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Iran issues stern warning to Israel amid escalating Gaza conflict

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian issued a stark warning to Israel yesterday, cautioning that continued military strikes on Gaza could push the already volatile Middle East region toward an uncontrollable spiral of conflict.

The Iranian Foreign Minister directly criticized the United States for its role in the conflict, attributing blame for the escalating violence to American military support for Israel. This statement comes amidst a backdrop of increasing regional tension, with the death toll in Gaza, as reported by the Hamas-run health ministry, rising above 4,600 Palestinians in just two weeks.

Amir-Abdollahian, speaking at a press conference in Tehran, sternly warned, “If the US and its proxy Israel do not immediately cease their crimes against humanity in Gaza, the situation could rapidly deteriorate, pushing the region into chaos.”

The situation on the ground remains fraught with risk. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in remarks just hours after Amir-Abdollahian’s warning, declared to his troops that the conflict against Hamas is a critical “do or die” situation for Israel. The rhetoric has reached fever pitch, with Netanyahu vowing devastating consequences for Hezbollah and the state of Lebanon should they join the fray.

This recent upsurge in violence follows a two-week period during which Hamas attacks resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people, drawing international attention and concern. Iran, known for its support of Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has become increasingly vocal in condemning Israeli actions in the region.

US involvement

In the United States, high-ranking officials share concerns about the potential for this conflict to spread. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, appearing on ABC network’s ‘This Week’ programme, expressed apprehension about a “significant escalation of attacks” affecting US interests, urging parties seeking to exploit the situation to refrain from such actions.

Echoing Austin’s sentiments, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also discussed potential retaliatory actions by Iranian-supported groups like Hezbollah or Hamas, assuring that the US is prepared to defend its citizens and Israeli allies.

The conflict’s ramifications are already being felt beyond Gaza. Recent days have seen drone and rocket attacks on several Iraqi bases hosting US-led coalition forces. Further stoking regional tensions, exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah have been reported near the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The situation in neighboring Syria is equally precarious. Early Sunday, Israeli missiles struck both Damascus and Aleppo international airports, rendering them inoperable due to significant runway damage and resulting in casualties among airport personnel.

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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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