Tuesday 20 February 2018

In brief: IMF computer system was 'breached by hackers from a foreign government'

The IMF's computer system was attacked in early May by hackers believed to be connected to a foreign government, a person familiar with the incident has said.

Emails and other documents were hacked into, said the IMF security expert who couldn't be identified because he wasn't authorised to speak on the subject. He didn't say which government is believed to be behind the incident.

The attack occurred before former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for sexual assault on May 14.

21 killed as Taliban violence increases

A string of attacks across Afghanistan, including one by a suicide bomber pushing an ice-cream cart, killed 21 people yesterday, as the UN said in a new report that May was the deadliest month for Afghan civilians since 2007.

The worst attack took place in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, where a roadside bomb killed all 16 people travelling in a minibus, including eight children, said provincial police chief Abdul Raziq. He said the bomb was planted by the Taliban and was intended for Nato or Afghan forces.

Germany fears more E coli deaths

Germany's health minister has warned the death toll from the E coli outbreak could still climb even though he's hopeful that the worst is over. The toll stands at 33.

Health Minister Daniel Bahr's comments came after officials announced on Friday that they had traced the outbreak to bean sprouts from a farm in north Germany.

Pakistan bombs claim dozens of lives

AT least 35 people have been killed in an explosion in a residential and commercial area of the city of Peshawar in north-western Pakistan, a senior police official said.

A small blast just after midnight drew rescue workers and police to the site. Minutes later a large explosion shook the area, killing at least 35 and injuring hundreds.

30 Islamic militants slain in Yemen

Officials say 30 Islamic militants and soldiers have been killed in fighting in southern areas in Yemen.

In a twist, local officials say the army commander tasked with trying to rout militants from the Zinjibar and Jaar areas has in fact joined a protest movement seeking to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh. General Ragab of Battalion 119, defected in March.

The US is worried that al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen will take advantage of the instability.

Chinese police struggle with protests

Paramilitary police were out on the streets of Lichuan city in China yesterday following a riot over the death of city councilman in police custody, the latest in a string of incidents highlighting government fears of social unrest.

Thousands of people laid siege to government offices in Lichuan in Hubei province on Thursday, throwing bottles, eggs and other objects and tussling with police.

Explosion injures two in German IKEA

Two people were slightly injured in an explosion at an IKEA furniture store in eastern Germany, police said yesterday. Dresden police said the incident took place in the store's kitchen furnishings department on Friday evening. Police said two people suffered blast trauma and some furniture was slightly damaged.

In Sweden, IKEA spokeswoman Camilla Meiby said "the explosives used seem to be different" from those used last month in almost simultaneous incidents in IKEA stores in the Netherlands, France and Belgium. No one was seriously injured in those attacks.

Relic of Pope John Paul II on display

A relic containing the blood of the recently beatified Pope John Paul II has been placed in the altar of a new church in Krakow. John Paul, the Polish-born pope who remains deeply revered in his homeland, was beatified on May 1 at the Vatican by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.

With his beatification, the faithful are now able to venerate such objects as holy relics.

Norway hit by devastating floods

Torrential rains combined with melting snow have caused devastating floods across central Norway, washing away several houses and roads and causing landslides. One person has been injured in the floods.

Spokesman Morten Harangen at the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning says the northern part of the country has also been affected.

Filipino to take 'world's shortest' title

Officials say a two-foot-tall Filipino is expected to be named the world's shortest man when he turns 18 today.

Lolit Homay, municipal health officer in Zamboanga del Norte province's Sindangan township, says Junrey Balawing was measured at about 24 inches from head to foot lying down and slightly above 23 inches standing up yesterday. The current record holder, Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal, is 26.4 inches tall.

Sunday Independent

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