Saturday 08 August 2020
News ID: 81286
Publish Date: 01 August 2020 - 22:07
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Seven U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor were missing on Friday, a day after their amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) sank off the Southern California coast during a training mission, Marine Corps officials said. Seven other Marines were rescued and are alive while one was killed after their vehicle took on water and sank around 5:45 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday (0045 GMT Friday), U.S. military officials said during a news conference. "They signaled to the rest of the unit that they were in fact taking on water,” Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman said. "Immediate response was provided by two additional amphibious assault vehicles as well a safety boat.” Two of the rescued Marines were in critical condition at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla while the other five are back aboard their assigned ships, Gen. David Berger said. A search and rescue mission involving a U.S. Navy destroyer and a Coast Guard cutter continued on Friday afternoon for the missing Marines and sailor. The Marines were wearing combat gear along with inflatable vests when the incident occurred, Osterman said.  The incident occurred during what the Marine Corps said was a routine training exercise near San Clemente Island. Marines often practice beach assaults there using amphibious troop transport vehicles.

WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- America’s top infectious diseases official has purportedly raised concerns over the safety of COVID-19 vaccines being developed by China and Russia as the world scrambles for answers to a pandemic the WHO warned will be felt for decades. Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the race to develop an immunity to the disease and Russia has set a target date of September to roll out its own vaccine. But U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said it was unlikely his country would use any vaccine developed in either country, claiming their regulatory systems are far more opaque than they are in the West. "I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone,” he told a U.S. Congressional hearing on Friday. "Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic, at best.”

SHANGHAI/BERLIN (Reuters) -- China’s embassy in Germany condemned Berlin’s suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, a move Germany said was a response to the postponement of an election in the Chinese city. In a statement on its website, dated Friday, China’s embassy said the suspension violated international law and the basic norms of international relations, and "grossly interferes with China’s internal affairs.” The embassy expressed "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the minister’s remarks, and said that China "reserves the right to respond further,” without elaborating.  Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that Berlin will suspend its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam postponed a Sept. 6 election to the city’s legislature by a year.

KHABAROVSK, Russia (AFP) -- Thousands of people braved the rain in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk on Saturday to attend another huge protest march against the arrest of the region’s popular governor. For a fourth weekend, demonstrators marched through the streets chanting anti-Kremlin slogans and in support of ex-governor Sergei Furgal, who was arrested and taken to Moscow last month to face charges of masterminding murders 15 years ago. The arrest of the 50-year-old -- who was elected in 2018, beating a rival from the majority United Russia party -- has sparked unprecedented protests in the far eastern region. Locals see the move as politically motivated and question why he is being tried in the far-away capital.
N’DJAMENA (AFP) -- Boko Haram terrorists killed at least 10 civilians and kidnapped seven others in an attack on a village in the troubled Lake Chad region on Friday, an army officer and local official said. Lake Chad -- a marshy region dotted with islands near the border of Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon -- has been battered by attacks from jihadists crossing from Nigeria. Boko Haram’s insurgency, launched in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has killed more than 36,000 people and displaced more than two million from their homes. The violence has since spread to Niger, Chad and Cameroon. In March, Chad’s armed forces suffered their biggest single-day loss, when 98 soldiers were massacred in their base at Bohoma, on the banks of Lake Chad. In response, President Idriss Deby launched an offensive from March 31 to April 3, declaring at its end that there was "not a single jihadist left” in the Lake Chad region. But sporadic violence has continued, with an attack attributed to Boko Haram on an army vehicle earlier this month killing eight Chad soldiers.

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Moscow has denied any links between the Belarus opposition and alleged Russian mercenaries detained this week in Belarus, a Russian diplomat in Minsk said, according to Russia’s RIA news agency. RIA also reported that Russian diplomats met the 33 suspected mercenaries arrested in Belarus. The Belarusian authorities say they believe the husband of opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanouskaya may have ties to the detained group and have launched a criminal case against him on suspicion of inciting riots.

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