US Navy fires shots at Iranian vessels
WASHINGTON • A US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels on Sunday after they closed in at high speed in the Strait of Hormuz, US officials said yesterday.
They said that when the Iranian boats did not respond to radio requests by the USS Mahan to slow down, the destroyer fired warning flares and a US Navy helicopter dropped a smoke float.
The Iranian vessels came within 800m of the Mahan, which was escorting two other US ships, they said.
Strides for permanent flu vaccine
WASHINGTON • US researchers have reported progress on a vaccine that could prevent influenza permanently with a single injection.
The scientists classified the two major types of seasonal flu viruses that can infect humans and hope animal tests are close, of a vaccine designed to provoke antibodies against the common core of both types.
Seasonal vaccines respond only to the part of the virus that changes every year.
Iraq to regain east Mosul 'soon'
BAGHDAD • Iraqi forces will recapture east Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) within "a few days", according to Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a top commander in Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service.
Baghdad's forces have retaken a series of areas in eastern Mosul since launching an operation to recapture the city on Oct 17, but the western part remains under ISIS control.
Aussie minister steps down for now
SYDNEY • Australia's Health Minister yesterday stepped down temporarily while an investigation audits her expense accounts after revelations that she bought an investment apartment on Queensland's Gold Coast while on a work trip.
Minister Sussan Ley has been fighting calls for her resignation since last Friday when it was revealed she made expense claims for a number of taxpayer-funded visits to the Gold Coast some 1,300km from her electorate.
But she is standing by her claim that the inquiry will prove she did not break any rules about private activities during official travel.