News ID: 115637
Publish Date : 30 May 2023 - 22:46
SEOUL (Reuters) -- Ukraine “desperately hopes” that South Korea will provide defensive military equipment such as anti-aircraft systems to fend off Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky was cited as saying in an interview with a South Korean newspaper. Zelensky expressed gratitude over South Korea’s pledge to send demining vehicles and humanitarian aid totaling some $230 million, but said Ukraine wanted anti-aircraft and early warning systems, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported on Tuesday. He said South Korea’s early warning system would help defend his country from Russian air raids, the report said.  A U.S. ally and major arms exporter, South Korea had so far ruled out sending lethal aid to Ukraine, citing business ties with Russia and Moscow’s influence over North Korea, despite mounting pressure from Washington and Europe to supply weapons.
OTTAWA (AFP) -- More than 16,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Canada’s eastern province of Nova Scotia, officials said, as one of hundreds of wildfires raging across the country threatened the city of Halifax. The fire, still burning out of control along the northwestern edge of the city, has not grown since a state of emergency was declared late Sunday, forcing suburban residents out at a moment’s notice. Television images showed large plumes of smoke and several houses and vehicles gutted by the fire, but no injuries have been reported. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston described a province “on edge” while Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the city of 430,000 was facing an “unprecedented” fire situation. On Monday, wildfires were burning in eight out of 13 Canadian provinces and territories. In recent years western Canada has been hit repeatedly by extreme weather, the intensity and frequency of which have increased due to global warming. 
JIUQUAN, China (AFP) -- China sent three astronauts to its Tiangong space station on Tuesday, putting a civilian into orbit for the first time as it pursues plans to send a crewed mission to the Moon by the end of the decade. The world’s second-largest economy has invested billions of dollars in its military-run space program in a push to catch up with the United States and Russia. The Shenzhou-16 crew took off atop a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China at 9:31 am (0131 GMT), AFP journalists saw. The launch was a “complete success” and the “astronauts are in good condition”, said Zou Lipeng, director of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Leading its crew is commander Jing Haipeng on his fourth mission, as well as engineer Zhu Yangzhu and Beihang University professor Gui Haichao, the first Chinese civilian in space.
MANILA (Reuters) -- The coast guard of the United States, Japan and the Philippines will hold trilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea this week, the first such maneuvers between them as a time of growing concern about China’s moves in the region. The June 1 to 7 exercise in waters off Bataan province was an initiative of the United States and Japan, while Australia would join as an observer, said Philippine coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said. Four Philippine vessels and one each from the United States and Japan will participate in exercises designed to improve search and rescue collaboration and law enforcement, Balilo said. 
TOKYO — An International Atomic Energy Agency team is in Tokyo for a final review before Japan begins releasing massive amounts of treated radioactive water into the sea from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, a plan that has been strongly opposed by local fishing communities and neighboring countries. The team, which includes experts from 11 countries, will meet with officials from the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, and visit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant during their five-day visit, the economy and industry ministry said. Japan announced plans in April 2021 to gradually release the wastewater following further treatment and dilution to what it says are safe levels. The release is expected to begin within a few months after safety checks by Japanese nuclear regulators of the newly constructed water discharge facility and a final report by IAEA expected in late June.
SAN SALVADOR (Guardian) -- The human cost of El Salvador’s controversial “war on gangs” has been laid bare in a new report which claims dozens of prisoners were tortured and killed in jail after being caught up in the year-long security crackdown. The detailed 107-page report from human rights group Cristosal said at least 153 people had died in custody after being arrested as part of President Nayib Bukele’s year long offensive against the Central American country’s notorious “pandillas”. The NGO said it had confirmed 29 of those fatalities as violent deaths and another 46 were considered. In most of those 75 cases, Cristosal said the bodies of the victims showed signs of torture, beatings or strangulation. Other dead inmates also showed signs of injuries but were classified as having died of “undetermined” or “natural” causes meaning the true number of violent deaths could be higher.


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