Sun, Feb 11, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Trump defends former aide

President Donald Trump has defended former aide Rob Porter. He is wishing him well in his future endeavors without any mention of Porter’s two former wives who have accused him of physical and emotional abuse. Trump’s comments set off a firestorm at a time of national conversation about the mistreatment of women. And they came amid White House finger-pointing about who knew what, and when, about the severity of the spousal abuse allegations. Trump said Porter, who resigned when the abuse allegations became public this week, had “worked hard” at the White House and wished him well. He gave no nod to the treatment of the women whose reports of abuse led to Porter’s resignation, but which he denies.

SOUTH KOREA

Possible cyberattack probed

Pyeongchang Winter Olympic organizers are investigating a possible attack on their Internet and Wi-Fi systems that took place about 45 minutes before the opening ceremony on Friday. Organizing committee spokeswoman Nancy Park said the Ministry of Defense and a cybersecurity team were investigating the outage. She said the systems were almost back to normal about 15 hours after the problems were discovered. Yonhap news agency reported that servers were shut down to prevent damage to technical systems, causing problems with the Pyeongchang Olympic Web site. Park declined to call it a cyberattack.

UNITED STATES

Memo to stay classified

The White House has told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that President Donald Trump is “unable” to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI’s Russia probe. The memo is a response to a Republican memo alleging abuse of those surveillance powers. White House counsel Don McGahn said in a letter to the committee that the memo contains “numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages” and asked the intelligence panel to revise the memo with the help of the Department of Justice.

INDONESIA

Evacuees allowed home

Thousands of people who were forced to evacuate their houses in Bali because of a rumbling volcano can now return home, authorities said yesterday as they lowered Mount Agung’s alert level. The volcano, about 75km from Kuta, has been periodically spewing molten clouds of ash and smoke for months, forcing more than 100,000 people to flee the area and prompting the closure of the island’s international airport. The Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation lowered Agung’s alert level from four to three, citing a decline in its activity.

THAILAND

Arrest warrants issued

A court on Friday issued arrest warrants for four pro-democracy activists for staging a public protest amid growing pressure on the junta to hold elections as promised, police said. Rangsiman Rome, Sirawich Seritiwat, Ekachai Hongkangwan and Anond Nampa were charged with illegal assembly along with 35 other activists who staged a demonstration last month in Bangkok to protest against a delay to a general election scheduled to take place in November. The 35 reported to police on Thursday and were released the same day. The other four did not report to police. They face additional charges of breaking a junta order that bans public gatherings.

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