US trying to persuade North
The US is “very actively” trying to persuade North Korea to come back to negotiations, the national security adviser said yesterday, as a year-end North Korean deadline for US flexibility approaches. Seoul was taking the deadline “very seriously,” Chung Eui-yong told reporters, at a time when efforts to improve inter-Korean relations have stalled. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in April gave the US a year-end deadline to show more flexibility, and North Korean officials have warned the US not to ignore the date.
Man found carrying arms
Saint Petersburg police on Saturday arrested a prominent historian on suspicion of murdering a former student after he was hauled out of a river with a backpack containing a woman’s arms, authorities said. Local media reported that university professor Oleg Sokolov was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts. Police then went to Sokolov’s home, where they reportedly discovered the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, with whom he had coauthored a number of works. The historian is the author of books on Napoleon Bonaparte and had acted as a historical consultant on several films.
Body of advocate found
The body of a transgender advocate missing since Tuesday has been found in the northeast, authorities said. Jade Camila Diaz, 27, is the second transgender woman killed in the country in the past 15 days, said advocacy group Comcavis Trans, which told local media that there have been at least seven LGBT-related murders this year. “We regret to inform you that Jade Diaz’s body was found in the waters of the Torola River,” the Attorney General’s Office said on Twitter on Saturday. Diaz had been dead for three or four days, it said. Diaz’s body was found with her “hands tied and weighted with a bag of stones,” Comcavis Trans president Bianka Rodriguez said.
Man admits to deadly scam
A heavily indebted man seeking to make a false insurance claim has confessed to setting off explosions at a farmhouse he owned that killed three firefighters, a prosecutor said on Saturday. Giovanni Vincenti told investigators that he meant to blow up his farmhouse in the northwestern region of Piedmont by setting off gas canisters, but he made a mistake with a timer connected to the canisters and triggered two explosions, Prosecutor Enrico Cieri said. Firefighters went to the farmhouse after the initial explosion early on Tuesday and were then struck by a second, stronger blast.
Inmate’s ‘death’ claim denied
An Iowa prisoner serving a life sentence has argued he had paid his debt to society after “dying” momentarily in hospital. Benjamin Schreiber was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1996. In March 2015, he developed severe complications from kidney stones and went into septic shock. He lost consciousness in his cell and was taken to hospital. Once there, he momentarily “died” in doctors’ care before being revived. According to his attorneys, his momentary “death” meant he had completed his life sentence and his return to prison was therefore illegal. A lower court found the argument “unpersuasive and without merit.” Schreiber took the matter further, but appeals court judges were also not convinced.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear