London violent crime surges
Two young teenagers were shot in broad daylight in London on Sunday, the day after another teen was fatally gunned down, police said, as the city grapples with a surge in violent crime. London’s Metropolitan Police said the teenagers, aged 13 and 15, were taken to hospitals after officers found them within minutes of each other nursing gunshot wounds at separate nearby locations in the suburb of Harrow. Both suffered head injuries, with the younger victim wounded by a shotgun pellet, but neither were in a life-threatening condition, the police said. The incident came just hours after a 17-year-old boy was shot on Saturday evening in Southwark, south London, and died at the scene, it said.
New mayor gets broken nose
A man has been arrested after punching the new mayor of Freiburg as he was celebrating his election win. Independent candidate Martin Horn, 33, suffered a broken nose, a broken tooth and bruises. Hours earlier he had won a runoff against long-time Green party incumbent Dieter Salomon. A spokeswoman for the Freiburg police said the 54-year-old suspect’s motivation is not known, but that he is known to have psychological problems.
Three migrant boats stopped
The coast guard has intercepted hundreds of migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean Sea. It says three boats were stopped on Sunday before leaving territorial waters off the coast of western districts and cities of Zuwara, Sabratha and Ras Ajdir, which are close to Tunisia. The first boat was carrying 98 migrants, including nine women, and it was intercepted near the shores of Zuwara. Most on board were Arab nationals from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The second boat, stopped near Sabratha, was carrying 114 migrants. A migrant from that boat drowned and a second is missing. The third boat, with 97 migrants, was intercepted near Tripoli’s Janzour area.
Kilauea lull permits pet grab
The number of homes destroyed by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has climbed to 26 homes, as authorities allowed some of the more than 1,700 residents who have been evacuated to briefly return home to gather pets, medicine and other necessities. Amber Makuakane Kane, 37, a teacher and single mother of two, said her three-bedroom house in Leilani Estates was destroyed by lava. Lava has spread about 36,000 square meters surrounding the most active fissure, although the rate of movement is slow. There was no indication when the lava might stop or how far it might spread.
Giraffe headbutts man to death
A filmmaker was killed by a giraffe while filming on a reserve outside Johannesburg, the game lodge’s owner said, adding that he died after being air-lifted to a hospital. The giraffe hit Carlos Carvalho in the head at the Glen Afric Country Lodge in North West Province. “When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos,” Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge, told the Netwerk24 Afrikaans news Web site. Callacrew, a South African film production agency, said Carvalho died on Wednesday night. Carvalho, a 47-year-old father of two, was reported to have been looking through the camera eyepiece to take close-up images of the giraffe when the incident occurred.
Singapore tipped for meet
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are likely to meet in Singapore next month, media reports in Seoul said yesterday. The landmark summit will take place in “mid-June,” the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing diplomatic sources who quoted White House national security advisor John Bolton. The paper suggested that the possibility of Singapore hosting the meeting had “increased greatly”, after a decision by Trump to host South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House later this month.
Massive sinkhole opens
A new sinkhole on a North Island dairy farm as deep as four double-decker buses and almost the length of two soccer fields has grabbed the attention of vulcanologists. The chasm appeared after heavy rainfall near the town of Rotorua and left a jagged scar on the landscape, exposing rock deposits from 60,000 years ago. Experts believe rain dissolved underground limestone over thousands of years, eventually causing the ground to collapse and create the canyon. “This is pretty spectacular, it’s a lot bigger than the ones I’d normally see,” vulcanologist Brad Scott said of the chasm that is 20m deep and 200m long. Scott said the farm lay on the crater of a long-dormant volcano. Farmer Colin Tremain said the sinkhole appeared overnight last week.
Anti-polio drive launched
A health official said a five-day anti-polio drive was launched yesterday to vaccinate 23.8 million children under five. Aimal Khan, a spokesman with the anti-polio drive, says the campaign was launched amid tight security. A total of 161,000 health workers in 109 districts are taking part, he said.
Koala rescue plan budgeted
The New South Wales state government yesterday announced a US$34 million plan to help bring its koala population back from the brink, following a rapid decline in the furry marsupial’s fortunes. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there might be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the wild, down from a population believed to number more than 10 million prior to European settlement of the continent in 1788. “Koalas are a national treasure,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. “It would be such a shame if this nationally iconic marsupial did not have its future secured.” Under the plan, thousands of hectares will be set aside to preserve the marsupial’s natural habitat. Funds will be used to tackle diseases ravaging koala populations, including chlamydia — which causes blindness, infertility and death in the species. Cash has also been earmarked for research, roadkill hotspot upgrades and a new hospital to care for sick and injured koalas. A hotline will also be set up to report koalas in trouble.
Annual joint drills open
The military yesterday began its Balikatan (“shoulder-to-shoulder”) exercises with the US. The focus of the annual 12-day exercise this year is on combat drills in urban settings to train special forces in battling terrorists, in the wake of last year’s seizure of Marawi by Muslim extremists. “This is focusing mostly on countering terrorism ... that will allow us to respond to a similar scenario in the future,” Lieutenant-General Emmanuel Salamat said. Most of the 5,000 local troops and their 3,000 US counterparts taking part in the drills are from special operations units, he said.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered