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Make burial plans before going to N/Korea, U.S. warns Americans

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….As Double-deck Railroad Bridge set to open in China***

The U.S. State Department has warned Americans travelling to North Korea, to see their journey as a death wish following its frosty relation with the Asian country.

The State Department gave the warning on its website and urged those wishing to travel to North Korea to make their burial plans and write a will if they wish to embark on the journey.

It would be recalled that a stark warning was given last week to Americans setting out for the Hermit Kingdom, cautioning that anyone heading to the dangerous dictatorship country should prepare for the possibility of not returning.

“The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea,” the State Department published on its website.

The information also said: “Those who wish to travel to North Korea must be approved for a special validation, which would be handed out on “very limited circumstances.”

The State Department further warned Americans eager to experience Kim Jong Un’s regime to prepare for the worst — including making funeral and property arrangements with family and friends. “Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney; discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.,” according to the recommendations.

In the meantime, the China Railway Corporation on Tuesday said a double-deck railroad bridge would soon open to traffic in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality. China Skytrain Report says the bridge is 5.3 km long and includes a 920-meter section that stretches over the Yangtze, China’s longest river.

It is part of the Chongqing-Guiyang high-speed railway line, set to begin operations at the end of this month. “After over five years of construction, the 345-km Chongqing-Guiyang railway speeds up to 200 kph.

“It will cut the average travel time between Chongqing and Guiyang, capital of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, to around two hours from the current 10 hours,’’ it noted. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network. According to the China Railway Corporation, the country is expected to have 38,000 km of high-speed rail tracks by 2025.

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Yemen’s Houthis Claim Fresh Attack Against Lobivia Ship, In Gulf Of Aden

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Yemen’s Houthis Claim Fresh Attack Against Lobivia Ship, In Gulf Of Aden

…As 2 killed by Russian artillery fire on Ukrainian village

 Yemen’s Houthi group on Friday claimed responsibility for launching a drone and missile attack against a ship in the Gulf of Aden.

“The Lobivia ship was hit accurately by several missiles and drones,” Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a televised statement aired by the group’s al-Masirah TV.

Earlier in the day, Sarea in another televised statement claimed responsibility for launching a drone attack against what he said was a vital target in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

He didn’t identify the target. 

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported the attack killed a person and injured 10 others.

The Houthi group, which controls much of northern Yemen, has been targeting ships linked to Israel since November 2023, in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The group threatens to escalate its attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden until the conflict stops in the besieged Palestinian territory. 

In another development, two women were killed and several others injured by Russian artillery fire that travelled across the Dnipro River and hit a village in southern Ukraine, local authorities said on Friday.

One of the injured is a doctor, Alexander Prokudin, military governor of the Kherson region, announced on Telegram.

Where he posted that Russian troops fired 40 shells from a rocket artillery launcher at the village of Biloserka on the north bank of the Dnipro during the night.

Meanwhile, around 60 houses were damaged.

And one woman was killed in her house.

The body of a second woman was later discovered under the rubble.

Russia occupied Biloserka, along with the rest of the Kherson region, in the spring of 2022, shortly after it launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February of that year.

However, Russian forces were driven from the area in late autumn of 2022.

Since then, the wide lower reaches of the Dnipro have formed the front line in most places.

Russia’s Defence Ministry in Moscow announced, without specifying the exact location that Russian artillery had knocked out the command centre of a Ukrainian battalion on the other bank of the river.

Separately, nine people were injured by Russian shelling in the city of Chuhuiv in the eastern region of Kharkiv, according to military governor Oleh Synyehubov.

Several buildings were damaged, while some cars were burnt.

The governor did not specify which weapons were used to fire on the city.

Chuhuiv is an important transport hub for supplying Ukrainian units on the front east of Kharkiv.

– Xinhua

– With additional information from DPA/NAN

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Israeli Defence Minister Reports Death Of Hamas Terrorists

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…As Norway is to deliver six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

 Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed a majority of Hamas terrorists and most of the Islamist organisation’s battalions smashed.

Gallant commented on parliament on Wednesday, according to Israeli media.

Israel announced the destruction of Hamas as a war objective after the massacres carried out by Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7.

“As long as Hamas retains a hold in the Gaza Strip, it can rebuild and strengthen itself, “Israeli officials have said.

So the IDF would then have to return and fight in areas where it had already been deployed.

Gallant has called for the creation of a political alternative to Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far refused to present a plan for the administration and reconstruction of Gaza after the end of the war.

Observers say this is likely because he is trying to avoid conflict with his far-right coalition partners who favour the building of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, a proposition. 

In another developmnet, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member, Norway, will supply six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

The first is due to arrive by the end of the year, the government in Oslo confirmed on Wednesday.

“Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against air attacks is crucial in its battle against Russia,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

It has been known for some time that Norway intends to send F-16s to Ukraine as part of an international coalition.

However, the timing has so far been as unclear as the exact number of aircraft.

Even though several countries have pledged to deliver the US-built fighters, none are known to have yet arrived in Ukraine.

On the fringes of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country hopes to receive its first F-16s this summer.

Ukraine, which has been under attack from Russia since February 2022, needs at least 128 fighter jets, Zelensky said.

According to the government, Norway decommissioned its F-16s in 2021 as part of the introduction of new F-35 fighter jets. Of the fighters withdrawn from service, 32 were sold to Romania.

– dpa

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Sunak Insists Predictions Of Defeat Not Going To Stop Him

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Sunak Insists Predictions Of Defeat Are Not Going To Stop Him

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has insisted that predictions of a Conservative defeat are not going to stop him after the likelihood of his return to Downing Street.

He said this was put at less than “lightning striking twice in the same place” by a polling expert.

He was asked during a “BBC Breakfast’’ interview whether he accepted the analysis by-elections guru Professor John Curtice, the prime minister said: “That’s his view.

“That’s not going to stop me from working as hard as I can over these final few days to talk to as many people as possible about the choice.”

“And I was up at 4 this morning talking to workers at a distribution facility.

“I’m here talking to you. I’ll be out till the last moment of this campaign because I think it’s an important choice for the country.”

Sunak kicked off a final push for votes on the last two days of the campaign with an early morning visit to an Ocado packing plant in Bedfordshire.

Then he stopped at a Morrisons near Witney the former Oxfordshire seat of Foreign Secretary, David Cameron where the conservatives won with a 15,200 majority in 2019.

In a last-ditch attempt to rally conservative voters, the Tory leader claimed in a speech on Tuesday that just 130,000 voters could prevent a Labour “supermajority.”

He denied that his switch from talking about his policy plans to warnings about a landslide for Keir Starmer and his Labour Party was the language of defeat.

“No, I’m much still talking to people about our plan,” he said.

Sunak also defended the conservative campaign, in spite of it having failed to narrow the opinion poll gap with Labour.

It was asked if he had got the campaign wrong after it was hit by debacles including his early D-day departure and the gambling row, the prime minister said

“No, actually everywhere I’ve been going, people are waking up to the dangers of what a labour government would mean for them, particularly when it comes to taxes.”

He said under the conservatives, things were undeniably better than they were a few years ago.

“When it comes to the things that we want to do, people can see that we have turned a corner,” he said.

Meanwhile, Starmer said a big Labour majority would be better for the country.

The Labour leader hammered home his get-out-the-vote message on a whistlestop campaign tour to Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire on Tuesday.

In an interview with The Times, he said he needed a strong mandate to reform the planning system and improve the economy.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is continuing his action-packed campaign tour to the South-West of England where he will call on voters to end the sewage scandal. 

– dpa

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