'Attack' on Israeli ship
The UK military says an Israeli ship has come under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. According to the British military, the vessel was targeted late on Thursday. The incident took place near the island of Masirah, about 280 kilometres northeast of the Omani port of Doqm. The UK Maritime Trade Operations says the attack was not an act of piracy. It gave no more details and said an investigation is underway into the incident. Israeli and Omani officials have not commented yet. In recent months, several other Israeli ships have also been targeted in various maritime routs across the world.
Philippines-US security pact
The Philippines has fully restored a key military deal with the United States, amid growing tensions in the contested South China Sea. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the decision during a news conference with his American counterpart in Manila. Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte has retracted his earlier decision to terminate the pact. That’s known as the Visiting Forces Agreement. It provides rules for the rotation of thousands of US troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills. Last year, President Duterte decided to terminate the pact, after the US denied a visa to a senator close to him. Now, Washington has welcomed the pact’s restoration.
Australia has deployed hundreds of military forces to its largest city Sydney to help enforce new Covid lockdown rules. The forces will help police in virus hotspots to ensure that people observe the rules. The restrictions came into effect on Friday and will last until August 28. They include a five-kilometre travel limit. Sydney officials imposed the lockdown as Covid cases surged despite some restrictions already in place for more than a month. The surge is blamed on an outbreak of the delta variant that has also forced curbs in other Australian cities. Public anger runs high over the restrictions that brought people to the streets last week. Authorities have warned against new anti-lockdown protests this weekend.