International news


​Over 20 soldiers dead in Egypt checkpoint attack


At least 21 Egyptian servicemen were killed by militants who engaged the security forces with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades at a border checkpoint in a desert area 630 kilometres west of Cairo. Four soldiers were also wounded in the attack, the military said in a statement, blaming “terrorists”. MENA news agency said three of the assailants were killed in the assault, the second at the same checkpoint in less than three months. Militants have stepped up attacks on the security forces since president Mohamed Morsi was toppled in July 2013.




​19 injured in Texas prison roof collapse


At least 19 inmates have been injured when a roof in a privately owned Texas prison has collapsed, temporarily trapping dozens of prisoners. The injured in Diboll Correctional Center were taken to the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.In a statement, a prison spokesman said the inmates suffered cuts and bruises when wallboard fell from the ceiling of a housing area at the prison, adding that 86 inmates were in the area when the ceiling material fell. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined.



​Colombian druglord arrested in Span


Colombian druglord arrested in Span

Police in Spain have arrested one of Colombia’s most wanted criminals, nicknamed “El Raton” or “The Mouse.” The 40-year-old, Hernan Alonso Villa was apprehended in Alicante is allegedly responsible for running an international drug-trafficking ring of 200 people which is linked to some 400 murders. El Raton, at the time of the arrest was carrying over 40,000 euros in cash, the Spanish Interior Ministry said, adding that the money was believed to be tied to drug trafficking. The detention of the Colombian is a joint effort by Spanish and Colombian police who staged a stakeout for around one month before making arrest. Villa is subject to a Colombian extradition order and is wanted on charges of homicide, forced displacement and manufacturing and carrying of illegal weapons.


France signs €1 billion naval contract with Egypt


French contractors will build four corvette frigates for the Egyptian navy after a €1 billion contract was signed last month, a French diplomatic source told Reuters on Saturday. The deal marks the first time France has supplied Egypt with arms since the 1990s. Egypt has been reliant on US technology and financial support in recent years, but has been forced to look for suppliers elsewhere after Washington reduced military funding in the aftermath of political turmoil in the country.



Dubai authorities seize over $9 million worth of fake goods


Police in UAE’s emirate of Dubai have confiscated luxury goods to the value of $9.26 million in the past fortnight, as part of a systematic campaign to protect intellectual rights. Around five fake goods dealers have been arrested each day in the run-up to the religious festival of Eid that marks a high-point for illegal retail.




Wildfire destroys 100 homes in Washington


A wildfire raging east of Washington State’s Cascade Mountains has destroyed about 100 homes and displaced hundreds of people, Reuters reports. The four-blaze Carlton Complex fire destroyed homes in and around the town of Pateros, northeast of Seattle, Mark Clemens, a spokesman for the Washington Emergency Management Division, said. No casualties are reported as the town’s 650 people were under mandatory evacuation orders. The Carlton Complex fire was triggered by lightning strikes on Monday, burning down 40,500 hectares of parched vegetation.



100-liter radioactive water leak found at Fukushima-1 NPP – TEPCO


A 100-liter leak of radioactive water has been detected at the crippled Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant on Saturday, said Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator company of the plant, in a press release. TEPCO said the leak was detected on the fifth floor of the Unit 5 reactor building at about 1:30am local time (16:30 GMT Friday). The leak was discovered in the water gate area of the pipe which is used to transfer liquid for the spent fuel pond cooling. According to TEPCO no changes in the background radiation of the unit have been registered so far. The NPP was crippled following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami which hit the building on 11 March, 2011. A report published by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday suggested that key systems at the NPP failed due to the damage from the tsunami, but not the earthquake, dismissing reports to the contrary.



​Japan police release ‘vagina-boat’ artist


Megumi Igarashi, a Tokyo-based artist, has been released from police custody, said her lawyer Kazuyuki Minami. Igarashi allegedly broke Japanese obscenity laws by promoting her vaginal art, which reached new peaks when she took a ride in her very own ‘pussy boat’, a kayak made out of a 3D cast of her vagina. She wasarrested June 12 after 30 of her fans received computer data with the schematics to her vagina, following a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the boat.



Bomb scare in Geneva, man detained


A man who stopped a tram in the Swiss city of Geneva has been found to have been carrying extremist Islamic literature, Geneva police told Reuters on Saturday. The area under threat was closed off as police examined the man’s shopping bags. The scare happened as a pro-Palestinian demonstration was scheduled to take place in front of the UN European headquarters at midday.



19 migrants die on Africa-Italy crossing


Nineteen migrants have died on the crossing from Africa to Italy, reportedly having suffocated below deck on an overcrowded boat. Italian news agency Ansa stated that 18 people choked to death on old engine fumes, with another dying during the evacuation procedure. Two further casualties are being treated in a Sicilian hospital. There has been a surge in the number of migrants attempting to reach the continent from Africa this year, with instability in the Middle East contributing to the spike. So far, some 60,000 have already landed in Italy and the country has since been appealing for the EU to help them tackle the problem.



​23 anti-World Cup protesters jailed by Rio authorities


The judge in Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has ordered the arrest of 23 people for ‘violence’ at the World Cup rallies. He added that the decision was made because of “the danger the accused pose to the public.” One of those arrested is accused of the death of a Brazilian TV cameraman who was killed when he was struck by a flare.



At least 26 killed in series of car bombings in Baghdad


Car bombs have struck the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 26 people, medics and police confirmed. A suicide car bombing killed seven people at a police checkpoint in the Abu Dsheer district in southern Baghdad. Then later the bombs exploded in three districts of the city, mainly in Shiite parts, killing a further 19 people, the officials confirmed.



Egypt won’t renew calls for peace between Hamas and Israel


As Israel’s Gaza offensive continues, Egypt has announced that it has no plans to revise its earlier ceasefire proposal to end the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement, its foreign minister Samaeh Shukri said on Saturday. “It provides the needs of all sides and we will continue offering it and we hope to get their support as soon as possible,” Reuters quoted him as saying at a press conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, who recently discussed the Gaza crisis with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.



​8 killed as Typhoon Rammasun strikes China


Powerful Typhoon Rammasun has killed eight people and injured at least dozens more in south China, reported Xinhua news agency. Five people were killed and at least 99 injured in Hainan Province. Two people were killed in Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and one died in Fangchenggang City, Guangxi Province.


9 killed as Ukrainian, Polish buses collide in Germany


A Polish bus, a Ukrainian bus and a Polish minibus have collided on a highway near the German city of Dresden, resulting in nine people killed and 40 others injured, German police reported. The incident happened at about 2am on Saturday when a Polish bus crashed into the back of a Ukrainian bus. The Polish bus then collided with a Polish minibus moving in the other direction. Police said six of the nine dead had been identified as Polish citizens. Some of the travelers were severely wounded, they added.


​US drone kills 8 in Pakistan


A US drone has fired two missiles and struck the building in Datta Khel, a town in Waziristan, northwestern Pakistan, killing eight militants, Pakistan’s intelligence officials told AP on condition of anonymity. According to unconfirmed reports from local media, the compound belonged to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, a Punjabi faction of Pakistani Taliban. The strike is the second this week after a Wednesday suspected US drone attack that killed 15 militants in the same area.


​Explosion kills 38 in China as alcohol van collides with bus


At least 38 people have been killed and another five injured after a highway collision resulted in an explosion and fire in China’s Hukun province. The Saturday morning disaster was caused by a freight van carrying flammable liquid, possibly alcohol, rammed into the back of a passenger bus carrying 53 people, Xinhua news agency reported.



Israel expands ground assault on Gaza, death toll reaches 299


Israel has started to “significantly” widen its ground assault on Gaza, the first day of which has resulted in dozens killed. Now troops are progressing deeper into the Strip. An escalation in Palestinian deaths is expected as Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to cripple Hamas through taking over networks of tunnels is underway. The Israeli army has reportedly taken up positions beyond the border overnight. Little resistance from Hamas has been put up as tunnels were destroyed, and Israeli leaders are expected to make further strategic decisions in a matter of days. The death toll now stands at 299 Palestinian civilians and one Israeli soldier.



​Oklahoma appeals court strikes down gay marriage ban


A federal appeals court based in Denver, Colorado, ruled that Oklahoma must allow same-sex couples to wed. The decision of the court says that the state cannot prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying. The ruling marks the second time the federal appeals court has found the US Constitution protects same-sex marriages. The court put its 2-1 ruling on hold pending an appeal, which means that gay couples won’t be allowed to marry in the ‘Sooner’ state for now.



​Russian biosatellite delivered to orbit


The Soyuz-2.1a rocket has delivered a Russian Foton-M4 biosatellite into orbit after a successful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Russian Space Agency (ROSSCOSMOS) told Interfax. The biosatellite is equipped with 22 specially designed scientific modules. Foton-M4 is designed to accommodate scientific and technology experiments, facilities for generation of materials and biological preparations under conditions of orbital flight. On board the scientists included five geckos, Drosophila flies, plant seeds and microorganisms. More than 20 experiments are due to take place over 60 days that the satellite will be in orbit.


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