US attack leaves 40 dead
US forces attacked militant leaders in northwestern Syria on Saturday, the Pentagon said, in what a battlefield monitor called a missile strike that left at least 40 dead. The US strike came as renewed Syrian regime bombardment of Idlib Province killed one civilian in a first breach of a Russian-backed truce for the region that came into effect just hours before, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The US Department of Defense said its own attack targeted leaders of al-Qaeda in the north of the same province, but did not say what kind of weapon was used. That attack targeted leaders of militant groups and allied factions near Idlib city, the observatory said.
Islamic State militant caught
An Islamic State militant suspected of beheading more than 100 people in Raqa and with possible links to the Paris and Brussels attacks has been captured in Syria, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday. Anouar Haddouchi, who is of Belgian origin, was captured in the eastern Deir Ezzor region, about 100km from the Iraqi border, SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali said on Twitter. Bali also confirmed Belgian media reports, which said the capture took place in March. Haddouchi was being held by the SDF, which is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) milita.
‘Weak’ soldiers face court
The army plans to court-martial soldiers after a new finding in an inquiry into atrocities in Rakhine State, from which more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled a 2017 army-led campaign the UN says was executed with “genocidal intent.” On Saturday, the Web site of Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said a military court that visited the northern state found soldiers had shown “weakness in following instructions in some incidents” at a village said to have been a Rohingya massacre site.
Jailed man to run in election
A jailed media magnate is among the 26 candidates authorized on Saturday to run in Tunisia’s presidential election next month, a crucial test for the North African country’s fragile young democracy. The Tunisian election authority announced the list of candidates who qualified for the Sept. 15 first round of voting. Those who accumulate the most votes advance to a second round two weeks later. Businessman Nabil Karoui was allowed to maintain his candidacy while in custody on accusations of money laundering and tax evasion. Karoui and another candidate accused of money laundering can run as long as they have not been convicted, the electoral authority said.
PM pledges annexation
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reaffirming his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty on West Bank settlements. Speaking yesterday at a ceremony opening the new school year in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu said there “will be no more displacements” and all the communities will be “part of the state of Israel.” Such a move would be a sharp departure from long-standing Israeli government policy. With just more than two weeks to go to repeat elections, Netanyahu looks to be seeking to shore up his right-wing base again.
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