Election duties kill officers
Nine police officers died while carrying out election-related duties last week, including some who collapsed from exhaustion. Others died in accidents and after getting sick, the Cabinet secretary said in a statement. The government on Wednesday deployed about 7.2 million poll workers to wrap up the world’s largest single-day democratic election in just six hours. More than 190 million people were registered to vote, with a turnout rate exceeding 80 percent. President Joko Widodo has claimed victory in the election, citing unofficial quick-count results.
IS kills 27 fighters
Islamic State (IS) extremists have killed 27 fighters in the desert, in what a monitoring group yesterday said was their deadliest operation since the fall of the “caliphate.” The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that four senior army officers were among the troops and allied militiamen killed in the desert east of Homs Governorate over the past 48 hours. The Amaq propaganda arm of IS said its fighters carried out the operation. Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that it was the “biggest attack and the highest death toll among regime forces since the caliphate was declared defeated.”
Snakes block Weah’s office
President George Weah has been barred from his office for five days by two black snakes that slithered into the building last week, authorities said on Friday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building where Weah has his office must be fumigated to chase out the reptiles, which showed up near the ground-floor elevator on Wednesday. A ministry statement said that all operations, including the issuance of passports and visas, were suspended until Wednesday owing to the presence of toxic fumes. “Indeed, the fumigation exercise was triggered by the presence of the snakes,” presidential spokesman Smith Tobay said.
Suspected UAE spies nabbed
The government has arrested two men suspected of spying for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is probing whether they are tied to Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, the official Anadolu news agency reported on Friday. The two were formally detained by authorities as part of an investigation by Istanbul prosecutors into alleged spying by the UAE, Anadolu reported. The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper reported that the two suspects were on Monday arrested in a joint operation by police and intelligence services. The pair, both UAE citizens, had been in contact with an individual who was under surveillance in the Khashoggi case, the paper reported.
Couple wed at baggage claim
Proving that life and love can be a carousel, a couple was yesterday to marry at the Ohio airport baggage claim where they met 12 years ago. Michelle Belleau’s boss sent her to pick up Ron Peterson at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in 2007. A long-distance relationship developed, with Belleau in Cleveland, Ohio, and Peterson in Los Angeles. They were to marry at a spot that Belleau said “couldn’t be more perfect,” the Plain Dealer reported. Belleau said that airports became happy and sad places for the couple as they would reunite and then too quickly have to depart. Southwest Airlines agreed to move arriving bags to another carousel to make way for the ceremony.
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
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference