US bill draws warning
The government would retaliate if the US enacts a proposed law that would halt weapons sales to the country, Minister of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday. Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives on Friday released details released details of a US$717 billion annual defense policy bill, including a measure to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey. In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said the measures in the bill were wrong, illogical and not fitting between the NATO allies. “If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate,” he said. “What needs to be done is the US needs to let go of this.” Ankara plans to buy more than 100 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jets, and is in talks with Washington over the purchase of Patriot missiles.
Cuba to host talks with ELN
Cuba will host peace talks between the government and leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out last month as host, negotiators said on Saturday. President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas in November 2016. “After jointly examining the options to renew dialogue as soon as possible,” the government and ELN negotiators will resume talks “in Havana starting next week,” a joint statement read.
Lava claims more homes
The number of homes destroyed by lava shooting out of openings in the ground created by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano climbed to five as some of the more than 1,700 people who evacuated prepared for the possibility they may not return for quite some time. “I have no idea how soon we can get back,” said Todd Corrigan, who left his home in Leilani Estates in Puna with his wife on Friday as lava burst through the ground three or four blocks from their home. The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said eight vents have opened in the neighborhood since Thursday.
Paris picnic against Macron
Tens of thousands of protesters in Paris danced, picnicked and railed against President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday at a “party” marking his first year in office. Police fired tear gas on troublemakers on the margins of the largely festive protest, and eight people were arrested. Authorities deployed 2,000 police to the event. “Stop Macron!” read placards at the rally in front of the Opera Garnier. Demonstrators then marched toward the Bastille plaza. The far-left party Defiant France planned the event around the one-year anniversary of Macron’s election on May 7 last year.
Man eats 30,000th Big Mac
A retired Wisconsin prison guard has eaten his 30,000th Big Mac, nearly 46 years after eating his first. WBAY-TV reports that 64-year-old Don Gorske of Fond du Lac recorded the milestone at a local McDonald’s on Friday. Gorske says he has eaten at least one Big Mac almost every day since May 17, 1972. He has kept most of the boxes or receipts or has made specific notes in calendars that he has kept. Guinness World Records has recognized Gorske for the most Big Macs consumed since 2016, when his tally was 28,788. Gorske says he has eaten so many because he just loves hamburgers.
Human traffickers arrested
Authorities on Saturday said they have arrested more than a dozen members of an alleged human trafficking syndicate after intercepting a ship carrying 127 Sri Lankan migrants believed to be bound for Australia and New Zealand. Maritime authorities on Tuesday halted a modified tanker named Etra in territorial waters off southern Johor State, national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement on Saturday. Nearly 100 Sri Lankan men, 24 women and nine children were aboard the ship, which was making its way to international waters when it was stopped.
Toll in methane blast climbs
The death toll from methane gas explosions in two coal mines near Quetta on Saturday has climbed to 23, Officials have said. Mine inspector Iftikhar Ahmed yesterday said that five more bodies have been recovered from one of the mines, bringing the death toll from the blast to 16. Another seven people died in a separate blast, which also wounded two people. Rescue operations have been completed at both sites, Ahmed said.
Roadside bomb kills seven
A vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market yesterday struck a roadside bomb in Faryab Province, killing seven of them. Another civilian was wounded in the attack, police spokesman Karim Yuresh said. In the Paktia Province, a car bomb killed two people and wounded another three. Abdullah Hsart, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said the attack late on Saturday targeted Hazart Mohammad Rodwal, a district chief, who was among the wounded. The Taliban claimed the second attack. Meanwhile, government forces backed by airstrikes have retaken a district in Badakhshan Province that was seized last week by Taliban insurgents, officials said.
Ten killed by tainted water
Ten villagers have died and 120 have been sickened after drinking water suspected to be contaminated with insecticide, a health official said yesterday. The dead and sickened villagers exhibited the same symptoms, including breathing problems, dizziness, vomiting and chest pains, said Chhneang Sivutha, the head of the Kratie Provincial Health Department. Villagers began getting sick on Thursday, he said. Health authorities have collected water and food samples from the two villages and are awaiting laboratory results. Deputy Provincial Police Chief Chhim Sokhim suspected rainwater from nearby farms that use insecticide had come into contact with a stream where villagers collect water used for drinking and cooking.
Mystery blast kills six people
Six people were killed in an unexplained explosion in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday, health officials said, with Hamas’ military wing saying they were members of its forces. The Gaza Ministry of Health confirmed that six people were killed, updating the figure from an initial five, and three others wounded in what residents said appeared to be an accidental explosion in the Az-Zawayda area of the central Gaza Strip. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza’s Muslim rulers, said the fatalities were members of their group and blamed Israel for the explosion without providing details or proof.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable