US, Russian planes in near miss over Syria
WASHINGTON • A near miss between Russian and US warplanes over Syria this month was the closest the two air forces have come to a midair collision in the war-torn country, according to the Pentagon.
The incident occurred in eastern Syria on Oct 17, when a Russian jet escorting a larger spy plane manoeuvred near an American warplane, coming to within 0.8km of the US jet, officials say.
A Pentagon spokesman called the incident "inadvertent" and not an intentional act of hostility.
Sweden declares Holocaust hero dead
LONDON • Mr Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from being killed by the Nazis, has been formally declared dead, 71 years after he disappeared in Hungary in the closing months of World War II.
The diaries of Mr Ivan Serov, the original head of the KGB, published in June, stated outright that the belief that Soviet jailers killed Mr Wallenberg is correct - allowing his family to be granted their request for a death certificate to settle his estate. Until now the official Soviet account, issued in 1957, was that he died of a heart attack at age 34 in 1947.
US oil pipeline shut off after deadly blast
WASHINGTON • The largest petrol pipeline in the United States remained shut off yesterday following an explosion and fire that killed one and injured five.
An excavator used by contractors hit the Colonial pipeline, which runs 8,851km from Houston to New York, on Monday near the city of Birmingham in the southern state of Alabama.
Emergency crews have built a dirt dam 2.4m tall and 24m long to contain the burning fuel, but officials said the blaze is unlikely to be extinguished "any time soon".