World Briefs: Russian suspects deny attack

Russian suspects deny attack

MOSCOW • Two Russians resembling men accused by Britain of jetting into England to murder a former spy said yesterday they were innocent tourists who had flown to London for fun and visited Salisbury to see its cathedral.

Britain said it was clear the two men, who appeared on Russia's state-funded RT television, were agents of the country's GRU military intelligence who carried out the attack, and their interview an example of Russia's "obfuscation and lies". The two men, who identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they had fallen victim to a "fantastical coincidence".


38,500 displaced in north-west Syria

GENEVA • Violence in north-west Syria has displaced more than 38,500 people in less than two weeks, amid increasing hostilities and a looming regime assault on the opposition-held Idlib province, the United Nations said yesterday.

The UN, which has warned that a full-fledged assault on Idlib could create the century's "worst humanitarian catastrophe", has created a plan to help up to 900,000 people who could flee the onslaught. The province and adjacent rural areas form the largest piece of territory still held by Syria's beleaguered rebels, worn down by a succession of government victories in recent months.


UN warns of lives at risk in Yemen

GENEVA • Yemen's humanitarian situation has worsened rapidly since UN peace talks collapsed and fighting resumed in the port city of Hodeidah, where hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance, the top United Nations aid official in Yemen has said.

"The situation has deteriorated dramatically in the past few days. Families are absolutely terrified by the bombardment, shelling and air strikes," UN humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande said in a statement yesterday.


Paris 'Spiderman' now French citizen

PARIS • The migrant hero nicknamed "Spiderman" for saving a child hanging off a balcony by scaling a Paris apartment block with his bare hands, has become a French citizen, according to a government decree.

Nimble 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama from Mali was granted a fast track to French nationality and a job in the fire service after the daring rescue in May. "This act of great bravery exemplifies the values which help unite our national community, such as courage, selflessness, altruism and taking care of the most vulnerable," said the official document published on Wednesday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe