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Israeli military ‘faked casualties’ in Hezbollah attack | World News

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Israel’s military faked casualties in a skirmish with Lebanese militant group Hezbollah during the weekend, according to Israeli media.

The staged injuries and evacuation of an army base were part of a plan to trick Hezbollah into thinking it had inflicted damage and Israeli casualties, media reports said on Monday.

Hezbollah claimed it had destroyed an Israeli military vehicle near the border during Sunday’s battle, killing and wounding those inside.

Israel said it had retaliated, using a helicopter gunship and artillery fire.

Fire started after retaliatory strikes by Israel on Lebanon
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Late on Sunday, Israel’s military said there were no casualties

Israeli TV stations had broadcast video of soldiers unloading what appeared to be a bloody, bandaged comrade who had been evacuated in a helicopter.

But the army’s apparent aim was to let Hezbollah claim victory for a few hours until the situation calmed down.

Late on Sunday, the Israeli military said there were no casualties.

In a televised speech on Monday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said the episode had launched a “new phase” in which the Iran-backed movement no longer has red lines.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the new focus, now in the hands of fighters in the field, would be on targeting Israeli drones entering Lebanon’s airspace.

He added: “The message is clear. If you launch an aggression, then all your border, soldiers and deep inside (Israel) will be part of our retaliation.”

Lebanese Hezbollah movement leader Hasan Nasrallah said the flare-up with Israel launched 'new phase'
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The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said the flare-up launched ‘new phase’

Shells were fired at the Lebanese side of the border during Sunday’s clash, including in the village of Maroun al-Ras, sparking fires.

“Hezbollah executed the attack, however [it] failed to cause casualties,” an Israeli military spokesman said.

“The tactical event on the ground appears to be behind us, however the strategic situation is still on, and the Israel Defence Forces maintains an elevated level of readiness.”

An Israeli self-propelled artillery gun near the Lebanese border on 1 September
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The army’s apparent aim was to let Hezbollah claim victory for a few hours

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said future action would depend on how events developed.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he had called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a French diplomat about the developments.

Israel has been on high alert over the risk of confrontation with the armed wing of Hezbollah, which is widely-recognised as a terror group.

Fierce enemies Israel and Hezbollah fought a four-week war in 2006 that killed hundreds of people but ended in stalemate.

Despite their entrenched animosity, there has been no direct fighting between them for the past 13 years.

Last week, Lebanon hit out at Israel after two drones crashed over Beirut, hours after Israel claimed to have struck Iranian forces in Syria.

The two drones crashed separately in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, with Lebanon saying the group had not fired on the drones.

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More than 2,000 preserved foetal remains found at dead doctor’s home | World News

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More than 2,000 medically preserved foetal remains have been found at the home of a late Indiana abortion clinic doctor, leading to calls for a federal investigation.

The gruesome discovery was made after Dr Ulrich Klopfer died on 3 September and family members began sorting through his property in Illinois.

The county coroner’s office has taken possession of the 2,246 preserved remains.

State Republican Ron Bacon has called for the Indiana attorney general’s office to investigate the now-closed clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend, where Klopfer had performed abortions.

He described the discovery as “seriously disturbing” and expressed concern that “there may be other remains”.

A spokeswoman for the Will County Sheriff’s Office said its investigation was ongoing and no further information would be released until it is complete.

She called it “a very sensitive situation” involving the sheriff’s department, coroner’s office and prosecutors.

Klopfer was believed to be Indiana’s most prolific abortion doctor, performing thousands of procedures over several decades.

His three clinics closed years before his death.

The state revoked the South Bend clinic’s licence in 2015 and the Indiana State Department of Health had previously issued complaints against the clinic, accusing it of lacking a patient register, policies regarding medical abortion, and a governing body to determine policies.

Klopfer’s licence was suspended by Indiana’s Medical Licensing Board in November 2016 after it found a number of violations, including a failure to ensure that qualified staff were present when patients received or recovered from medications given before and during abortion procedures.

He was no longer practising by that time, but told the panel he had never lost a patient in 43 years of doing abortions.

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Have scientists found a way to stop the common cold? | Science & Tech News

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Scientists believe they have found a way to stop the common cold – as well as a number of other potentially fatal viral diseases.

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-San Francisco discovered the best way to tackle them was temporarily disabling a single protein inside our own cells.

Colds are the world’s most common infectious illness and many are the result of rhinovirus infections which are mutation-prone and quick to develop resistance to drugs.

It is this problem that has led scientists to try host-directed therapy which would make our bodies difficult for certain viruses to survive in.

The US experts identified a component in human cells which the viruses were dependent on through gene-editing.

They discovered a number of viruses could not replicate in human cells lacking the enzyme SETD3.

The team created genetically modified mice that were unable to produce that enzyme which made them immune to viral infection.

Published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the findings showed despite lacking SETD3 the mice lived normal and healthy lives.

The technique also stopped viruses associated with asthma, encephalitis and polio developing.

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Saudi Arabia says ‘Iranian weapons’ used in drone attack on oil facilities | World News

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Oil prices have fallen after an initial spike following a drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, as finger pointing continues over who was responsible.

Global prices surged nearly 20% following the bombing of two oil plants, before dropping around 10% when markets calmed in reaction to Donald Trump’s suggestion that America’s stockpile could be used if required.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, say they are responsible and have warned of more strikes.

Smoke billows from the oil facility in Abqaiq
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Satellite images showed smoke billowing from the Abqaiq oil facility

However, Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of being behind the attacks on the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in the early hours of Saturday.

Saudi military spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said their initial investigation suggests “Iranian weapons” were used and were “not launched from Yemen”.

His comments were echoed by the US ambassador to the United Nations, who told the security council that information “indicates that responsibility lies with Iran” and there was no evidence the attack came from Yemen.

Iran has denied it is to blame and said it was ready for “full-fledged war” if necessary, while countries including Russia have warned against pinning the blame on Tehran.

Colonel Turki al-Malki said the weapons were Iranian
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Colonel Turki al-Malki claimed the weapons were Iranian

It comes as Iranian news agency INSA also reported that the country’s Revolutionary Guards had seized a ship in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel to the United Arab Emirates.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are locked in a long-standing power struggle in the region.

A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia
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A satellite image shows damage to the Abqaiq plant in the east of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition, which includes the UAE, in a war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It is often described as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The strike on Saudi Aramco’s main processing facility has cut its production of crude oil by 5.7 million barrels a day – more than half its daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily production.

The oil market’s confidence was knocked by how easy it appeared to be to attack and damage the Saudi facilities.

Khurais oil plant
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The Khurais oil plant was also hit

It remains unclear how long it will take to carry out repairs, with some suggesting it could take months.

The country has stockpiles that will enable it to meet its export commitments in coming weeks. However it took some action to clamp down on supplies, including shutting down its pipeline to Bahrain.

US President Donald Trump helped calm markets when he said oil from America’s emergency fuel storage would be released if needed.

He tweeted: “We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”

He also said the US was “locked and loaded” and that he is unwilling to meet Iran, who he re-imposed sanctions on last year after pulling out of a landmark nuclear deal.

The president went on to accuse Iran of lying over its involvement, tweeting: “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their ‘airspace’ when, in fact, it was nowhere close.

“They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie.

“Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

Senior US officials said satellite images and other intelligence showed the strike was inconsistent with one launched from Yemen, where the Houthis are based, and suggested instead that it came from Iran or Iraq.

Iraq has denied the attack originated from their territory.

Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, told Sky News: “The attack on the installations was a wanton violation of international law.

“It’s despicable and we stand firmly in support of our Saudi partners and other international players who are outraged.

“The picture is not entirely clear, we are working it up, and before I talk about who is responsible and the implications I want to have a very clear picture, which we will be getting shortly.”

Russia’s foreign ministry expressed “grave concern” and said it condemned attacks on vital infrastructure or any action that could disrupt global energy supplies.

However, Moscow warned against putting the blame on Iran and said military retaliation would be unacceptable.

Saudi neighbour Qatar also condemned the attacks, despite being on the receiving end of a Saudi boycott.



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