Lockdown at US military hospital

WASHINGTON: A major US military hospital in a Washington suburb was on lockdown on Monday, as police investigated unconfirmed reports of an active shooter at the vast complex.

The US Navy said the Walter Reed medical centre was "currently in lockdown and all base personnel are sheltering in place as a result of unconfirmed reports of an active shooter." Local and military police were searching the facility, located in Bethesda, Maryland, northwest of Washington, it said. On Twitter, Montgomery County Police said its officers had yet to confirm an "initial report of a single shot being heard."

"Out of an abundance of caution, MCP has additional officers responding to area to assist federal partners," it added.

Anti-migrant fence

BUDAPEST: Hungary's Parliament on Monday overwhelmingly approved the construction of a controversial fence on the border with Serbia to keep out migrants, under new legislation that also tightens asylum application rules. The plans for the four-metre high barrier announced by populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban last month triggered concern both in Serbia and the European Union, which is struggling to control a massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. "Hungary is confronted with the biggest surge of migrants in its history, its capacities are overloaded by 130 per cent," Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said before the vote. Lawmakers voted by 151 to 41 in favour of new legislation allowing the building of the fence along the 175-kilometre border with Serbia, which unlike Hungary is not an EU member.

Ivory destroyed

JOHANNESBURG: Mozambique destroyed a large stockpile of confiscated ivory and rhino horn on Monday in an effort to curb severe poaching, the government said. The event shows the commitment of the government that there's zero tolerance for poaching of our natural resources. A total of 5,370 pounds of ivory and dozens of rhino horn pieces weighing a total of nearly 200 kilograms were destroyed, said the Wildlife Conservation Society.