The Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has said he will offer his resignation to parliament to allow lawmakers to choose a new government, in a move that follows weeks of violent anti-government protests. The announcement came after weeks of anti-government unrest in which security forces have killed around 400 mostly peaceful demonstrators and the country has careered towards a serious escalation of violence.
A South Korean court has sentenced two K-pop stars to six and five years in prison for gang-rape and additionally convicted one of them for distributing videos of the assaults and other sexual encounters. Jung Joon-young, a singer-songwriter, and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of the boy band FT Island, were found guilty of gang-raping two different women in two incidents in 2016.
A Japanese department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they’re menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry. The backlash comes as cases of workplace harassment have come under the spotlight in Japan, amid a shrinking workforce and changing values about gender roles and work-life balance.
An “amazingly well-preserved” 18,000-year-old puppy has been found in Siberia – but scientists cannot decide whether it is a dog or a wolf. Now named Dogor, a local word for friend, it was found near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia last summer. It is “possibly the oldest dog ever found”, researcher Love Dalen said, adding that it was “amazingly well-preserved even before they cleaned it up”.
A world-renowned American free solo climber has died attempting to descend the side of a cliff face. Brad Gobright, 31, fell around 300m (1,000ft) to his death in El Potrero Chico in northern Mexico. Gobright was best known for free soloing, or climbing without any safety gear, but at the time the two were abseiling, a technique using ropes.
A submarine believed to be carrying around 3.5 tonnes of cocaine has been towed into port after being intercepted off the Spanish coast. It sank as police tried to intercept it in the Aldan inlet in the Galicia region at the weekend. It’s believed the crew tried to sink it on purpose. Two Ecuadorian nationals have been arrested but another person managed to escape.
Rescuers are scrambling to find survivors under the rubble of buildings in Albania, where a strong earthquake has killed 26 people and injured 650. The magnitude-6.4 tremor struck 34km (21 miles) north-west of the capital, Tirana, as people slept in their beds during the early hours of Tuesday. Most of the deaths occurred in the coastal city of Durres and the town of Thumane, close to the epicenter.
Families in Vietnam on Wednesday began receiving the bodies of their loved ones who died in a container truck in England last month. So far 16 of the 39 victims’ bodies have been flown to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport and then taken to their families’ homes by ambulance. The repatriation came two days after a man accused of driving the truck pleaded guilty to assisting in plotting illegal immigration in British court.
Sets of virtual reality goggles, modified for the shape of cow heads and displaying a “unique summer field simulation program,” were placed on multiple bovines, according to a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in the Moscow region. The VR glasses led to a notable “decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall emotional mood of the herd,” according to the press release provided by Storyful.
The world’s first HIV positive sperm bank has been launched in an effort to reduce the stigma experienced by those living with the virus. Although this does not mean the HIV has been cured, it does mean that the treatment is working well and so the virus cannot be passed on – even through sex without a condom or childbirth.