Minister calls for sanctions
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen yesterday called for EU-wide sanctions on Russia over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea. Samuelsen was to meet Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin yesterday and today, and visit the city of Mariupol by the Azov Sea, the ministry said in a statement. “I believe the EU needs to react to Russia’s aggressive behavior,” Samuelsen said in the statement. The EU would issue a demarche — a formal diplomatic protest note — to Moscow as early as this week over Russia’s continued detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured during an incident in November last year, diplomats told reporters last week.
Friendly bear saves boy
A three-year-old boy who survived two nights alone in the woods in freezing conditions has told police and family he was helped out by a friendly bear that was with him the whole time. Rescuers responding to reports of a child crying late on Thursday last week found Casey Hathaway tangled up in thorny bushes, cold and soaked, but safe. He had gone missing on Tuesday in conditions so bad the subsequent search had to be called off. Help — perhaps real, perhaps imaginary, but certainly useful — was in those woods in North Carolina, a state that is home to plenty of black bears. Casey “did say that he had a friend in the woods that was a bear that was with him,” Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said.
Woman trapped in elevator
An employee of a New York billionaire’s family spent the weekend stuck in the elevator of the family’s Manhattan townhouse before she was rescued on Monday, officials said. The homeowners spent the weekend away and discovered that the woman was trapped when they arrived back home, the New York Times reported. Firefighters who rescued the woman stuck between the second and third floors learned from people at the scene that she had been stuck in the elevator since Friday, a New York City Fire Department spokesman said by telephone. The woman was in good condition when paramedics took her to the hospital, he said.
Two killed in gunbattle
The Houston police chief said what began as an attempt to serve a search warrant at a suspected drug house turned into a gunbattle that killed two suspects and injured five officers, including four who were shot. The suspects were killed on Monday after firing at officers who were trying to enter a southeast Houston home where authorities suspected black tar heroin was being sold, police chief Art Acevedo said. Four of the officers were shot and a fifth suffered a knee injury. Police did not immediately release additional information about the suspects.
US refugee offer rejected
The country will not accept migrants younger than 18 while they await the resolution of their US asylum claims, National Immigration Institute Commissioner Tonatiuh Guillen said on Monday. Officials had previously said that the US expressed interest in extending the “remain in Mexico” policy to other border crossings. However, the country will accept only asylum seekers aged 18 to 60, Guillen said. US authorities plan to bus asylum seekers back and forth to the border for court hearings in downtown San Diego, including an initial appearance within 45 days.
Shark-proof suit tested
A university is testing new materials designed to lessen the impact of shark bites, researchers said yesterday, in a project aimed at reducing fatalities and easing the nerves of swimmers. Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide have received government funding to test a new neoprene, a synthetic rubber commonly used in wetsuits, against the force of a bite from several species, including the great white shark. “When a shark bite occurs, it can have severe physical, mental, social and economic consequences. It is therefore important to keep developing new means of reducing shark bite risks and ensure the efficacy of such new products,” professor Charlie Huveneers said.
Suicide bomber hits al-Qaeda
Opposition activists said a woman blew herself up in Idlib yesterday, killing two people, outside an administration office linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda group. The blast wounded others, the Local Coordination Committees said. The attack comes weeks after the al-Qaeda-linked group captured wide parts of northern Syria in battles with Turkey-backed opposition fighters. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another group monitoring the civil war, said the bomber exchanged fire with guards before blowing herself up.
EU team visits Xinjiang
An EU delegation has visited the western region of Xinjiang, a rare chance to gather evidence on controversial re-education camps that have drawn harsh criticism from rights groups and Western powers, officials said on Monday. The team was supervised by officials this month during the three-day trip, but managed to gather information that the EU said builds on “compelling and mutually consistent” reports of rights abuses in the region. This was the first visit to Xinjiang by a multinational body such as the EU since Beijing acknowledged the existence of the camps.
Car-attack killer executed
Authorities yesterday executed a man who killed 15 people after ramming a car into a crowded square in Hunan Province’s Hengdong last year. Yang Zanyun (陽讚雲) in September last year ploughed a Land Rover into pedestrians at a public square before slashing at people with a shovel and dagger. Fifteen people were killed and 43 others were injured. The Hengyang Intermediate People’s Court yesterday said it “carried out the death penalty” on Yang for “endangering public security through dangerous methods.”
Missile range not to increase
Iran has no intention to increase the range of its missiles, but will continue working on its satellite technology to improve accuracy, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said yesterday. “Iran has no scientific or operational restriction for increasing the range of its military missiles, but based on its defensive doctrine, it is continuously working on increasing the precision of the missiles, and has no intention to increase their range,” Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. “The enemies say Iran’s missile power should be eliminated, but we have repeatedly said our missile capabilities are not negotiable,” Minister of Defense Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Bookseller Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger that his adopted home Taiwan now faces and the ordeal of his detention in China Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) leaned forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” Lam said. “We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” the 64-year-old Hong Konger said. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Late in Taipei at Causeway Bay Books Mark II, on the 10th floor of a nondescript building, Lam, a wiry, gray-haired bookseller, was sitting at his desk with a bemused gaze behind thin oval glasses. The desk was neat, but crowded with books and a
‘POLICE EVERYWHERE’: A law that would criminalize the publication of images of police officers was passed by the National Assembly and awaits Senate approval Violent clashes erupted in Paris on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against new security legislation, with tensions intensified by the police beating and racial abuse of a black man that shocked France. Several fires were started in Paris, sending acrid smoke into the air, as protesters vented their anger against the security law, which would restrict the publication of police officers’ faces. About 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the French Ministry of the Interior said. Protest organizers said about 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron late
Not enough beds and not enough doctors: a skyrocketing COVID-19 caseload is pushing hospitals in the Balkans to the cusp of collapse, in chaotic scenes reminding some medics of the region’s 1990s wars. After nearly a year of keeping outbreaks more or less under control, the nightmare scenario that the Balkans feared from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to unfold. In hard-hit Bosnia-Herzegovina, one doctor described the distress of having to juggle the care of multiple patients whose lives were hanging by a thread. “The situation reminds me of the war, and I’m afraid it could get even worse
SIGNIFICANT RULING: That male prisoners are denied a choice as to their hair length suggests they are treated less favourably than female prisoners, the judges wrote Prison staff were wrong to cut the hair of a former Hong Kong legislator known for his long locks, the territory’s top court said yesterday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. The decision came as powerful establishment voices called for an overhaul of the judiciary — something opponents fear could muzzle the Hong Kong legal system’s vaunted independence as Beijing cracks down on its critics. The ruling by the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal is the culmination of a long legal battle by former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), 64, who served a brief jail sentence in