Merkel computer hacked
A computer in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s legislative office was hit by a cyberattack that targeted the lower house of parliament last month, the Bild reported yesterday. The daily, which did not cite its sources, said the cyberattack was broader and greater than originally anticipated and the Bundestag struggled to control it. The attack “infected” one of the computers in Merkel’s Bundestag office. Bild said the computer was one of the first on which the Trojan Horse-style attack was discovered on Friday. The Trojan Horse software was found on five computers.
Hurricane warning issued
A hurricane warning has been issued as Hurricane Carlos is expected to strengthen and increase its forward speed over coming days as it heads toward the southwest of the country. The US National Hurricane Center said the hurricane’s eye was slowly drifting north on Saturday night and was about 170km south of Acapulco and that Carlos’ winds had increased to 140kph. Carlos is expected to produce 5cm to 10cm of rain across the southwestern coast through tomorrow, which forecasters warned could cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Voters go to the polls
Voters went to the polls yesterday in local polls that are seen as a test of whether the nation is committed to European integration or will move closer to Russia. The elections came two days after pro-European Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici resigned after he was questioned about the authenticity of his high school diplomas and university degree. About 2.8 million eligible voters are choosing mayors and local councils. A runoff is slated for June 28 for seats with no candidate who secures 50 percent of the vote.
UN help sought
The government said it plans to formally ask the UN to intervene and help resolve an escalating border dispute with Venezuela. Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge on Saturday said in a statement that it was time for what he called a “judicial settlement.” Venezuela has long claimed about two-thirds of the nation west of the Essequibo River, as well as a large marine area where Exxon Mobil Corp has said it made a significant oil discovery.
The body of a Massachusetts man killed while fighting alongside the Kurds against the Islamic State group has been returned home. WBZ-TV reports a Turkish Airlines plane on Saturday arrived at Logan Airport in Boston carrying the body of 36-year-old Keith Broomfield, who was killed on June 3 in Syria. His parents told the television station that he had no military training, but he felt compelled to fight against what he considered “evil.” He went overseas in February.
Soldiers quizzed on beating
Seven soldiers yesterday were to face a disciplinary hearing after video emerged of troops beating an unarmed Palestinian in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In the footage, men in military uniforms were seen repeatedly striking the civilian, including with a rifle butt near the back of the head and a punch in the face. The beating was accompanied by the chanting of obscenities. The army said seven soldiers were being investigated for possible disciplinary action over the alleged assault on Friday in the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah.
US rower rescued
A US woman attempting to cross the Pacific by rowboat has ended her solo attempt because of expected bad weather. Sonya Baumstein was rescued off the Japanese coast on Saturday after sending out a distress signal, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday. The 30-year-old Baumstein departed from Choshi, Japan, one week ago, hoping to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. She was headed for San Francisco but sent out the signal on Saturday at 2:20pm about 250km off the coast of Japan. A freighter traveling nearby rescued her at about 5 pm on Saturday and passed her on to a coast guard ship around 8:55pm the Japanese coast guard said.
Man dies in ethnic conflict
A man who was injured in clashes in southern Algeria, site of frequent confrontations between Berber and Arab communities, has died of his wounds, the country’s national news agency said on Saturday. The 33-year-old was wounded during clashes between groups of youths that began late on Friday in Berriane, according to the APS news agency, and later died in the hospital. Four other people were wounded in the clashes, APS reported. It added that riot police used tear gas to disperse the groups. Berriane lies near the southern town of Ghardaia, in the M’Zab valley on the edge of the Sahara desert. The region has seen tensions rise sharply between its Mozabite, or Berber, and Chaamba, or Arab, communities after vandals destroyed a historic Berber shrine in December 2013.
Thousands rally for pacifism
Thousands of Japanese rallied yesterday in protest at plans by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bolster the role and scope of the pacifist nation’s military. The protest, which surrounded the parliament building, was held as the nationalist premier tries to force through parliament a set of controversial bills making the changes. The bills are a pet project of Abe, who said Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the security umbrella provided by the US. The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces. It would allow them to go into battle to protect allies — so-called “collective defense” — something which is banned by a strict reading of Japan’s pacifist constitution. Opponents of the bills accuse Abe of trying to move the country away from pacifism, while three scholars summoned to parliament testified this month that the bills are unconstitutional.
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Palestinian killed by jeep
An Israeli army jeep struck and killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank yesterday, with the military and locals giving conflicting accounts of the circumstances. A military spokeswoman said the jeep, which was in Qafr Malik village as part of an operation to arrest suspected militants, accidentally hit the Palestinian after he threw a petrol bomb at it. “The driver was startled and swerved, hitting the man,” she said, adding that a military investigation would be launched. Local resident Nail Abdul Latah al-Hajj denied the Palestinian had attacked the jeep, however, saying the man was walking to work at a chicken farm when he was run down on the main street and then crushed as the vehicle crashed into a wall and overturned.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s