US plans fresh Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON • The United States is preparing sanctions against firms and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates over alleged links to Iran's ballistic missile programme, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Such a move would be the first American sanctions against Iran since Teheran signed a nuclear deal with world powers in July that will eventually see Washington drop separate sanctions targeting that programme.
Charlie Hebdo to print special issue
PARIS • French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has said it would release nearly a million copies of a special issue to mark a year since terrorists killed a dozen people in its Paris offices.
The 32-page double issue - featuring a selection of drawings by the cartoonists who died in the attack as well as by current staff, and messages of support - will be released next Wednesday.
5 tourists in hospital after NZ crash
WELLINGTON • A tourist bus crash on New Zealand's South Island has resulted in five people being flown to hospital with serious injuries, police said.
The bus collided with a car at Otira Gorge, which is on the main highway traversing the Southern Alps between Christchurch on the east coast and Greymouth on the west coast, police said yesterday. Some 36 people were involved, including three in the car, and all were tourists, police said.
Microsoft to give users hack alerts
NEW YORK • Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday that it will begin warning users of its consumer services, including Outlook.com e-mail, when it suspects that a government has been trying to hack into their accounts.
The policy change comes nine days after Reuters asked the company why it had decided not to tell victims of a hacking campaign, discovered in 2011, that had targeted international leaders of China's Tibetan and Uighur minorities in particular.
According to two former Microsoft staff, the company's own experts had concluded several years ago that the Chinese authorities had been behind the campaign, but the firm did not pass on that information to users of its Hotmail service, now called Outlook.com.