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ASIAN (B)

Plane Crash Near Moscow Kills All 71 on Board

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MOSCOW—A Russian airplane crashed on the outskirts of Moscow on Sunday shortly after takeoff, killing all 71 on board, as Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded an investigation into the disaster.

The Russian-made An-148 had taken off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and was flying near the capital when it caught fire and fell from the sky, Russia’s state TV reported witnesses as saying.

The…



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ASIAN (B)

Tension Rises Between Israel and Iran After Syria Clash

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The loss of an Israeli jet to Syrian fire over the weekend has raised the risk of a more forceful response from Israel to deter Iranian military expansion across its border, which could open up another front line in war-torn Syria.

The clash began on Saturday morning after Israel said it intercepted an Iranian drone that had infiltrated its airspace from Syria. Israel responded that day with airstrikes on Syrian military positions, and Syria shot down one of the Israeli warplanes, which crashed in Israeli territory.



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ASIAN (B)

Nvidia's Cryptic Road Ahead

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Nvidia


NVDA 6.69%

may have only high-quality problems these days, but it still needs to solve them.

One problem the chip maker has is that it seems to be selling all the chips it can make. Nvidia’s graphics processors, also called GPUs, are in hot demand by everyone from giant tech companies building data centers to videogamers to cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The latter two in particular are competing for the type of GPU cards used in supercharged PCs, causing a shortage that began last summer but seemed to have worsened later in the year as the value of cryptocurrencies continued to soar.

That gave a boost to what was already a strong year for Nvidia. Revenue from the company’s gaming segment jumped 33% to a record $5.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Jan. 28. This included an unspecified contribution from crypto demand, as well as the chips the company sells to

Nintendo

that are used in its popular Switch console.

Nvidia is a “fabless” chip company that outsources the actual manufacturing of its chips to others. CEO

Jensen Huang

said on the company’s earnings call Thursday that it is working with its partners to “catch up to that demand.”

The recently ended fiscal year was the company’s best ever. Sales jumped 41% to a record $9.7 billion, while operating income surged 66% to $3.2 billion—another record. The company’s operating margin for the year was also at a record high 33%, compared with 28% the previous year. Data center sales, representing chips sold to companies such as Google, Amazon and

Microsoft

to establish artificial intelligence capabilities in their networks, more than doubled during the year.

That means Nvidia’s main “problem” for the year ahead is how to improve on perfection. Chances are that it can. Capital spending on data centers is expected to continue growing in the double-digit range this year. Gaming demand will remain strong as well, particularly with Nintendo boosting production of the Switch. Crypto is a wild card, with the value of those currencies swinging wildly of late, but Nvidia is wisely cautious about those customers, maintaining its focus on its gamer base and the burgeoning data center opportunity.

Still, the company has a lot to live up to. Its stock defied Friday’s turbulence to pick up 7% after already having surged nearly 90% in the previous 12 months. Nvidia’s market value is now ahead of that of

IBM
’s

, with the shares fetching 37 times forward earnings. High expectations can set up disappointments down the road. Still, there are worse problems to have.

Write to Dan Gallagher at dan.gallagher@wsj.com



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ASIAN (B)

Cloud Bills Will Get Loftier

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The world’s largest tech companies further their advantage by building out extensive, global networks to deliver online services to businesses and consumers. This has never been an inexpensive endeavor, but the need for further sophistication and computing power has the bills growing larger each year and there are no signs of a slowdown on the horizon.

Take, for example, the largest three U.S.-based operators of cloud computing services.

Amazon.com
,


AMZN -0.81%

Microsoft


MSFT 3.73%

and

Alphabet
Inc.’s


GOOGL 3.83%

Google had a combined $41.6 billion in capital expenditures and capital lease deals in 2017. That is up 33% from the previous year and represents an acceleration from the 23% growth in spending seen in 2016. Not all of this goes to data-center construction, though all three have identified network expansion as a major area of focus for their capital spending plans.

A broader group of companies shows a similar trend. Nineteen cloud service operators tracked by RBC Capital Markets spent a total of $63.8 billion in 2017, up 22% from the previous year. RBC analyst

Amit Daryanani

projected on Thursday that this total will rise 27% this year to a little over $81 billion. Analysts for KeyBanc Capital Markets also have projected 27% growth in cloud capital expenditures this year.

Why the jump? Demand for cloud-computing services remains hot and shows no signs of slowing down. Amazon’s AWS division saw revenue surge 43% for the year to $17.5 billion. Microsoft’s Azure service nearly doubled its revenue to about $5.3 billion, estimates J.P. Morgan. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, said that its Google Cloud Platform service is now generating about $1 billion in revenue per quarter, though the company doesn’t report detailed results for that business.

That bodes well for companies supplying the weapons for this particular arms race.

Nvidia
,


NVDA 6.69%

whose chips are used to enhance artificial intelligence in cloud networks, posted its seventh consecutive quarter of triple-digit growth for its data-center business on Thursday.

Intel
Corp.


INTC 2.81%

surprised investors last month with a 20% jump in revenue for its own data-center segment.

Arista Networks
,

which sells specialized networking gear to all of the major cloud providers, is expected to post a 41% jump in fourth-quarter revenue when it reports quarterly results on Thursday.

This level of investment is justified by the large growth opportunity ahead. Spending on cloud services is still a relatively small portion of total corporate information technology spending. KeyBanc analysts project that total cloud revenue will hit $314 billion by 2022—triple the current level. For the companies already ahead in this race, there is little incentive to tap on the brakes now.

Write to Dan Gallagher at dan.gallagher@wsj.com



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ASIAN (B)

The Computer Part People Are Hoarding: 'I Felt Like I Was Buying Drugs'

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Three months into a seemingly futile search, James Liska finally spotted a reasonably priced computer-graphics card online. By the time he clicked “buy,” it was gone.

“This has been far more frustrating than I ever imagined,” said the 30-year-old videogame player who lives in Washington, D.C. He wanted the card for a computer he is building. He recently saw a card that normally sells for $800 offered for resale at $2,000.

Graphics cards, usually a plentiful and ordinary PC commodity, produce the kind of rich visuals gamers love. Now there’s a new kind of buyer: People who need them to run software capable of creating virtual currencies—an act known as “mining.” That’s giving gamers a different kind of competition.

Sarah Kaiser was looking to build a new PC, a skill she learned from her mother, but couldn’t find a card.

“Miners have made what was once a fun hobby into hell,” the 28-year-old said.

Her six-month quest turned up a tip: A computer-parts store near her Somerville, Mass., home would sell one of its exorbitantly priced cards for the manufacturer-recommended cost—only if the customer also bought other supplies that typically go into assembling a new gaming PC. Miners stand out because they usually try to buy more than one card at a time.

“I felt pretty lucky,” said Ms. Kaiser, who plunked down around $1,500 for a bundle of items, including the card she wanted for $600.

While most people buy computers off the shelf, some, especially gamers, build PCs from scratch, customizing them to their liking. Videogames today are so detailed and fast that players need top-notch graphics capabilities, so the cards are key.

Then people got into “mining”—which in many cases just so happens to require running software on a PC with high-end graphics capabilities. While gamers can get by with one card, miners prefer several, 5 or 6 per computer. All of a sudden, the market started getting low on cards.

The rapid rise in the value of bitcoin—it reached nearly $20,000 in December and gained about 2,000% in 2017, before coming back to earth this year—inspired people not only to invest in virtual currencies, but also “mine” them. Since generating bitcoin requires more computing might than PCs can manage, less-demanding kinds of virtual currency, such as one called ether, have started catching on.

As of Friday morning, bitcoin had a total market value of $143 billion, according to the research firm CoinDesk Inc., while ether had a value of $81.67 billion.

Lately, people mining ether and other cryptocurrencies have hunted graphics cards nearly to retailing extinction.

Tom Nguyen lost count of how many graphics cards he has bought over the past year for mining. The 27-year-old, who lives near Hartford, Conn., said he made multiple hourslong treks to electronics stores in New York and Boston, and scoured the web to score his bounty.

“I’m not doing anything wrong,” said Mr. Nguyen, who said he took flak from gamers and miners alike over photos he posted on social media showing off his haul. “I’m using my electricity, my time and my effort to allow the cryptocurrency world to thrive.”

Laura Augustine hit pause on her IT consulting business to mine ether as a stay-at-home mom. The Nanaimo, British Columbia, resident said she spent $20,000 to soup up five PCs with six high-end cards each. “They’re like turkeys modified to be all breast,” she said. “I call them my GMO PCs.”

Ms. Augustine said she has been teaching other stay-at-home moms to mine and would build a sixth PC—if she could find more graphics cards. Her supplier stopped returning her calls.

Miners are facing other shopping hurdles. When Eiron Roffey called a local electronics store in Calgary, Alberta, looking for a card, the employee who answered demanded to know why. Stunned, Mr. Roffey professed his love of “World of Warcraft,” a longtime favorite of PC gamers.

“Obviously, I lied,” the 36-year-old finance professional said. “I felt like I was buying drugs.”

For many buyers, graphics cards can be found only on sites such as Amazon and eBay, where sellers charge double or more than the usual $300 to $800 retail price. Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Radeon RX Vega 64 went on sale in August for $599. Last quarter, its average retail price shot up to $1,200, according to Jon Peddie Research.

Sterling Henderson is now on his third month hunting for an affordable card. He thinks miners will get what’s coming to them.

“I see the bubble burst being right around the corner,” said the 28-year-old gamer from Brookville, Ohio. “When one person buys 10 graphics cards, they know what they’re doing to gamers.”

On AMD’s quarterly conference call Jan. 30, Chief Executive

Lisa Su

said cryptocurrency-related sales made up a third of sequential growth in its computing and graphics division, or $46 million.

Nvidia
Corp.

said on an earnings call with analysts Thursday that strong demand in the cryptocurrency market contributed to record low inventory for its graphics cards.

Stores worry, though, miners might not stick around as customers forever.

“Our bread and butter is the gaming segment,” said Raymond McEachern, a corporate sales associate for Memory Express, the store Mr. Roffey called. “We can’t let miners come in and buy all our stock.”

Some gamers have gone over to the dark side. Justin and Tiffany Kelly took up mining after learning they could be making money when not playing games such as “StarCraft” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”

They bought 46 graphic cards at once from an online retailer about five months ago, right before prices shot up. Each cost $529 and now go for around $1,300 a pop. The computers drew on so much power, the couple hired an electrician to rewire the house.

They have pulled in between $5,000 and $7,000 a month from mining, just enough to pay for the initial investment in cards, though electricity bills are about an extra $700 monthly, said Mr. Kelly, a welder and mechanic.

Mr. Kelly, 28, thinks gamers shouldn’t begrudge the cryptocurrency enthusiasts. “Instead of hating,” he said, “gamers should join them.”

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at sarah.needleman@wsj.com



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ASIAN (B)

New Tax Law Haunts Companies That Did 'Inversion' Deals

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New Tax Law Haunts Companies That Did ‘Inversion’ Deals – WSJ










































































Tax experts and companies say law will reduce advantages of corporate relocations

The new tax law has something in store for some “inverted” companies that inked mergers overseas and lowered their U.S. taxes: higher taxes.

Companies that engineered so-called inversion deals in recent years have been able to reduce their tax rates and take certain deductions by shifting their tax homes to other nations. Now, provisions in the law restrict some of those deductions, like the interest payments American subsidiaries pay on loans from overseas parents, according to tax experts and companies.

Some inverted companies including

Johnson Controls International

PLC and

Eaton
Corp.

have begun announcing in recent days that the law will raise their effective tax rates.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Inc.,

which moved to Canada in 2010 after buying a company based there, said it expects to pay “slightly more” in U.S. taxes.

“Many foreign-domiciled companies that use intercompany debt as part of their tax structure are likely to be impacted negatively,”

Paul Herendeen,

Valeant’s chief financial officer, said in an interview.

Overall, the new restrictions are estimated to raise tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue, though not all of it will come from inverted companies. Tax experts and companies say the law will reduce the advantages of the corporate relocations but probably not enough to bring companies back to the U.S.

Dozens of U.S.-based companies, such as

Mylan

NV,

Medtronic

PLC and Burger King Worldwide, now

Restaurant Brands International
Inc.,

did inversions in recent years by buying foreign rivals in lower-tax countries like Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

acquirer

Burger King Worldwide

Liberty Global

Praxair

Johnson Controls

Medtronic

Covidien

Virgin Media

Linde

Tyco Int.

Tim Hortons

target

10.3

6.6

6.4

6.3

3.4

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola

GTECH SpA

Progressive Waste Solutions

IHS

Coca-Cola

Iberian Partners

Int. Game Technology

Markit

Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke

Waste Connections

Top 10 tax inversions from 2013 to 2016 by value, in billions of dollars

$53.5

42.5

25.1

20.8

13.3

acquirer

Praxair

Medtronic

Burger King Worldwide

Liberty Global

Johnson Controls

Covidien

Linde

Virgin Media

target

Tyco Int.

Tim Hortons

10.3

6.6

6.4

6.3

3.4

Coca-Cola

Progressive Waste Solutions

IHS

Coca-Cola

GTECH SpA

Coca-Cola

Iberian Partners

Markit

Int. Game Technology

Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke

Waste Connections

Top 10 tax inversions from 2013 to 2016 by value, in billions of dollars

$53.5

42.5

25.1

20.8

13.3

acquirer

Burger King Worldwide

Liberty Global

Praxair

Johnson Controls

Medtronic

Covidien

Virgin Media

Linde

Tyco Int.

Tim Hortons

target

10.3

6.6

6.4

6.3

3.4

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola

Progressive Waste Solutions

IHS

GTECH SpA

Coca-Cola

Iberian Partners

Markit

Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke

Int. Game Technology

Waste Connections

Top 10 tax inversions from 2013 to 2016 by value, in billions of dollars

$53.5

42.5

25.1

acquirer

Liberty Global

Praxair

Medtronic

Covidien

Virgin Media

Linde

target

20.8

13.3

10.3

Johnson Controls

Burger King Worldwide

Progressive Waste Solutions

Tyco Int.

Tim Hortons

Waste

Connections

6.6

6.4

6.3

3.4

GTECH

SpA

Coca-Cola

IHS

Coca-Cola

Markit

Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke

Coca-Cola

Iberian

Partners

Int. Game Technology

The inversions drew the ire of Washington for cutting into U.S. tax revenue. In April 2016, the Obama administration issued rules designed to discourage the moves, including one that scuttled a $150 billion merger with

Allergan

PLC that

Pfizer
Inc.

had pursued to relocate its tax home to Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is a comparatively low 12.5%.

The new U.S. tax law doesn’t target already-inverted companies specifically, tax experts and companies say. But it restricts things like interest deductions on which inverted companies rely heavily.

The provision known as the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax limits the degree to which big companies can deduct interest expenses and royalties that U.S. subsidiaries pay to their foreign parents. Another measure caps how much interest a company can deduct to 30% of their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Such provisions will bring the bills for some inverted and other foreign companies that shelter U.S. earnings closer to what U.S.-based rivals owe, according to

Bret Wells,

a tax professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

Congress estimated the base-erosion provision would bring in $150 billion in new tax receipts over 10 years, and the interest-expense cap would raise another $253 billion.

Eaton Corp
.

, a manufacturer of electrical gear and truck transmissions that relocated its tax headquarters to Dublin from Cleveland after a 2012 deal, said on an earnings call its effective tax rate will go up by at least two percentage points to between 13% and 15% this year, and then stabilize between 14% and 16% in subsequent years.

Likewise, Johnson Controls, which merged with manufacturing rival Tyco International in 2016 partly to move its tax home to Ireland, said it expects its effective tax rate to increase two to four percentage points starting in fiscal year 2019 under the tax law.

Some inverted companies with heavy U.S. sales could benefit as much as U.S.-based companies from the overall reduction in corporate taxes, and offset the hit from the profit-sheltering provisions, tax experts and companies say.

Under the law, U.S. earnings will be taxed at a 21% rate, down from 35%. Citing the lower rate,

Mallinckrodt

PLC, a drug company based in the U.K. but with about 90% of its sales in the U.S., said it expects the law to be “neutral to slightly positive.”

Mallinckrodt said in a recent securities filing it would get a $450 million to $500 million deferred tax benefit from the lower U.S. corporate rate, which would “mostly be offset” by the new limitations on interest-expense deductions.

Similarly, Allergan, a drug company that moved its headquarters to Ireland after a 2013 acquisition but gets about 80% of revenue in the U.S., expects the loss of deductions on intercompany loans will largely be balanced out by lower taxes on its U.S. sales.

“A company like Allergan, which has a lot of income in the U.S., benefits from U.S. tax reform,”

Brent Saunders,

chief executive of the Dublin-based drug company, said in an interview.

Mr. Saunders said he didn’t expect Allergan would return its headquarters to the U.S. because of the tax law. “Ireland is an important place for us,” he said. What the U.S. tax law “could do is make the U.S. market more attractive as a place for investment.”

Write to Jonathan D. Rockoff at Jonathan.Rockoff@wsj.com and Nina Trentmann at Nina.Trentmann@wsj.com



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ASIAN (B)

Cruise-Ship Builders Roll Merrily Along

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The world’s top shipbuilders are reeling from years of heavy losses, but two European companies are making big money by cornering the lucrative cruise business.

Italy’s

Fincantieri S.p.A


FCT -2.61%

and Germany’s Meyer Werft GmbH are fully booked for the next four years, according to the companies and marine-data provider Clarksons. Orders for luxury cruise ships last year came in at $19.5 billion, more than double the value of such orders two years earlier.

“They are the only ones that can do cruise ships and this keeps the industry sustainable,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of Swiss-based MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth-largest operator by capacity. “The yards are full, and the more ships we get, the bigger the demand from passengers. It’s a good place to be in shipping.”

Japan, Korea and China emerged as the primary shipbuilding nations starting in the 1970s, developing lower-cost yards that churned out tankers, bulk carriers and container vessels as globalization took hold. But the 2008 financial crisis dealt a serious blow to global trade, creating a glut of ships that forced many yards to close.

The survivors, mostly part of giant groups like Hyundai, Samsung and Daewoo, are coping with stagnant orders and razor-thin margins. Many have gone through painful restructuring programs or been bailed out by state creditors.

The industry’s Europe-based cruising sector took advantage. Starting in 2014, Meyer Werft and Fincantieri acquired the European yards of failing Korean builder STX Offshore and Shipbuilding Co., further tightening their hold on the market. At the end of 2017, the two yards had 53 of the 59 large cruise-ships under construction.

Many orders are for 1,000-foot-plus leviathans that accommodate around 6,000 passengers. They each cost around $1.3 billion and take more than two years to build.

“The cruise sector is experiencing a steady and continuing growth,” said

Antonio Autorino,

a spokesman for Fincantieri, which has a current order book of around 18 billion euros ($22.3 billion).

Cruise operators project they will have 27.2 million passengers this year in 2018, up 5.4% from 2017 and up 10% from 2016, according to data from Cruise Lines International Association, a trade body.

Carnival, the world’s biggest cruise operator with nine brands, currently has 18 ships on order. The company orders three to four ships a year on average.

“We would like to have more but there is only so much the shipyards can deliver,” said Roger Fritzell, a Carnival spokesman.

Fincantieri has four yards dedicated to cruise-ship building in Italy and in early February bought a majority stake in an STX yard in Saint-Nazaire, on the Atlantic coast of France. Meyer Werft bought an STX yard in Finland in 2014.

The consolidation has given the two companies a virtual duopoly in cruise shipbuilding.

Genting Hong Kong
Ltd.

is also capable of putting together large cruise ships in three yards it owns in Germany, but its output is relatively limited.

Part of the reason there are so few builders dedicated to cruisers is the size and complexity of the process.

Ships are customized to cater to global travelers’ diverse tastes, from casinos geared to American travelers to rows of high-end boutiques that tend to be a draw for Chinese.

It takes months to design a ship with the tailored work done by a network of specialized suppliers. “It’s like custom fitting a Rolls-Royce but at a much bigger scale,” Mr. Vago of MSC Cruises said.

Fincantieri, which also makes warships and offshore rigs, generated 2016 revenue of 4.4 billion euro ($5.39 billion), with 44% coming from the cruise business. The previous year it generated 4.2 billion euro in revenue, with 39% coming from the cruise business. Meyer Werft doesn’t disclose financial results.

About 80% of overall cruise capacity is controlled by three U.S. giants—Carnival,

Royal Caribbean Cruises
Ltd.

and

Norwegian Cruise Line
.

But yards also get orders from smaller operators and new entrants like Virgin Voyages, a joint venture of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Bain Capital that will start sailings in 2020.

China is expected to become a bigger player in the cruise-ship building sector. The Beijing government in 2015 declared a five-year plan to build its own cruise ships as part of a shift toward advanced manufacturing.

China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) has brought in Fincantieri in a joint venture at a Shanghai yard to help it build cruise ships for the Chinese market. The yard aims to deliver two 4,000-passenger vessels starting in 2023 with options for another four.

“It will not be easy for Chinese yards to build such vessels, and it will likely take a long time,” Fincantieri’s Mr. Autorino said. “However, it would be foolish to ignore their determination.”

Write to Costas Paris at costas.paris@wsj.com



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Canadian-Iranian Activist Seyed Emami Dies in Tehran Prison

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WASHINGTON—A Canadian-Iranian environmentalist detained last month in Iran during a nationwide crackdown on civil dissent has died under suspicious circumstances in a Tehran prison, his family said Saturday.

Kavous Seyed Emami,

a 63-year-old environmental activist and sociology professor at Iran’s Imam Sadegh University, was detained by Iranian authorities two weeks ago in Tehran as security forces worked to quash simmering protests that have tested the government’s grip on power.

Authorities on Friday called Mr. Seyed Emami’s wife to say that her husband had taken his own life in Tehran’s Evin prison, family members said.

“The news of my father’s passing is impossible to fathom,” wrote his older son, Iranian musician

Ramin Emami,

in a post on Instagram. “They say he committed suicide. I still can’t believe this.”

Mr. Seyed Emami is the second Canadian-Iranian dual national to die under suspicious circumstances in Iran. In 2003, Canadian-Iranian photographer

Zahra Kazemi

was beaten to death after being arrested in Iran.

The news of Mr. Seyed Emami’s death triggered calls from friends, family members, politicians, and human rights groups for an independent international investigation. Mr. Seyed Emami is at least the third person to die under suspicious circumstances in recent weeks during the continuing crackdown, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

“The rising number of deaths in Iran’s prisons is an unfolding tragedy that must stop now,” said

Hadi Ghaemi,

executive director of the group.

Mr. Seyed Emami’s death comes amid a U.S.-led campaign to isolate Iran for fueling proxy wars across the Middle East. President

Donald Trump

is working with Israel, Saudi Arabia and other nations to contain Iran’s regional ambitions.

On Saturday, Israel said it shot down an Iranian drone and targeted a command-and-control center in Syria, a significant escalation in Israel’s military efforts to target Iran’s forces working to protect Syrian President

Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Seyed Emami was founder of the

Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation
,

an environmental group in Iran.

On Jan. 24, Mr. Seyed Emami and at least eight other members of the group were detained, the Center for Human Rights in Iran said. Mr. Seyed Emami then was taken to Evin prison. Prison officials said that Mr. Seyed Emami hanged himself, the human-rights center said.

On Saturday, after the news of Mr. Seyed Emami’s death became public, Tehran’s chief prosecutor

Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi

said the country had broken up a spy ring that was “collecting strategic intelligence under the guise of environmental and scientific projects.”

Mostafa Tajzadeh,

an Iranian reformist politician and former interior minister, joined the call for an independent investigation into Mr. Seyed Emami’s death so that “the truth is revealed for the people of Iran.”

Mr. Seyed Emami received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 1991 and returned to teach in Iran. He also fought—and was wounded—in the Iran-Iraq War, family members said.

He wrote several books on sociology and founded a camping group to encourage respect for nature among younger Iranians.

“He was a very kind and peaceful person, a rigorous scholar and an ardent environmental activist,” wrote

Ali Reza Eshraghi

in a post on Twitter, adding that Mr. Seyed Emami was once his professor.

Mr. Seyed Emami leaves behind a wife and two sons. His son Ramin, known professionally as King Raam, has toured the U.S. and was once the focus of an MTV documentary.

A spokeswoman from Canada’s foreign department said it was aware of reports of the death of an Canadian-Iranian citizen, and diplomats were working to find out more.

Write to Dion Nissenbaum at dion.nissenbaum@wsj.com



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ASIAN (B)

Sword Attack at Church in Indonesia Injures German Priest, Others

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SLEMAN, Indonesia—Police shot a sword-wielding man who attacked a church congregation in Indonesia during Sunday Mass, injuring four people, among them a German priest.

The reason for the attack on St. Lidwina Church on Sunday morning in Yogyakarta province’s Sleman district wasn’t immediately clear.

The 22-year-old attacker decapitated statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary during the incident, officials said.

Churches are a common target for Islamic militants in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

Local police detective Fendi Timur said counterterrorism police would be involved in the investigation.

Video shows people in the church throwing books at the 22-year-old suspect as he lunged toward them with his sword.

Witnesses and police said the injured included a police officer who tried to subdue the attacker and the 81-year-old priest, Karl Edmund Prier, a longtime resident of Indonesia.

They suffered back, neck and head wounds and are in stable condition.

The suspect, identified only as Suliyono, was hospitalized.

Yos Bintoro, a priest from the attacked St. Lidwina Church, said it condemned the assault but urged people not to overreact online.

“We oppose any movement that denies the diversity and the unity of our nation,” he said.



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U.S. Navy Probes Suspected Drug Selling, Use Among Sailors in Japan

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Navy is investigating at least a dozen U.S. sailors based in Japan, some serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, for suspicion of buying, selling, and using LSD, ecstasy and other drugs, U.S. Navy officials said Friday.

The Navy also is probing whether U.S. sailors were using the internet to buy or sell drugs or were distributing them to local Japanese residents.

The Navy first learned about allegations of widespread drug sales on Feb. 6, when it received a tip about a petty officer third class using drugs, the officials said. He was subsequently detained and released, they said.

That sailor pointed investigators to others aboard the ship who the sailor said were distributing or using drugs, a U.S. military official said. The official said that others could be detained or charged in the continuing probe.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service confirmed it was conducting an investigation. Among questions are whether the drug use and distribution reached other parts of Seventh Fleet, which operates in the Pacific, the officials said.

“The Navy has zero tolerance for drug abuse and takes all allegations involving misconduct of our sailors, Navy civilians and family members very seriously,” NCIS said in a statement. “These allegations are still under investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Japanese authorities also have been brought into the investigation, two Navy officials said, because of suspicions that drugs were sold to Japanese residents. In addition, a suspicious package related to one of the sailors was intercepted by a local postal service, a Navy official said.

The USS Reagan currently is stationed at its home port, in Yokosuka, Japan, headquarters of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. Seventh Fleet officials said they couldn’t immediately comment.

The Seventh Fleet has been plagued by problems over the past year. In 2017, two ships—the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald—were involved in separate collisions with commercial vessels, killing 17 sailors.

Last month, the Navy charged five sailors in the collisions and the commanders of the ships each face charges of negligent homicide. A sixth sailor was charged last year. After the collisions, a series of reports and investigations revealed failures in training and readiness throughout Seventh Fleet.

The drug investigation comes as the Navy announced leadership shifts affecting the Seventh Fleet.

On Friday, the Navy named Vice Adm. John John C. Aquilino as commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is responsible for U.S. naval operations within the Seventh Fleet area. Adm. Aquilino’s promotion was unusual in that he has only been in his current assignment since last fall. He currently is commander of naval forces in the U.S. Central Command area, which is the responsible for the Middle East. Naval commanders generally stay two years or more in a given post.

Also, President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Adm. Harry Harris to become ambassador to Australia. Adm. Harris is current head of U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees all U.S. forces in the Pacific. The Pentagon hasn’t named his replacement.

Write to Nancy A. Youssef at Nancy.Youssef@wsj.com



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