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Houthi militants attack ships in one of the world’s busiest trade routes

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Iranian-backed Houthi militants have used ballistic missiles and “kamikaze” drones in attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea.

The attacks began on Nov. 19 when Houthi commandos landed a helicopter on the Galaxy Leader cargo vessel as it was passing through the southern Red Sea. They redirected it toward Hodeidah port in Yemen and seized the crew, who are still being held.

Since then, 29 more ships have been attacked in the area, with 13 of those suffering direct strikes from missiles or drones. The attacks have caused major disruptions to global trade, some 12% of which passes through the Red Sea.

Commercial ships

Reuters has cataloged the ships attacked so far and examined how Houthi militants are using a combination of weapons to target commercial ships. The analysis shows how Houthi drone and missile activity has escalated since the Gaza war began, and has continued despite Western military airstrikes on their bases in Yemen, which began on Jan. 11.

Houthi attacks have targeted ships in the southern Red Sea and the neighboring Gulf of Aden, which are joined by the Bab al-Mandab strait, a chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

Precarious navigation

In Arabic, Bab al-Mandab means “Gate of Tears”, a reference to the strait’s precarious navigation. The narrow waterway lies between Djibouti and Eritrea on the coast of east Africa and western Yemen, much of which is under Houthi control.

Bab al-Mandab is a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean: exports to the Western markets from the Gulf and Asia must pass through before entering the Suez Canal.

At only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, shipping traffic is limited to two channels for inbound and outbound shipments, leading to occasional congestion.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally

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Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
 
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely

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Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model

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With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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