WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Five people died in New Zealand after the small charter boat they were aboard capsized, authorities say, in what may have been a collision with a whale. Another six people aboard the boat were rescued.
Police said the 8.5-meter (28-foot) boat overturned near the South Island town of Kaikōura. Police said they were continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.
Kaikōura Police Sergeant Matt Boyce described it as a devastating and unprecedented event.
“Our thoughts are with everyone involved, including the victims and their families, their local communities, and emergency services personnel,” Boyce said.
He said police divers had recovered the bodies of all those who had died. He said all six survivors were assessed to be in stable condition at a local health center, with one transferred to a hospital in the city of Christchurch as a precaution.
Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle told The Associated Press that the water was dead calm at the time of the accident and the assumption was that a whale had surfaced from beneath the boat.
He said there were some sperm whales in the area and also some humpback whales traveling through.
He said locals had helped with the rescue efforts throughout the day but the mood in the town was “somber” because the water was so cold and they feared for the outcome of anybody who had fallen overboard.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia dismissed claims that modern Western weapons supplied to Ukraine can lead it to victory as “empty fantasies,” insisting Thursday that the Russian army is destroying Ukraine’s old and new weapons and will “finish” the war as President Vladimir Putin vowed.
The United States accused Russia of having “the gall to blame other countries for refusing to step aside as it seeks to destroy another U.N. member state.” The Biden administration said it is committed to supporting the Ukrainian people “as they defend their lives, their liberty, and their democracy.”
The clash came at the U.N. Security Council’s third consecutive meeting on Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the council held a meeting at Russia’s request to hear about the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine where Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling the facility and threatening a possible nuclear catastrophe.
On Wednesday, at the request of the U.S. and Albania, the council discusses what the U.S. said is the forcible deportation of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, called Thursday’s meeting to discuss threats to peace caused by foreign governments supplying arms and military goods to Ukraine.
He told the council that the consequences of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his “entourage” saying that Western weapons and “so-called wonder warfare” will change the course of the six-month conflict and bring Ukraine victory is “very lamentable for Ukraine.”
“We are very far still from the end of this destructive process,” Nebenzia said. “Let me say immediately, however, that Western weaponry is not playing a decisive role on the battlefield regardless of what the Ukrainians and their vassals are saying.”
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Interior Ministry said that one of its border systems was hit by a cyberattack that came from the same Iranian source as an earlier attack that led the country to break diplomatic relations with Iran.
It said in a statement that the previous evening an Albanian police transmitting system was found to be “under a cyberattack similar to the one that (government portal) e-Albania suffered in July.”
“Preliminary results show the attack was committed by the same hand,” the statement said, adding that authorities temporarily closed down all the systems, including the Total Information Management System (TIMS), which records entries and exits at the border crossing. Local media reported long queues in at least two border crossings in the south.
Albania, a NATO member, cut diplomatic ties with Iran and expelled its embassy staff this week. It was the first known case of a country cutting diplomatic relations over a cyberattack.
“Another cyberattack from the same aggressors already exposed and denounced by Albania’s allies and friendly countries, was seen last evening on the TIMS system,” Prime Minister Edi Rama tweeted, adding that officials are coordinating defensive work with allies.
The Albanian government has accused Iran of carrying out the July 15 attack, which temporarily shut down numerous Albanian government digital services and websites.
Microsoft, the FBI and other cyber experts helped Albania following the July attack. Microsoft said in a blog post Thursday that it was moderately confident the hackers belong to a group that has been publicly linked to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
The U.S. government imposed sanctions on Iran’s intelligence agency and its leadership in response to the attack on Albania. NATO and the European Union also denounced the attack and supported Albania’s move.