News In Biref
2 die of MERS in Saudi ahead of hajj
Two Saudis have died in Riyadh after they contracted the MERS virus, health authorities announced yesterday, as the kingdom prepares to host some two million Muslim pilgrims for the annual hajj.
The two men, aged 78 and 55, had also suffered from other chronic diseases, the ministry said on its website. It did not specify when the deaths occurred.
Govt-Kachin rebels sign new peace deal
Myanmar and Kachin rebels signed a fresh peace deal yesterday, government mediators said, the latest step in efforts to end the country's last major active civil war.
The deal, which follows three days of negotiations, was aimed at laying the "foundation for political dialogue" and working towards ending the conflict in Kachin that broke out two years ago when a 17-year ceasefire crumbled.
Fighting in Kachin near the northern border with China has continued since June 2011 and displaced some 100,000 people according to the United Nations.
US nuke command's deputy chief sacked
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, the deputy commander of US nuclear forces has been fired from his post after being investigated for allegedly using counterfeit chips at a casino, officers said yesterday+.
The move was highly unusual against such a senior officer in US Strategic Command, which oversees the country's nuclear-armed missiles, submarines and bombers.
The move was approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Barack Obama, officials said.