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Beijing issues a stark warning to Canberra

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Beijing is warning Australia will “bear the consequences” if there are any military disputes in the South China Sea

China’s Defence Ministry says Australia is engaging in “risky” behaviour, as surveillance jets fly near the disputed Paracel Islands.

“What is the duty of a soldier? That is to defend the homeland,” says Colonel Tan Kefei.

The islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It comes just weeks after an Australian Air Force was challenged by a Chinese J-16 fighter in the disputed territory.

A Chinese J-10 fighter, similar to the one involved in the incident.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles says some aluminium chaff was drawn into the engines of the P-8A Poseidon.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8 settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance,” he said.

The aircraft made its way back to its base, and Marles said the crew responded “professionally”.

It’s believed the Chinese jet also fired flares and chaff as a countermeasure.

The Defence Minister said he had communicated his concerns to Chinese authorities over the incident.

But China’s defence spokesperson, Colonel Tan says “those who come uninvited shall bear the consequences.”

Canada has also been in the firing line, as they reportedly carry out U.N. missions near North Korea.

But Chinese authorities believe the jets were monitoring China “under the pretext of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions”.

“No matter what the name or excuse is, it is completely unreasonable to send military planes to the door of others to provoke and jeopardise the national security of other countries,” says Colonel Tan.

Australia’s Prime Minister met with Canada’s leader, Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid this week.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Business

Brad Pitt foundation to pay $20.5m

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Brad Pitt fronted a campaign following the natural disaster, promising to build a large number of environmentally-sustainable homes at the epicentre of the storm, and then sell them to the flood victims below cost.

The bold concept was met with fanfare from right around the world, with Pitt himself labelling the scheme as “a proof-of-concept for low-income green building”.

However, the properties began to deteriorate almost immediately after the owners moved in.

13-years later, the construction company has agreed to pay over $20 million in compensation to those affected.

Pitt has long denied any responsibility for the failures.

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

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World

Woman slapped with 34 years in jail for tweeting

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A Saudi Women’s rights campaigner, has been sentenced to 34 years in jail for tweeting

33 year old Salma al-Shehab has been charged with disrupting “public order” and undermining “the safety of the general public and stability of the state.”

According to some reports, she did not make her own tweet, but was following & retweeting accounts critical of Saudi Arabia.

She has been sentenced to 34 years in prison, followed by a 34 year travel ban.

The United States is now studying the case to determine its validity and fairness.

“Exercising freedom of expression to advocate for the rights of women should not be criminalised, it should never be criminalised.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters

Al-Shehab was a student at Leeds University in the UK, when she was arrested in 2021.

She says she has been subject to solitary confinement and the investigation has kept her from contact with her two young children.

Her sister, an activist as well, says this is a “mockery of the Saudi authorities claims of reforms for women”, adding “they remain hellbent on harshly punishing anyone who expresses their opinions.”

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Climate Change

Chinese planes shoot rods into the sky

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In a fight against the effects of climate change, China has begun cloud seeding

China is seeding clouds in its famous Yangtze River, in an attempt to fight the drought.

Planes have been shooting silver iodide rods into the sky, to trigger more rainfall.

Because of crippling climate change, and record heatwaves, the river had completely dried up in parts.

The Ministry of Water resources says the dry spell in the river is “adversely affecting drinking water security of rural people,” livestock and crops.

Photo Credit: SMH

The pen-sized rods work by forming ice crystals in existing clouds to produce more rain.

Cloud seeding is a common practice in the country but some experts are concerned about its unnatural impact on the earths atmosphere.

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