The United States Justice Department is dropping its legal action against Apple saying it is cracking encryption on a smartphone used by one of the radical Islamists who shot dead 14 people in San Bernardino last December. David Lee reports. Following the attacks in San Bernardino, police seized three phones. Two had been destroyed, but one an iPhone was intact. However, that iPhone had been locked with the passcode. The FBI took Apple to court in an attempt to force them to bypass the security on the phone, so it could be accessed. But on the eve of the hearing, the FBI said an outside party had approached them with away to break into the phone without the need for Apple's cooperation. The US government has knowledge of the security vulnerability that in theory weakens Apple devices around the world. To protect its reputation, Apple would no doubt rush to find and fix that flaw.
Police in Washington have charged a man with assault after he allegedly pulled out a deadly weapon and threatened officers on Capitol Hill where congress sits. The suspect Larry Dawson was shot when officer at the Capitol building’s visitor center where security checks on tourists are carried out. Mr. Dawson, who's 66 and from Tennessee, is in hospital in a stable but critical condition. A woman was injured in the incident which police said was not terrorist related. Madeleine Morris and her grandson were evacuated from the visitor center. We were completing the tour and we were just hearing suggestions as to where we could go next when all of a sudden people started running and they told us to go, follow them and go into a corner and to sit down and be quiet and not move.
President Obama will hold talks later this week with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss how to respond to what the US called the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program. The North Korean leader has ordered more nuclear warhead and missile tests. World news on the BBC.
The Brazilian tourism minister Henrique Alves has resigned a day ahead of his party’s confidence vote in President Dilma Rousseff. He's the first minister from the PMDB, the largest party in Ms. Rousseff's government to leave the coalition. The party, as a whole, is due to decide today whether to follow suit. Leaving will increase the likelihood that the president being impeached for her alleged role in a corruption scandal engulfing the state owned company Petrobras.
Officials in the Philippines and Indonesia say ten Indonesian crew members of a tugboat have been kidnapped by militants from the Abu Sayyaf group. The Al-Qaeda linked organization which is based in the southern Philippines is demanding a ransom of about 1 million dollars. The vessel was going from east Calamane town in Indonesia to the Philippines when it was hijacked over the weekend.
Scientists in Australia are warning that large parts of the Great Barrier of Reef could die within the next few months because it’s suffering from one of its worst ever episodes of coral bleaching. The BBC's John Donnison reports from Sydney. The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. But the studies from Australia’s National Coral Bleaching Taskforce found that in some areas 95% of the reefs are now severely damaged. On the northern section running between Cairns in Queensland and Papua New Guinea only 4 out of 520 reefs are untouched. Coral bleaching is caused by rising sea temperatures. It can take decades for the coral to recover and persistent warmer waters kill the reefs all together.
A huge fire has engulfed at least two residential tower blocks in the United Arab Emirates city of Ajman. Strong winds fanned the flames causing the fire to jump from one block to another as fire fighters battled to control it. Six people are reported to have been treated for breathing difficulties and minor injuries. BBC news.