The UK, US and Australia have announced a historic security pact in the Asia-Pacific, in what’s seen as an effort to counter China. It will let Australia build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, using technology provided by the US. The Aukus pact, which will also cover AI and other technologies, is one of the countries’ biggest defense partnerships in decades, analysts say.
An Islamic State leader in the Sahara has been killed by the French military. President Emmanuel Macron said Adnan Abu Walid al Sahrawi’s death was “a major success”. Al Sahrawi was the leader of IS in the Greater Sahara, and had previously claimed to be behind terror attacks in the region. It comes following the recent killing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, and a number of other strikes on the IS leadership.
North Korea said Thursday it successfully launched ballistic missiles from a train for the first time and was continuing to bolster its defenses, after the two Koreas test-fired missiles hours apart in dueling displays of military might. Wednesday’s launches underscored a return of the tensions between the rivals amid a prolonged stalemate in U.S.-led talks aimed at stripping North Korea of its nuclear weapons program.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has said dozens of people in his inner circle at the Kremlin have tested positive for coronavirus, which has affected more than 7 million people in the badly-hit country. Earlier this week, the 68-year-old Putin said he was self-isolating after announcing an outbreak among members of his entourage. According to the latest figures, the country has recorded more than 7 million cases and 195,041 deaths.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles held back tears on Wednesday, as she told lawmakers how the FBI and U.S. gymnastic and Olympic officials failed to stop the sexual abuse that she and hundreds of other athletes suffered from former doctor Larry Nassar. Biles added that USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to act while the FBI “turned a blind eye.”