South China Morning Post USA

Tense scenes in Texas street as off-duty cop with gun confronts tiger

A Texas man free on bond from a murder charge was returned to custody after neighbours found a pet tiger wandering around a Houston neighbourhood.Houston police said that Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, was back in custody charged with felony evading arrest.Police had said they believed the tiger had belonged to Cuevas, but his lawyer questioned the accuracy of that belief.Video of the Sunday night encounter shows the tiger coming face-to-face with an armed off-duty Waller County sheriff’s deputy,…

What you need to know about the US Colonial Pipeline hack

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Eric Geller on politico.com on May 10, 2021.The cyberattack that forced the shutdown of the US East Coast’s largest fuel pipeline has prompted fresh questions about the vulnerability of the country’s critical infrastructure to cyberattacks.The breach at Alpharetta, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline is the latest in a series of cybersecurity incidents confronting President Joe Biden’s administration – as…

NBC dropping Golden Globes, Tom Cruise returns trophies

US television network NBC on Monday dropped its broadcast of the Golden Globes ceremony in 2022 after a Hollywood backlash over the ethics of the group that hands out the annual awards for film and television and its lack of diversity.Tom Cruise joined a revolt led by streaming platforms and studios, returning the three Golden Globe statuettes he won for his roles in Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Born on the Fourth of July, Variety and Deadline Hollywood reported.NBC’s decision came even after…

US authorises Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday authorised the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old.Acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock described the move as a “significant step in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic”.“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from Covid-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” Woodcock said in a statement.“Parents and guardians can rest…

Russian spy unit suspected of directed-energy attacks on US personnel

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Lara Seligman and Andrew Desiderio on politico.com on May 10, 2021.US officials suspect that a notorious Russian spy agency may be behind alleged attacks that are causing mysterious health issues among US government personnel across the world, according to three current and former officials with direct knowledge of the discussions.Officials do not have a smoking gun linking Russia’s military…

Cyberattack on major US fuel pipeline linked to ‘DarkSide’ criminal gang

The cyberextortion attempt that has forced the shutdown of a vital US pipeline was carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide that cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, two people close to the investigation said.The shutdown, meanwhile, stretched into its third day on Sunday, with the Biden administration saying an “all-hands-on-deck” effort was under way to restore operations and avoid disruptions in the fuel supply.Experts said that…

Man shot dead at Vancouver airport in gang incident

A man was shot to death at the Vancouver International Airport in what authorities said appeared to be a gang-related incident, and police were later fired on while pursuing suspects.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said officers intercepted the suspected getaway car shortly after the Sunday shooting at the airport and came under gunfire from the car. An unspecified number of suspects escaped, and no officers were injured.The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed that a man was…

Famed Bangkok airport architect Helmut Jahn killed in US bicycle accident

German-born American architect Helmut Jahn, known for his postmodern steel-and-glass structures, has died aged 81 in Illinois after being hit by two vehicles while he was riding his bicycle, police said.Jahn died on Saturday afternoon in Campton Hills, about 100km (60 miles) west of Chicago, when he “failed to stop at a posted stop sign” at an intersection, according to police on Sunday,The two vehicles were travelling in opposite directions, police said, adding that Jahn died at the scene and…

Elise Stefanik poised to replace Liz Cheney as Republicans split over Donald Trump’s election lie

US politician Elise Stefanik began her Washington career as a moderate, but has changed tack and surged in influence to likely become the most powerful Republican woman in Congress – a trajectory she owes entirely to her staunch defence of Donald Trump.Stefanik, just 36 and in Congress for six years, is aiming to oust principled conservative Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair, a dramatic change of course that concedes the extraordinary shift that is shaping the party’s future…

‘The last thing Beijing wants is a military conflict’: overseas Taiwanese

While heightened military tensions over Taiwan are concerning for the island’s overseas diaspora, many take the view that a full-blown crisis is unlikely – at least in the short-term.Like most overseas Taiwanese, Bryan Hsieh keeps close tabs on developments back home and monitors tensions across the Taiwan Strait. He thinks matters are getting increasingly worrisome.The 46-year-old product marketing manager, who lives in Fremont, California, said that while there had been various spikes in…

US police search for man accused of assaulting restaurant worker and using anti-Asian slurs

Authorities in a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC say they are seeking to arrest a man who reportedly left a restaurant without paying, used racial slurs when confronted by two Asian-American workers and assaulted one of them.Arlington County Police said in a news release on Saturday that officers were called to the unspecified restaurant earlier in the week for a report of an assault.Police said the arriving officers determined the suspect had left without paying his bill. Two employees…

Major US fuel pipeline forced to shut down after being targeted in cyberattack

This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Gloria Gonzales, Ben Lefebvre and Eric Geller on politico.com on May 8, 2021.The main fuel supply line to the US East Coast has shut down indefinitely after the pipeline‘s operator suffered what is believed to be the largest successful cyberattack on oil infrastructure in the country’s history – presenting a danger of spiking petrol prices and a fresh challenge to US President Joe Biden’s pledges to…

Iran dismisses Joe Biden’s doubts over Tehran’s commitment to nuclear talks

Iran on Saturday dismissed doubts expressed by US President Joe Biden as to how serious Tehran is about the continuing nuclear negotiations.“3 years ago today, a disgraced buffoon violated US obligations under JCPOA & UNSCR 2231,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, referring to former US president Donald Trump, and calling the nuclear deal by its acronym.On Friday, Biden said it remained unclear how seriously Iran was taking the ongoing diplomatic efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear…

Proud Boys got over US$80,00 in donations from Chinese-Americans a month before Capitol attack

The far-right group Proud Boys allegedly received more than US$80,00 in donations from Chinese-Americans and the broader Chinese diaspora a month before the Capitol attack, according to a report by USA Today.The money was sent as part of a crowdfunding effort to help the Proud Boys pay for medical expenses after four people were stabbed in Washington, DC in December 2020 during a confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters (officials did not comment on which group the injured individuals…

Patrick Thompson, accused of stabbing of two elderly Asian women, refuses to leave cell for court hearing

The arraignment of a man who allegedly stabbed two elderly Asian women without warning at a San Francisco bus stop was postponed on Friday after he refused to leave his jail cell and appear in court.Patrick Thompson’s arraignment on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse was postponed until Monday.District Attorney Chesa Boudin asked that Thompson, 54, be held without bail, and Judge Brian Ferrall agreed.Thompson, who has a history of mental illness, could…

US urges WHO to invite Taiwan to annual meeting, a move opposed by China

The US government on Friday called for Taiwan to be invited as an observer to the upcoming meeting of the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, a move China has opposed.“There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this forum,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, referring to the World Health Assembly that is expected to discuss ways to strengthen international cooperation to end the coronavirus pandemic in its meeting starting…

Disappointing US jobs report shows far weaker employment growth than expected

President Joe Biden on Friday said there was a “long way to go” before the US economy recovers from a pandemic-spurred slump and urged Washington to do more to help the American people after a disappointing jobs report.US job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers and raw materials. Non-farm payrolls increased by only 266,000 jobs last month. Economists had expected nearly a million jobs to be added.Biden and his team have said his US$1.9 trillion…

Another unexpected delay in Meng Wanzhou’s marathon extradition case, as technical difficulties thwart virtual hearing

A court hearing to chart a path forward for Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case has been delayed due to technical problems with remote-access technology, adding to doubt about how the marathon case will proceed.The case management conference that had been scheduled to take place in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver on Friday could not convene and was instead adjourned until May 12. The hearing was being held remotely due to pandemic precautions. The court had originally been…

George Floyd death: federal grand jury indicts four ex-Minneapolis police officers with US civil rights charges

A federal grand jury has indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of wilfully violating the black man’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement and gasping for air.A three-count indictment unsealed on Friday names Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao.Specifically, Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police…

US, China take a less belligerent tone in remarks to UN Security Council

Top diplomats from Beijing and Washington praised multilateralism at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, but in thinly veiled criticism accused each other of undermining it.“Splitting the world along the ideological line conflicts with a spirit of multilateralism, and is a regression in history,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who chaired the meeting.Shortly afterward, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “We will continue to push back forcefully when we see countries…

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