Sydney: author of attack on Syrian Orthodox Church charged with terrorism

News of the day: Israel reiterates that it will respond to Iran, while Hamas reduces the number of hostages it would release for the ceasefire to 20. WHO warns of new contamination in ingredients used for cough syrups. In Manila the regulation banning electric jeepneys on main roads has come into force. In Chinese songs, women no longer speak of love but of freedom and personal fulfilment.


The 15-year-old boy arrested yesterday after stabbing a Syrian Orthodox bishop and at least four faithful during a celebration in Sydney is accused of terrorism. The attack took place last night at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the suburb of Wakeley. None of the injured are life-threatening. The bishop attacked on Monday is Mar Mari Emmanuel, considered a popular but also controversial figure. Ordained by the Assyrian Syriac Orthodox Church in 2011, he was later suspended for disobeying the canons and forming a separate church.


Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said the Iranian attack "will receive a response." The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has prudently withdrawn its inspectors from Iranian nuclear sites. Meanwhile - while Israel carried out new bombings on Gaza during the night with 5 deaths including a child - Hamas is once again holding back on a ceasefire agreement, claiming that it is only willing to release 20 "humanitarian" hostages (women and elderly) and insisting on the end of the war and the return of the population to North Gaza.


The World Health Organization has issued an alert to drug manufacturers over five contaminated batches of propylene glycol, an ingredient used in medicinal syrups. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) issued three alerts between January and March over high levels of ethylene glycol (EG), an industrial solvent known for its toxicity, found in drums listed as being produced by subsidiaries of Dow Chemical in Thailand, Germany and Singapore. Contaminated cough syrups produced in India and Indonesia have been linked to the deaths of more than 300 children worldwide since the end of 2022. In the Indonesian case, authorities found that a supplier had placed fake Dow Thailand labels on drums containing EG which he had sold to a distributor for pharmaceutical use.


In Manila, a new regulation has come into force that limits the use of light electric vehicles (LEVs) on around twenty major roads in the metropolis. The ban includes electric bicycles but also Jeepneys, the small four-wheeled vehicles typically used by the less well-off to get around quickly at low cost. Several groups have urged the authority to reconsider the ban, which they say is anti-poor.


Mandarin song lyrics written, performed and aimed at Chinese women have undergone a drastic change in recent years, focusing much less on romantic love and much more on freedom and personal fulfillment, recent research has shown. This is supported by research conducted on the texts by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


The director of the Pushkin Institute for the Russian Language, Natalja Trukhanovskaja, argued that street vocabulary and swear words are destined to disappear as perceived vulgarity, as their frequent use even by official figures (such as President Vladimir Putin ) will downgrade them to “normal” linguistic expressions.


Hundreds of car showroom owners have appealed to the President of Uzbekistan Šavkat Mirziyoyev, asking to cancel the restrictions on the import of foreign cars, which could leave thousands of people without work, introduced to encourage the import of Chinese cars following a agreements made by the president in Beijing.