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Lebanese rescue workers dug through the mangled wreckage of buildings on Wednesday looking for survivors after a massive warehouse explosion sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 100 people and injuring nearly 4,000. It sent a mushroom cloud into the sky and rattled windows on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away. The blast was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone Wednesday for a Hindu temple on a contentious site where a 16th century mosque once stood, a historic move that meets a decades-long political promise as the pandemic slams the economy. India’s Supreme Court in November handed over ownership of the area to Hindus after decades of bitter dispute highlighted by deadly riots in the 1990s.
The U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services is scheduled to visit Taiwan in coming days in the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official since the break in formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in 1979. The visit by Alex Azar, will likely create new friction between the U.S. and China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
North Korea is continuing work on its nuclear program and several countries believe Pyongyang has made gains in producing ballistic missiles with small nuclear devices attached, according to a confidential United Nations (UN) report, a UN diplomat told CNN. The latest report was prepared by a UN-appointed independent panel of experts, who are charged with monitoring sanctions enforcement and efficacy.
An ex-engineer for Google’s self-driving car unit has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft shortly before he joined Uber. US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said Anthony Levandowski had carried out the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen”. Levandowski loaded more than 14,000 Google files onto his laptop before leaving the firm in January 2016.