A French officer serving with the UN was killed and a Swedish officer and a Lebanese man were wounded by Israeli shelling Sunday shortly after a Hezbollah bomb attack killed an Israeli soldier near the border in southern Lebanon, Lebanese and UN officials said. \nHezbollah also said one of its guerrillas was killed in fighting with Israeli troops. \nMilos Struger, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon known as UNIFIL, said a French officer was "killed by shelling from the Israeli side of the Blue Line," the border line drawn by UN troops following Israel's withdrawal from a border zone in south Lebanon in 2000. \nA Swedish officer was also wounded by the Israeli shelling, Struger said in a statement issued at the UNIFIL headquarters in the Lebanese border town of Naqoura. \n"UNIFIL has opened an investigation into the tragic incident," he said. \nA senior Israeli military official who investigated the incident said the death of the peacekeeper "apparently is the result of our tank fire." \n"My impression is that there was no way of knowing that these were UN soldiers," he told reporters in Jerusalem. "They were in uniform but had no identifying signs to show that they were from the UN and were very close to the area where the incident occurred." \nBut Struger said the UN soldiers were "on duty, on patrol in a clearly marked vehicle" when the incident began. \nUN officers travel in white vehicles, with the UN initials in black text on the sides. Struger would not speculate on the circumstances that led to the death of the officer pending the conclusion of the official investigation. \nStruger said the officers worked for the UN Observer Group Lebanon, a UN agency that monitors the 1948 Armistice Agreement between Lebanon and Israel. \nThere are some 200 French soldiers serving with the 2,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, which has been working to maintain peace along the UN-drawn boundary between Israel and Lebanon since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon. \nThe violence began when Hezbollah guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb that destroyed an Israeli military vehicle near the border in southern Lebanon, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding three others, Lebanese security officials said. \nIn Jerusalem, the Israeli military confirmed an officer was killed in the bombing. It did not give his name or rank. \nSheik Nabil Kaouk, Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon, said in an interview with the Qatar-based al-Jazeera satellite channel that the Israeli officer was a commander of the military post targeted by Hezbollah guerrillas inside the disputed Chebaa Farms. \nHezbollah said in a statement broadcast by its Al Manar television late Sunday that one of its guerrillas, Ahmed Ibrahim Salameh, 30, was killed in fighting with Israeli troops. \nIn an earlier statement, Hezbollah said the 11:50am bomb attack targeted an Israeli patrol on the road to the Zebddine post. It said the attack was "within the framework of [Hezbollah's] struggle to liberate the remainder of Lebanese lands under [Israeli] occupation in the Chebaa Farms area." \nAn Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel responded with an air force strike on three unidentified Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. \nLebanese officials said Israeli warplanes fired missiles twice at Hezbollah's Tal el-Hamamseh observation post near the Israeli town of Metullah, 11km west of the attack area, and shelled another position at Rweisat. \nIsraeli planes also fired two missiles on a suspected guerrilla hideout east of the village of Kfar Chouba near the Chebaa Farms, the officials in south Lebanon said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some 15 Israeli shells reportedly fell near Kfar Chouba, lightly wounding Nabegh Kaderi, a 25-year-old Lebanese farmer, witnesses and the officials said. \nThe violence came as the Lebanese are deeply split over UN Resolution 1559, which was passed last September and calls for the dismantling of Hezbollah and armed Palestinian groups and a withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. \nIt also happened the same day that Palestinians went to the polls to choose a successor to the late Yasser Arafat. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz linked the attack to the elections. \n"It is intended to create a reality of terror on the day of the Palestinian elections," Mofaz said. \nBut Hezbollah denied that accusation. \n"The attack has nothing to do with the Palestinian elections or UN Resolution 1559. It is a natural operation as part of the resistance's struggle to liberate the Chebaa Farms," Sheik Hassan Ezzeddine, Hezbollah's senior political officer in south Lebanon, told reporters late Sunday. "Hezbollah upholds the resistance choice to confront threats posed by the [Israeli] enemy to Lebanon." \nThe Lebanon-Israel border has been largely quiet since Israel withdrew its forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000 after an 18-year occupation. However, Hezbollah guerrillas have occasionally attacked Israeli troops in the disputed Chebaa Farms area where the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel meet.
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
Part of a huge rocket that launched China’s first module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth and could make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown landing point. The 30m-high core of the Long March 5B rocket on Thursday launched the “Heavenly Harmony” uncrewed core module into low Earth orbit from Wenchang in China’s Hainan Province. The Long March 5B then itself entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest-ever uncontrolled re-entries. Some experts fear it could land on an inhabited area. “It’s potentially not good,” said Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard
Remnants of China’s largest rocket launched last week were expected to plunge back through the atmosphere late yesterday or early today, a US federally funded space-focused research and development center said. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that most debris from the rocket would be burned up on re-entry and is highly unlikely to cause any harm, after the US military said that what it called an uncontrolled re-entry was being tracked by US Space Command. In a Twitter post sent on Friday evening in the US, the Aerospace Corporation said that the latest prediction for the re-entry of
PRIORITIZING SECURITY: Australian Senator Matthew Canavan wrote on Twitter that the officials should be helping ‘Aussies in India return home, not jailing them’ Australia yesterday defended its decision to penalize its own citizens entering the country within two weeks of being in COVID-ravaged India, saying that it had a “strong, clear and absolute” belief that the move was legal. Australian Minister of Health Greg Hunt pointed to the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in India and the pressure on Australia’s healthcare system as reasons to pause travel until Saturday next week. Australia’s quarantine hotels have seen a 1,500 percent spike in COVID-19 cases from India since March, raising questions about pre-departure testing in India and leading to this “agonizing decision,” Hunt said. “It’s a high-risk situation