U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia but stressed he did not want to go to war, as the attacks sent oil prices soaring and raised fears of a new Middle East conflict. Iran has rejected U.S. charges it was behind the strikes on Saturday that damaged the world’s biggest crude-processing plant and triggered the largest jump in crude prices in decades.
An explosion has caused a fire at a Russian biological research facility that’s one of only two centers in the world known for housing samples of the smallpox virus. The blast occurred Monday during repair work of a sanitary inspection room at the Russian State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology, known as Vector, near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia, the center said in a statement.
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has appealed to France’s government to grant him asylum so he can avoid prosecution in the United States. “Protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act,” he said, in an appeal to French President Emmanuel Macron. “Welcoming someone like me is not an attack on the United States.” Presently, Snowden lives in Russia, where he has been able to safely avoid prosecution in the U.S.
Elon Musk is continuing to try to wriggle his way out of a defamation lawsuit, claiming in a court filing on Monday that a tweet labeling a British diver “pedo guy” was not meant to actually accuse him of pedophilia. The Tesla CEO is being sued over comments made in 2018 about Vernon Unsworth, a diver who helped rescue a team of young soccer players stuck in an underwater cave.
Scientists think they have found a way to stop the common cold and closely related viruses which can cause paralysis. Instead of trying to attack them directly, the researchers targeted an essential protein inside our cells which the viruses need to replicate. The approach gave “complete protection” in experiments on mice and human lung cells.
Oil prices surged by nearly 20% after two attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities on Saturday knocked out more than 5% of the world’s supply. US oil prices also spiked, but both trimmed gains as President Donald Trump authorized the release of US reserves. The strike, which the US blames on Iran, has sparked fears of increased risk to energy supplies in the region.
Several Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday lined up to call for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college. Kavanaugh was confirmed last October after emotional hearings in the Senate over a sexual assault allegation from his high school years. The New York Times now reports that Kavanaugh faced a separate allegation from his time at Yale University and that the FBI did not investigate the claim.
African leaders praised Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe as a hero during a poorly-attended funeral at the country’s National Sports Stadium. More than 10 African leaders and several former presidents attended the service for Mugabe, who died last week in Singapore aged 95, but the crowd filled only about 30 percent of the 60,000 capacity stadium in Harare.
A peaceful rally in Hong Kong has descended into chaos as police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters who hurled petrol bombs, set fires and clashed with residents. Tens of thousands of demonstrators defied a police ban and marched on the seat of the government calling for greater democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Australian intelligence determined China was responsible for a cyber-attack on its national parliament and three largest political parties before the general election in May, five people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Australia’s cyber intelligence agency – the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) – concluded in March that China’s Ministry of State Security was responsible for the attack.