11 Jun 2019

Today's world news: What's making the headlines

7:23 pm on 11 June 2019

North Korean leader's murdered half brother possible CIA source

There are reports in US media that Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was a CIA informant.

Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017 after nerve agent was smeared on his face.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, said there was "a nexus" between Kim Jong-nam and the CIA and that he'd travelled to Malaysia to meet his CIA contact.

Kim Jong-nam's role as a CIA informant is also mentioned in a new book about Kim Jong-un by Washington Post reporter and New Zealander Anna Fifield which is due out on Wednesday.

Read more:

  • North Korean leader's slain half-brother was a CIA informant: WSJ
  • Ethnic massacre in Mali

    The UN peacekeeping mission in the west African nation of Mali has sent air support to help prevent further attacks following a massacre of about 100 people in a village in the central Mopti region.

    Local officials blamed Fulani herdsmen for the attack on the village, which was home to 300 people from the Dogon ethnic group.

    More than 100 people are still missing and the country's President has cut short an official visit to Switzerland to return home saying Mali must not be driven by a cycle of revenge and vendetta.

    - BBC

    Canada moves to ban single-use plastics

    The Canadian government has announced plans to ban some single-use plastics like straws, bags and cutlery by early 2021.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the move was necessary to protect the world's oceans.

    Less than 10 percent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and the government said Canadians will throw away an estimated $8.3 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030 without a change in course.

    Read more:

  • Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021
  • Chopper crashes into New York skyscraper

    A helicopter crash in New York has killed a pilot and reignited memories of 9/11.

    The privately-owned chopper crashed into the 54-storey building in downtown Manhattan.

    Authorities quickly ruled out a terrorism attack but are investigating why the helicopter was flying in a tightly-controlled area in bad weather.

    Read more:

  • Helicopter crashes on roof of New York City high rise
  • 10 candidates in Tory race

    Conservative Party members in Britain vying to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister and party leader have been making their pitches for the top job.

    The ten candidates will be whittled down to two in a series of ballots before a final vote by the Party's grass roots membership in July.

    The former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is currently the frontrunner, followed by the current Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

    Read more:

  • Ten nominated in race to succeed British PM Theresa May
  • Grim recovery operation on the Danube

    Salvage crews have begun an operation to raise the wreck of a Hungarian boat which capsized on the Danube River in Budapest, killing 26 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew.

    In the worst disaster on the River in half a century,The Mermaid sank after a large cruise liner struck it from behind on May 29 during heavy rain.

    The bodies of all but eight of the victims have been recovered.

    - Reuters

    Huge global loss of plant species

    A comprehensive new study shows almost 600 plant species have been lost globally in the last 250 years.

    The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates.

    Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Stockholm University say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally.

    They found that 571 plant species had disappeared in the last two and a half centuries - more than twice the number of birds, mammals and amphibians recorded as extinct.

    - BBC