World Brief:Top ISIS cyber expert 'killed in drone strike'

Top ISIS cyber expert 'killed in drone strike'

WASHINGTON • A British hacker who US and European officials said became a top cyber expert for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been killed in a US drone strike, a US source said on Wednesday.

It was the second reported killing of a senior ISIS figure in the last eight days after the extremists group's second-in- command was killed in a US air strike in Iraq on Aug 18.

The source said that the US Defence Department was likely involved in the drone strike that killed British hacker Junaid Hussain, a former resident of Birmingham, England.


Film with gay theme banned in schools

SYDNEY • A film about children with same-sex parents has been barred from being shown in public schools throughout Australia's most populous state despite the documentary makers insisting that students will benefit.

Gayby Baby, which chronicles four children with gay parents, was due to be shown today in high schools in New South Wales as part of a student-led initiative which promotes diversity and inclusiveness. But Education Minister Andrew Piccoli pulled the plug, at least during school hours.


Families mark 500 days of schoolgirl abductions

Relatives of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants marked 500 days since the abductions yesterday, with hopes dwindling for their rescue.

The landmark comes amid a worsening security crisis in north-eastern Nigeria, where militants have stepped up attacks since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, killing more than 1,000 people in three months.

Boko Haram fighters stormed a school on April 14 last year, seizing 276 girls.

Fifty-seven escaped but nothing has been heard of the 219 others since May last year, when about 100 of them appeared in a Boko Haram video, dressed in Muslim attire and reciting the Quran.


Experts solve mystery of polar bear's death

The medical mystery surrounding Knut the celebrity polar bear's dramatic drowning in 2011 has been solved. Animal and disease experts said yesterday the seizure that caused Knut to drown in the pool in his zoo pen was triggered by a type of auto-immune disease which causes brain inflammation.

Reported in the journal Scientific Reports, this is the first diagnosis in an animal of NMDAR encephalitis, a condition that affects about one in 200,000 people each year.

Knut died when it was only four years old. The diagnosis should open a new field of research into animal encephalitis, said researchers.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'World Brief:Top ISIS cyber expert 'killed in drone strike''. Print Edition | Subscribe