Iran claims to have made its first indigenous fighter jet, and drones take on cocaine in Colombia.
Afganistan’s presidential palace attacked ahead of Eid
The Afghan presidential palace was attacked in Kabul Tuesday as President Ashraf Ghani issued a call for peace ahead of Eid al-Adha celebrations, Al Jazeera reported.
An official at a NATO mission was quoted as saying that “nine attackers launched about 30 mortar rounds from two separate locations in Kabul”.
The so-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response, Afghan police cordoned off two locations and military helicopters destroyed two firing positions from where the missiles were launched. “In total, four of the nine insurgents were killed. The other five insurgents surrendered to Afghan forces,” US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O’Donnell said in a statement.
The attack came two days after Ghani sought a ceasefire with Taliban from Eid al-Adha to Prophet Mohammad’s birthday celebrations in November. The Taliban have reportedly rejected the offer.
Iran unveils ‘first home-made fighter jet’
Iran unveiled Tueday what it claims to be its first domestically manufactured fighter jet, CNN reported.
The jet, dubbed the ‘Kowsar’, undertook test flights Tuesday on the eve of the National Day of the Defence Industry, according to Mehr News Agency.
According to state media reports, the Kowsar can be used for “short aerial support missions” and is equipped with systems that “promote precision targeting”, CNN added.
“When we say we are ready for defence, it means that we seek the establishment of sustainable peace,” President Hassan Rouhani is reported to have said. He also called for “the discipline, education, faith, motivation, weapons and readiness of our armed Forces (to) reach a level that no one would dare to attack us”. “Why does the US not attack us? Because it is aware of our power and the cost [that it will entail],” he added.
Currently, Iran is under economic and diplomatic pressure on account of punishing sanctions imposed by the US administration, which has also threatened other countries against trade with Tehran.
Aung San Suu Kyi says return of Rohingya depends on Bangladesh
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that the speed of the Rohingya minority’s repatriation is up to Bangladesh, AFP reports.
Speaking at a public event in Singapore, the civilian leader appeared to blame Dhaka for the delay in the return of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh from Buddhist-majority Myanmar after an alleged military-led offensive almost a year ago.
Suu Kyi said Myanmar had been ready to receive the Rohingya back since January 23. “It’s very difficult for us to put a time frame on it by ourselves unilaterally because we have to work with Bangladesh in order to do that. It is up to Bangladesh to decide how quickly they want the process to be completed,” she added.
While the two countries signed a deal of repatriation last November, no progress has been made since.
Uganda army apologises for beating up Reuters journalist
The Ugandan army has issued a formal apology after soldiers were caught on camera beating up a journalist covering a demonstration in support of detained member of Parliament Bobi Wine, the BBC reported.
“In footage shared online, Reuters photojournalist James Akena can be seen being beaten with a stick by two soldiers on a street in the capital, Kampala… The beating carried on even after Mr Akena put his hands up and fell to his knees,” the report added.
The attack comes at a time when the African nation is witnessing the first popular movement against the 32-year-old tenure of President Yoweri Museveni. Leading it is Wine, a well-known musician who is currently in detention for “unlawfully possessing firearms”
Akena told BBC Focus on Africa radio, “The behaviour of the police or the security personnel has never been this way, so it is difficult to tell why this time round they have taken this new trend.”
Argentenian cop who breastfed stranger infant gets promoted
Argentinian police officer Celeste Ayala, who emerged as a social media darling after a photo of her breastfeeding a “hungry and smelly” baby went viral, has received a promotion, CNN reported.
The officer was performing guard duty at Sor Maria Ludovica children’s hospital when the malnourished and crying baby was brought in. Alaya said she did not think twice before offering to help the baby, adding, “It was a sad moment, it broke my soul seeing him like this, society should be sensitive to the issues affecting children, it cannot keep happening.”
According to the CNN report, “the infant had recently been taken away from his mother, but police didn’t say why”.
Colombia is using drones to curb cocaine production
Colombia is now using drones to spray the herbicide glyphosate over illegal fields of coca, the BBC reported.
“President Iván Duque has favoured the use of the unmanned aircraft to ensure that damage to neighbouring crops is kept to a minimum,” the report added.
Stating that cocaine production is a political problem, many critics have pointed that a technological fix may not sustain in the long run, the BBC added.
Duque’s predecessor Santos had suspended aerial fumigation after a World Health Organization report linked carcinogenic risk to the use glyphosate.
According to the US office of National Drug Control Policy, coca cultivation in Colombia went up 11 per cent, from 463,000 acres in 2016 to 516,000 acres in 2017.
Usain Bolt is giving football a chance
‘World’s fastest man’ Usain Bolt is embarking on an “indefinite training period” with an Australian football club, CNN reported.
On his 32nd birthday, the athlete took part in his first training session with the Central Coast Mariners, part of his plans to play football after retirement.
“I’m just going to put in the work. This is my first chance to get the chance to train and get to the level to play as a professional footballer. I’m here to learn and get better,” he is reported to have told the media.
“The A-League club’s decision to take a chance on Bolt has been labeled a ‘gimmick’ by some critics, but Mariners coach Mike Mulvey insisted it was an ‘innovative and creative’, move,” the CNN report added.
Contributed by Sankalita Dey, Soniya Agrawal and Anagha Deshpande