China's heavy-lift rocket fails to launch
BEIJING • China's launch of a new heavy-lift rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, carrying what the government said was its heaviest satellite, failed yesterday, official news agency Xinhua said.
The same rocket type had been expected to take China's latest lunar probe to the moon this year and return with samples. It is not clear how the timetable for that mission will be affected by the failed launch.
US warship sails close to disputed island
WASHINGTON • An American warship yesterday sailed by a disputed island in the South China Sea occupied by Beijing as part of an operation to demonstrate freedom of navigation in the waters, a United States official said. The ship passed less than 12 nautical miles from Triton Island in the Paracel Islands archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, the official said.
Leaders push for Afghan reform
KABUL • Leaders of Afghanistan's three major ethnic minority political parties, all of whom hold senior positions in the government, have announced from Turkey that they have formed a coalition to save Afghanistan from chaos, issued a list of demands for reforms by President Ashraf Ghani and vowed to hold mass protests unless they are met.
This follows weeks of gathering political turmoil and public unrest after a devastating terrorist bombing in the capital on May 31. The alliance could present Mr Ghani and his shaky government with their most serious challenge since he took office in 2014.