World Briefs: Russia can 'rebuild forces in Syria in hours'

Russia can 'rebuild forces in Syria in hours'

MOSCOW • President Vladimir Putin has said Russia's military success in Syria allowed him to order a partial drawdown of forces, but stressed the Kremlin could scale up its presence again within hours and would continue to carry out air strikes there.

Russia will complete the withdrawal of most of its military contingent in Syria in two to three days, Russian Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily published yesterday.


Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone over: WHO

GENEVA • The latest flare-up of Ebola in Sierra Leone has ended, leaving no confirmed cases of the virus in West Africa, the United Nations has said, hailing a "milestone" in the fight against the outbreak.

Yesterday, the World Health Organisation was careful to warn that a recurrence of the disease remained a possibility.


SeaWorld to stop breeding killer whales

ORLANDO • Bowing to years of pressure from animal rights activists, United States theme park operator SeaWorld said yesterday that it would stop breeding killer whales and that those currently at its parks would be the last.

SeaWorld, which draws 20 million visitors a year, said it would introduce natural orca shows in place of theatrical performances. The changes will be implemented in San Diego next year and in its other parks by 2019.


Nefertiti buried inside Tutankhamun's tomb?

CAIRO • Radar scans of the pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb in the ancient city of Luxor showed a "90 per cent" chance of two hidden chambers, which could contain organic material, Egypt's antiquities minister said yesterday.

Experts scanned the tomb to look for what a British archaeologist believes could be the resting place of Queen Nefertiti, a legendary beauty who was the chief consort of Tutankhamun's father. Her mummy has never been found.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs: Russia can 'rebuild forces in Syria in hours' '. Print Edition | Subscribe