World Briefs: Zimbabwe's leading opposition leader dies

Zimbabwe's leading opposition leader dies

HARARE • Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran Zimbabwean opposition leader who confronted Mr Robert Mugabe's regime for many years, died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer, a party official said. He was 65.

Mr Tsvangirai, who founded the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in 1999, was among the most prominent critics of Mr Mugabe, the long-time authoritarian leader who was ousted in November.


Most of Aussie shellfish reefs have vanished

SYDNEY • Virtually all of Australia's shellfish reefs have disappeared, making them the country's most threatened ocean ecosystem, scientists said yesterday, calling for more investment to rescue the important marine habitats.

While recent global focus has been on the destruction of coral reefs, a study led by the Nature Conservancy found that between 90 per cent and 99 per cent of shellfish reefs have vanished since British colonisation 230 years ago.

The reefs, formed by millions of oysters or mussels clustering together, used to occur in bays, estuaries and nearshore coastal waters in both tropical and temperate regions across every state in Australia.


Chess federation says Swiss accounts frozen

ATHENS • The World Chess Federation (FIDE) says its Swiss bank accounts have been frozen because its president - with whom the FIDE secretariat is embroiled in a power struggle - is under US sanctions for alleged dealings with the Syrian government.

Russian Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has headed FIDE for over two decades, was placed under US sanctions in November 2015, accused of aiding the Syrian government. Mr Ilyumzhinov, a millionaire businessman and ex-politician, has denied the accusations. Swiss bank UBS declined comment.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe