EU too ‘stubborn’ on Brexit
The government yesterday warned the EU that it needed to change its “stubborn” position on Brexit if a no-deal exit was to be avoided. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab said he wanted a deal, but the EU had to change its position. “We want a good deal with our EU partners,” he told the BBC, adding that there had been a “series of fairly stubborn positions staked out by the EU.” If the EU sticks to that line then the nation needs to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit, he said. “We want a good deal with EU partners and friends but that must involve the abolition of the undemocratic backstop. What the prime minister has instructed and the Cabinet has accepted is a turbo-charging of those preparations,” he added.
Man rescued from cave
Rescuers early yesterday freed one man trapped in Falkenstein Cave in the south of the country by rising water and are working to free a second. The two — a mountain guide and a client — were trapped about 650m inside the cave in on Sunday evening as rising water, a result of heavy rain in the region, cut off their path back to the entrance. Rescuers reached the cavity where they were sheltering and supplied them with blankets and food.
Tourist killed in shooting
Police are hunting at least one gunman after a vacationer and two others were killed in a shooting near a service station in the town of Ollioules near the Mediterranean. Ollioules Mayor Robert Beneventi said the traveler and her husband were caught in a settling of scores between local criminals in Sunday night’s shooting. Beneventi told local newspaper Var-Matin that the other victims were local youths known to police who appeared to be the target of the attack. The vacationer’s husband was injured.
Man says he killed teens
A man has admitted to killing two teenage girls including a 15-year-old whose disappearance last week shook the country and led to the national police chief being fired, the suspect’s lawyer said on Sunday. The suspect, named as Gheorghe Dinca, 65, “has confessed his crimes,” lawyer Alexandru Bogdan was quoted as saying by Agerpres news agency. After refusing to answer any questions, Dinca eventually confessed to the murders of Alexandra, who vanished on Wednesday, and 19-year-old Luiza, who was missing since April. Alexandra was snatched on Wednesday as she tried to hitch-hike home to Dobrosloveni. On Thursday morning, she managed to ring an emergency number and give clues to police about the place she was being held. She yelled “he’s coming, he’s coming” before the line was cut, police said.
Body of two-year-old found
The body of a missing Oregon boy whose parents died in an apparent murder-suicide is believed to have been found in a remote area of Montana, police said. Police in Medford, Oregon, said Montana authorities reported finding the body on Sunday thought to be that of two-year-old Aiden Salcido, the son of Daniel Salcido and Hannah Janiak, who had formerly lived in Medford. Aiden was the subject of an intense search after his parents were found dead on Wednesday in Montana. Witnesses called in tips after seeing the story on the news and were instrumental in helping to locate a remote camp believed to have been occupied by the family, Medford police said.
East Timor pact approved
Parliament yesterday voted to implement a maritime border treaty with East Timor that is expected to provide a major boost that nation by establishing new arrangements for sharing revenue from the Greater Sunrise gas fields in the Timor Sea. The vote came just days after East Timor’s parliament voted in favor of ratifying the treaty, which the two countries signed at the UN in March last year. It was the first-ever reached under a special conciliation mechanism of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Web-gambling group nabbed
Police have detained more than 380 Chinese for allegedly operating an illegal online gambling operation considered the largest of its kind in the country. They were arrested while allegedly running around-the-clock Web sites with transactions estimated at 3 billion yuan (US$435 million) in Haiphong, a statement on the Ministry of Public Security’s Web site said. “This is a criminal organization with new and sophisticated ways of operating in cyberspace under the cover of foreign investment enterprises in Vietnam,” the ministry said. Police seized about 2,000 smartphones, 533 computers, bank cards, cash and documents, it said.
UNRWA under scrutiny
An internal ethics report has alleged mismanagement and abuses of authority at the highest levels of an Amman-based agency for Palestinian refugees, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), including Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl. The report by the agency’s ethics department is being reviewed by UN investigators. The allegations include senior management engaging in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.” UNRWA said it is cooperating fully with the investigation.
Hormuz mission mulled
Seoul plans to join a US-led maritime force in the Middle East by sending a naval unit, which includes a destroyer, to help guard oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, the Maekyung newspaper reported yesterday. Citing an unidentified senior official, the paper said the government had decided to send the anti-piracy Cheonghae unit that has operating in the Gulf of Aden since 2009, possibly along with helicopters.
Northern fishers head home
The Unification Ministry said three North Koreans whose wooden fishing boat crossed the sea border between the two rivals on Saturday would be allowed to return home. The trio were to head back in their boat later yesterday, in accordance with their wishes, it said. A Ministry of National Defense official said the boat was intercepted on Saturday because a white towel was tied to its mast in a potential sign that those on board might want to defect. The trio said they used the towel to prevent any clash with other ships and had gone off course by mistake and wanted to go home.
Sixty slain in attack
Suspected Boko Haram extremists killed more than 60 people in an attack on people leaving a funeral in northeastern village, a local official said on Sunday. Eleven others were wounded during the attack, the official said.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made