Minister calls for sanctions
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen yesterday called for EU-wide sanctions on Russia over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea. Samuelsen was to meet Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin yesterday and today, and visit the city of Mariupol by the Azov Sea, the ministry said in a statement. “I believe the EU needs to react to Russia’s aggressive behavior,” Samuelsen said in the statement. The EU would issue a demarche — a formal diplomatic protest note — to Moscow as early as this week over Russia’s continued detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured during an incident in November last year, diplomats told reporters last week.
Friendly bear saves boy
A three-year-old boy who survived two nights alone in the woods in freezing conditions has told police and family he was helped out by a friendly bear that was with him the whole time. Rescuers responding to reports of a child crying late on Thursday last week found Casey Hathaway tangled up in thorny bushes, cold and soaked, but safe. He had gone missing on Tuesday in conditions so bad the subsequent search had to be called off. Help — perhaps real, perhaps imaginary, but certainly useful — was in those woods in North Carolina, a state that is home to plenty of black bears. Casey “did say that he had a friend in the woods that was a bear that was with him,” Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said.
Woman trapped in elevator
An employee of a New York billionaire’s family spent the weekend stuck in the elevator of the family’s Manhattan townhouse before she was rescued on Monday, officials said. The homeowners spent the weekend away and discovered that the woman was trapped when they arrived back home, the New York Times reported. Firefighters who rescued the woman stuck between the second and third floors learned from people at the scene that she had been stuck in the elevator since Friday, a New York City Fire Department spokesman said by telephone. The woman was in good condition when paramedics took her to the hospital, he said.
Two killed in gunbattle
The Houston police chief said what began as an attempt to serve a search warrant at a suspected drug house turned into a gunbattle that killed two suspects and injured five officers, including four who were shot. The suspects were killed on Monday after firing at officers who were trying to enter a southeast Houston home where authorities suspected black tar heroin was being sold, police chief Art Acevedo said. Four of the officers were shot and a fifth suffered a knee injury. Police did not immediately release additional information about the suspects.
US refugee offer rejected
The country will not accept migrants younger than 18 while they await the resolution of their US asylum claims, National Immigration Institute Commissioner Tonatiuh Guillen said on Monday. Officials had previously said that the US expressed interest in extending the “remain in Mexico” policy to other border crossings. However, the country will accept only asylum seekers aged 18 to 60, Guillen said. US authorities plan to bus asylum seekers back and forth to the border for court hearings in downtown San Diego, including an initial appearance within 45 days.
Shark-proof suit tested
A university is testing new materials designed to lessen the impact of shark bites, researchers said yesterday, in a project aimed at reducing fatalities and easing the nerves of swimmers. Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide have received government funding to test a new neoprene, a synthetic rubber commonly used in wetsuits, against the force of a bite from several species, including the great white shark. “When a shark bite occurs, it can have severe physical, mental, social and economic consequences. It is therefore important to keep developing new means of reducing shark bite risks and ensure the efficacy of such new products,” professor Charlie Huveneers said.
Suicide bomber hits al-Qaeda
Opposition activists said a woman blew herself up in Idlib yesterday, killing two people, outside an administration office linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda group. The blast wounded others, the Local Coordination Committees said. The attack comes weeks after the al-Qaeda-linked group captured wide parts of northern Syria in battles with Turkey-backed opposition fighters. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another group monitoring the civil war, said the bomber exchanged fire with guards before blowing herself up.
EU team visits Xinjiang
An EU delegation has visited the western region of Xinjiang, a rare chance to gather evidence on controversial re-education camps that have drawn harsh criticism from rights groups and Western powers, officials said on Monday. The team was supervised by officials this month during the three-day trip, but managed to gather information that the EU said builds on “compelling and mutually consistent” reports of rights abuses in the region. This was the first visit to Xinjiang by a multinational body such as the EU since Beijing acknowledged the existence of the camps.
Car-attack killer executed
Authorities yesterday executed a man who killed 15 people after ramming a car into a crowded square in Hunan Province’s Hengdong last year. Yang Zanyun (陽讚雲) in September last year ploughed a Land Rover into pedestrians at a public square before slashing at people with a shovel and dagger. Fifteen people were killed and 43 others were injured. The Hengyang Intermediate People’s Court yesterday said it “carried out the death penalty” on Yang for “endangering public security through dangerous methods.”
Missile range not to increase
Iran has no intention to increase the range of its missiles, but will continue working on its satellite technology to improve accuracy, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said yesterday. “Iran has no scientific or operational restriction for increasing the range of its military missiles, but based on its defensive doctrine, it is continuously working on increasing the precision of the missiles, and has no intention to increase their range,” Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. “The enemies say Iran’s missile power should be eliminated, but we have repeatedly said our missile capabilities are not negotiable,” Minister of Defense Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday