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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 17, 2017 1:00 am

Nation/World

Report: Qatari site hacked by UAE

News services

WASHINGTON – The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a Sunday report by the Washington Post.

The Emirati Embassy in Washington released a statement in response calling the Post report “false” and insisting that the UAE “had no role whatsoever” in the alleged hacking.

The report quotes unnamed U.S. intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23. On the following day, a story appeared on the Qatari News Agency’s website quoting a speech by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he allegedly praised Iran and said Qatar has a good relationship with Israel. Similarly incendiary statements appeared on the news agency’s Twitter feed.

The agency quickly claimed it was hacked and removed the article. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.

Iranian court gives American 10 years

A Chinese-American student Iran has accused of espionage was sentenced by an Iranian court to 10 years in prison, the judiciary’s official news agency reported Sunday, a move likely to raise tensions with the Trump administration ahead of a deadline to waive some Iran sanctions.

The Mizan news agency named the American as 37-year-old Xiyue Wang, a graduate student and researcher at Princeton University. The report said he was born in Beijing and is a dual Chinese-American citizen, but that information could not be confirmed.

Earlier in the day, judicial spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi announced that a U.S. citizen had been sentenced for “infiltration” but did not release further details.

Nurse killed at Venezuela polling site

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans lined up across the country and in expatriate communities around the world Sunday to vote in a symbolic rejection of President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the constitution.

A 61-year-old woman was killed and three people wounded in shooting that erupted after government supporters on motorcycles swarmed an opposition polling site in a church in the pro-government Catia neighborhood of western Caracas.

The opposition mayor of the Caracas borough of Sucre, Carlos Ocariz, said pro-government paramilitary groups attacked voters outside the Our Lady of Carmen Church. The chief prosecutor’s office said Xiomara Soledad Scott, a nurse, had been killed and three wounded in the incident.

Residents slow to notice high-rise fire

As flames raged through a Honolulu high-rise building, killing three people and injuring a dozen others, some residents didn’t even realize a blaze had broken out until they opened their doors or saw firefighters.

Several Marco Polo high-rise residents told The Associated Press the sirens are located in the hallways and they had trouble hearing them when the blaze started Friday afternoon. There were also no flashing alarm lights or public announcements about the deadly fire, they said.

Officials have not released information about a cause for the fire.