International Briefs: Duterte, German labor market, Malaysia Airlines, Manchester investigation


Police watch as commuters pass through Manchester Victoria railway station in Manchester England, which has reopened for the first time since the terror attack on the adjacent Manchester Arena May 30, 2017. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

Emma Freer


Duterte, Chelsea Clinton spar over rape comments

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte denounced the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Wednesday after she criticized a comment he made about rapes committed by soldiers.

In an expletive-laden speech at a navy event, Duterte asked Chelsea Clinton if she also criticized her father when he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky.

He said he was being sarcastic when he told troops last week that he would take responsibility for any crimes they commit while implementing martial law, which he declared in the southern third of the country, even if they rape three women.

Chelsea Clinton, responding last week to a tweet about Duterte’s rape comment, tweeted: “Not funny. Ever.”

German labor market remains strong in May

BERLIN — Germany’s labor market remained strong in May, with the unemployment rate falling again over the previous month to a new post-reunification low, in a likely boost to Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of September’s election.

The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent from 5.8 percent in April in figures adjusted for seasonal variations. In unadjusted terms, the rate fell to 5.6 percent with nearly 71,000 fewer people registered as jobless.

IHS Markit economist Timo Klein said there has been a downward trend in unemployment since 2009 and the labor force has received a boost in rising migration from other European countries as well as refugees from the Mideast.

Malaysia Airlines plane landed due to passenger

CANBERRA, Australia — A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to return to Australia Wednesday after a disruptive passenger attempted to enter the cockpit, the airline said.

It said Flight MH128, which was headed from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, turned back to Melbourne because of the incident, which it said was not a hijacking.

The airplane landed safely and the passenger was detained by airport security personnel, Malaysia Airlines said in a statement. It said the other passengers left the plane safely, and the incident would be investigated by the airline and by airport authorities.

Flightradar24, an aircraft monitoring site, said on Twitter that other flights bound for Melbourne were diverted to other airports. It said Flight MH128 landed after being airborne for 14 minutes.

UK police search property in Manchester investigation

LONDON — British police asked the public to stay out of area in southern Manchester while a property is searched for clues about the concert bombing that killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others.

Police said Wednesday a cordon has been placed around a property south of central Manchester.

There are 11 men in custody for possible connection to Britain’s worst extremist attack in more than a decade. Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a British-born man with Libyan descent, detonated a device minutes after the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on May 22.

Five other people have been questioned and released without facing charges.

The arrested suspects haven’t been identified or charged.

Egypt: 3 officers, 1 soldier dead in western desert

CAIRO — Egypt’s military said three officers and one soldier were killed when a suicide belt went off as forces were sweeping a militant hub in the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt’s western desert.

Military spokesperson Tamer el-Refaie said on his Facebook page Wednesday that the incident took place during ongoing military operations in the western desert bordering Libya.

Egypt’s western desert has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks in recent years.

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