News in Brief

Ships to haul 500 tons of Syrian chemicals

Danish and Norwegian ships can safely ferry up to 500 tons of Syria’s most dangerous chemical weapons out of the strife-torn country, a Danish chemical expert said Saturday. Bjoern Schmidt said sealed containers full of chemical compounds, which when mixed can create lethal Sarin and VX gases, will be loaded at opposite ends of the two cargo ships. The exact quantity of chemicals to be taken out of Syria is unknown, Schmidt said. Cmdr. Henrik Holck Rasmussen, of Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare, said two cargo ships will go to Syria as many times as needed to pick up all chemical weapons. The Danish warship and Norwegian frigate HNOMS Helge Ingstad will act as escorts. The joint U.N.-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons team in Syria aims to remove most chemical weapons from Syria by the end of the year. (AP)

Four killed in grenade attack on Nairobi bus

An explosion on a public bus in Nairobi killed at least four people on Saturday in the third grenade attack to hit Kenya in as many days, officials said. “Four people have been confirmed dead from the grenade attack in Eastleigh area,” the Interior Ministry tweeted. Sixteen people were taken to hospital, the Kenya Red Cross said. The latest blast, in a Somali immigrant neighborhood, ripped apart the rear of a 32-passenger bus on busy Juja Road. (DPA)

Police seek motive in Colorado school shooting

Investigators on Saturday were working to find out what motivated a teenage gunman to enter his suburban Denver high school armed with a shotgun looking for a specific teacher a day earlier. Quick-thinking students at Arapahoe High School on Friday alerted the targeted educator, who quickly left the building. The 18-year-old shooter critically wounded a 15-year-old student, but the strategic response by police appears to have averted more bloodshed. Within 20 minutes of the first report of a gunman, officers found the suspect’s body inside the school, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. “I believe the shooter took his life because he knew he had been found,” Robinson said. The scene unfolded on the eve of the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six educators. Arapahoe High School is just eight miles (13 kilometers) from Columbine High School. (AP)

Chinese unmanned spacecraft lands on moon

China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon Saturday, state media reported, in the first such “soft-landing” since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat. The Chang’e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys. China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs for military, commercial and scientific purposes. (Reuters)

Iran says it sends second monkey into space

Iran said on Saturday it had sent a second live monkey into space and brought it back safely, the latest demonstration of the country’s missile capabilities, state news agency IRNA reported. “President Hassan Rohani ... congratulated Iranian scientists and experts on successfully sending a second living creature into space,” the news agency said. Iran said it launched its first monkey to space in January. Rohani used Twitter to mark the latest event, a demonstration of rocket power that is likely to cause concern in the West and among some Gulf states, which are worried about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. (Reuters)