Bush plotter arrested
An Iraqi man who applied for asylum two years ago hatched a plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush in retaliation for casualties against his compatriots during the Iraq war, the government said on Tuesday. Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, also schemed to smuggle other Iraqis into the nation from Mexico to aid in the plot, after which they were to have been smuggled back out through Mexico, said a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio. Shihab insinuated that he had contacts with the Islamic State group, but it did not appear that the plot came close to materializing, with confidential informants briefing the FBI from April last year through this month, the complaint said. If convicted, Shihab could face up to 30 years in prison and US$500,000 in fines. “President Bush has all the confidence in the world in the United States Secret Service and our law enforcement and intelligence communities,” said Freddy Ford, the chief of staff at the 75-year-old former president’s office.
Three missiles launched
Pyongyang yesterday fired a volley of missiles, including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile, just hours after US President Joe Biden left Asia. Three missiles were fired from the Sunan area in the capital, where an airfield has become a key site used in multiple recent weapons, South Korean officials said. The launch, one of nearly 20 weapons tests by Pyongyang so far this year, prompted joint US-South Korea live fire missile drills in response, as both sides slammed what they called continued “provocations” by the nuclear-armed state. The tests are “an illegal act in direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” Seoul said. The US condemned the “destabilizing” launches and called for Pyongyang to “engage in sustained and substantive dialogue,” a US Department of State spokesman said.
Teen dies after clashes
A 16-year-old Palestinian died early yesterday after clashes in Nablus, the Ministry of Health said. The ministry identified the teen as Gaith Yamin. It said Israeli forces shot him near Joseph’s Tomb. The Israeli military wrote on Twitter that it responded with live fire to hundreds of Palestinians who hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at soldiers during a visit by Jews to Joseph’s Tomb on Tuesday night. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it treated at least 80 people during clashes around the site, including wounds from live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation.
Turkish soldiers killed
Five Turkish soldiers serving in northern Iraq as part of operations against Kurdish militants were killed on Tuesday, the Turkish Ministry of Defense said yesterday, updating an earlier toll. Another two soldiers were wounded during fighting, the ministry said in a statement, which did not say where the clash took place. An earlier toll provided by the military had three soldiers killed and four wounded. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said that the Turkish soldiers had clashed with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said that Turkey would soon launch a new military operation into northern Syria, which he said was designed to create a 30km “security zone” along their border.
An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft has acquired imagery data covering all of Mars, including visuals of its south pole, after circling the planet more than 1,300 times since early last year, state media reported yesterday. The Tianwen-1 successfully reached the Red Planet in February last year on the country’s inaugural mission there. A robotic rover has since been deployed on the surface as an orbiter surveyed the planet from space. Among the images taken from space were China’s first photographs of the Martian south pole, where almost all of the planet’s water resources are locked. In 2018, an orbiting probe operated by the European
TRADE TALK: Xiao Qian said that Australia had fired the ‘first shot’ in deteriorating trade relations with China, but improvements were possible if Canberra takes action China’s new ambassador to Australia chided protesters who heckled him yesterday during a speech about the future of relations between the two countries. Xiao Qian (肖千), who has only been in the role since January, had just begun his speech at the University of Technology Sydney when the first protesters interjected, calling for freedom for Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. The ambassador was repeatedly interrupted by sign-wielding protesters, some criticizing China’s treatment of the Uighur people as well as the university for inviting Xiao to speak. “People who are coming again and again to interrupt the process, that’s not expression of freedom of
QUARANTINE SHORTENED: A new protocol detailing risk levels and local policy responses would be ‘more scientific and accurate,’ a health agency spokesman said China’s revised COVID-19 guidelines, which cut a quarantine requirement in half for inbound travelers, also create a standardized policy for mass testing and lockdowns when cases of the disease flare, showing that the country still has a zero-tolerance approach to the virus. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) solidified the position during a trip to Wuhan, where the pathogen first emerged in 2019, saying that China is capable of achieving a “final victory” over the virus. The “zero COVID-19” policy is the most effective and economic approach for the country, Xi said during the trip on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. The first
A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine said it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help. Ken Rhee, a former special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian embassy in Seoul the moment Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March. To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations