World Briefs: French sailor crushes solo world record

French sailor crushes solo world record

BREST • A sailing prodigy, Frenchman Francois Gabart, yesterday crushed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the world on his first attempt.

Driven by a desire to discover the world at full speed, the sailor completed his tour in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. The time beat the previous record set last year by his compatriot, Mr Thomas Coville, by over six days.

Mr Gabart, 34, winner of the 2013 Vendee Globe and 2014 Route du Rhum yacht races, has been sailing for 20 years.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS


Migrant arrivals in Germany fall again

BERLIN • The number of new asylum seekers in Germany has fallen for a second year in a row following the mass influx that peaked in 2015, the government has said.

For all of this year, "I presume a total of fewer than 200,000 migrants", Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted as saying by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper yesterday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under strong pressure for her liberal immigration policy and her Bavarian allies the Christian Social Union have long pushed for a maximum intake of 200,000 refugees a year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Pentagon admits to running UFO study

WASHINGTON • The Pentagon has acknowledged that its long-secret UFO investigation programme ended in 2012, when United States defence officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities.

But the Pentagon was less clear about whether the programme continues to hover somewhere in the vast universe of the US defence establishment.

The New York Times reported last Saturday that the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Programme, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with US$22 million (S$29.7 million) in annual funding secretly tucked away in US Defence Department budgets.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe