Putin orders snap check on troops
MOSCOW • Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday ordered snap checks on troop combat readiness in Russia's central military district, the defence ministry said.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the military exercises, which will run until Sept 12, involve district troops, paratroopers and military transport aircraft.
Russia has recently intensified snap checks of its military might, testing its capabilities from the Arctic to the Far East.
Comedian ahead in Guatemala voting
GUATEMALA CITY • Comedian and political novice Jimmy Morales was in the lead early yesterday following Guatemala's first-round presidential election, after a tumultuous campaign in which the country's leader was jailed over a corruption scandal.
The 46-year-old actor was ahead with 25.8 per cent of the vote, according to results, with 81.5 per cent of the ballots counted from Sunday's vote.
With no candidate near the 50 per cent necessary to avoid a second-round vote, the election is bound for an Oct 25 run-off between Mr Morales and whichever of the two other candidates finishes second.
Hate crimes surge in London
LONDON • Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes in London have soared over the past year, new official figures show, with global events apparently contributing to the rise.
Police recorded 816 Islamophobic offences in the 12 months to July, up more than 70 per cent from 478 in the previous 12 months.
Anti-Semitic crimes surged 93 per cent over the same period, with 499 incidents recorded compared with 258 in the previous year.