Kids, parents to be reunited
At least 54 immigrant children under the age of five were to be released from detention centers and reunited with their parents by yesterday’s court-ordered deadline, a government lawyer said. That is only about half the 100 or so children covered by the order. More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the border and sent to shelters across the nation while their parents were charged criminally for illegal entry. The parents will be free while their cases wind through immigration court and may be required to wear ankle monitors. A federal judge on Monday rejected the federal government’s efforts to detain immigrant families in long-term facilities.
Suicide attack kills 10
A suicide attacker yesterday blew himself up near an Afghan security forces vehicle, killing at least 10 people, mostly civilians, officials said. The explosion in the eastern city of Jalalabad also left at least four people wounded and set a nearby gasoline station alight, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said. Some of the victims were taken to hospital with severe burns, health director Najibullah Kamawal said, confirming the casualty toll.
Baby found alive in woods
A five-month-old baby who miraculously survived more than nine hours being buried under a pile of sticks and debris in the woods of western Montana suffered only minor injuries, despite wearing wet and soiled clothes in 8oC weather, authorities said. Missoula County Sheriff Office deputies were called at about 8pm on Saturday about a man threatening people in the Lolo National Forest. Deputies apprehended the man, Francis Crowley, who indicated that a baby was buried somewhere in the woods. They found the baby after a six-hour search. Crowley, 32, was being held on US$50,000 bail on a charge of criminal endangerment. Additional charges are to follow, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. The nature of Crowley’s relationship to the baby was not immediately clear.
Holocaust funding increased
The government has agreed to pay another 75 million euros (US$88 million) to fund social welfare services for Holocaust survivors, the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said yesterday. That brings total funding next year to 480 million euros to help survivors as they grow older and more frail. “These elderly heroes deserve the recognition that increased payments and much-needed services will provide,” Claims Conference negotiator Greg Schneider said. Germany also agreed to increase pensions paid to 55,000 Holocaust survivors in central and eastern Europe, and expand eligibility for child survivors.
Monster croc caught
An elusive monster saltwater crocodile weighing 600kg has finally been caught after an eight-year hunt, officials said yesterday. The 4.7m beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010. Authorities had tried in vain for years to bag the croc, which is estimated to be 60 years old. “We’ve called it a lot of things over the years because it’s been so hard to catch,” senior wildlife officer John Burke told Australian Broadcasting Corp. The animal was taken to a crocodile farm to keep it separate from the local human population, Northern Territory wildlife operations head Tracey Duldig said.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big