaska said the article is inaccurate and hurt his career by falsely accusing him of criminal activity. The AP’s general counsel, Karen Kaiser, said the news organization stands by its story and will defend itself. The AP reported that before signing up with Trump, Manafort secretly worked for Deripaska with a plan to “greatly benefit the [Russian President Vladimir] Putin government.”
Priest stabbed at mass
A knife-wielding assailant stabbed a priest in the neck as he said mass in Mexico City’s cathedral on Monday, then tried to flee the church before being caught, officials said. “We are united in prayer for Father Machorro who just was gored in the neck in the cathedral,” fellow priest Jose Aguilar said on Twitter. The priest was rushed to a hospital for treatment of neck wounds, police said. They declined to give the identity of the assailant, who was turned over to prosecuting authorities. Mexico City prosecutors then said the man identified himself as a US national, called himself an artist and refused to give any motive for the attack. They said he had told authorities he would not offer information that could incriminate him, a prosecutors’ statement said.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made