World Briefs: Iran marks 40 years since revolution

Iran marks 40 years since revolution

TEHERAN • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani yesterday blasted a US "conspiracy" against the country as vast crowds marked 40 years since the Islamic Revolution at a time of heightened tensions with Washington.

"The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran... means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives," Mr Rouhani told those thronging Teheran's Azadi Square.

Chador-clad women, militia members in camouflage fatigues and ordinary citizens marched through the capital in freezing rain to mark the day in February 1979 that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ended millennia of royal rule.


Vietnam minister to visit North Korea

HANOI • Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh will visit North Korea ahead of this month's planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, a spokesman said yesterday.

Mr Trump said last week that he would hold his second meeting with Mr Kim in the Vietnamese capital on Feb 27 and 28.

The Vietnamese Foreign Minister will visit North Korea from today to Thursday, the spokesman said in a statement posted on social network Twitter, without giving further details.

The Trump-Kim summit follows an unprecedented first meeting between the leaders in Singapore last June.


Aussie drug lord 'stabbed in prison'

SYDNEY • A notorious crime boss who was once Australia's most wanted man has been stabbed in prison, reports said yesterday, months after revelations that his lawyer was a police informant cast doubt on his criminal convictions.

Tony Mokbel, who masterminded a drug trafficking empire, was a central figure in Melbourne's gangland war which began in the late 1990s. The violence claimed dozens of lives and was later immortalised in the popular Australian TV series Underbelly.

Police said a man, aged in his 50s - widely reported to be Mokbel by Australian media - was flown from the maximum security Barwon Prison, south-west of Melbourne, in a serious condition after a stabbing yesterday.

A second man, who was in his 30s, was also taken to hospital, police added.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe