Six dead in the latest earthquake to rock Turkey and Syria
At least six people have been killed in the latest earthquake to strike the border region of Turkey and Syria
Another earthquake has left people dead in Turkey and Syria.
It comes two weeks after a massive tremor killed more than 47,000 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.
The magnitude of the quake was measured at 6.3 by U.S. and European seismological agencies, and at 6.4 by Turkish monitors.
It was followed by 90 aftershocks, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said, adding fresh trauma to Antakya residents left homeless and living in tents by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Feb 6.
“To me this is one of the signs of the apocalypse. I felt that we were going to die, that we would be buried here,” said 47-year-old blacksmith Murat Vural.
He called his friend shortly after Monday’s quake to tell him they should leave town. “This is no longer a place we can remain,” he said. “We are mostly worried for our lives.”
More than 41,000 people were killed in Turkey in the initial quake, officials say, while the toll in neighbouring Syria stands at around 6,000.
President Tayyip Erdogan said 865,000 people are living in tents and 23,500 in containers, while 376,000 are in student dormitories and public guesthouses outside the earthquake zone.
With so many buildings destroyed, up to 210 million tonnes of rubble will need to be cleared, United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey representative Louisa Vinton said.
“It would take an area of 7 million square metres (75.5 million sq feet) to dispose of that rubble. It’s a huge task ahead,” Vinton said.
Erdogan’s government has faced criticism about what many Turks said was a slow response, and over construction policies that meant thousands of apartment buildings collapsed, trapping victims under rubble.
“It is our duty to hold the wrongdoers accountable before the law,” Erdogan said in the southern province of Osmaniye.
In power for two decades, he faces presidential and parliamentary elections in May, although the disaster could prompt a delay in the vote. Even before the quakes, opinion polls showed he was under pressure from a cost of living crisis, which could worsen as the disaster has disrupted agricultural production.
U.S. Sec. Blinken testifies in wake of Xi-Putin Summit
When President Biden took office, he promised that America was back. But, is that really the case?
On Wednesday, the United States’ top diplomat testified on Capitol Hill about his agency’s foreign policy priorities before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered a stark and candid view on the global situation.
His testimony comes following Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President, Xi Jinping publicized their goal for a New World order during their three-day summit in Moscow.
The unholy alliance frightens the United States.
Republicans say President Joe Biden failed to take a stronger stance with China and Russia—especially after a Russian fighter jet downed a U.S. Reaper drone and the Chinese spy balloon incursion over the continental United States.
The top republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee Marco Rubio says the fight in Ukraine is more than a proxy war— there are concerns about China’s designs for Taiwan.
China and Russia share similar goals and stand in opposition against western influences. As their alliance grows deeper, President Xi has invited President Putin to visit China in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, officials at the White House say they’re still working to schedule a phone call between President Biden and President Xi.
Two Australian Army personnel injured in helicopter crash
The helicopter crashed into water during counterterrorism training
Two Defence Force personnel have been injured after an Australian Army helicopter crashed into the water during routine counterterrorism training on New South Wales south coast.
There were 10 personnel on board the aircraft when the incident occurred and all have been recovered from the water.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart says the incident had the potential to end in “tragedy”.
He notes the quick responses of ADF personnel and emergency services alongside well drilled teams prevented potential loss of life.
An investigation into this incident has been launched to determine the cause.
The training activity has been temporarily paused as a precaution and the MRH-90 Taipan fleet will be grounded while the cause of the incident is determined. #trending
Volodymyr Zelensky visits Bakhmut frontline
The President was handing out medals and visited the wounded
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited his troops near the frontline city of Bakhmut, the ongoing battle for the city being one of the bloodiest of the war.
Footage released by the president’s office shows him handing out medals and visiting wounded in the Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is located. He’s telling the troops that they’re there to protect the land for their children and later, in the hospital, “good luck, boys.”
Zelensky’s visit came after a swarm of Russian drones hit Ukrainian cities including the capital overnight, said by Ukraine’s military to include Iranian-built suicide drones.
And in a tweet, Zelensky apparently referenced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow, saying: Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”
Meanwhile, the British government is rejecting accusations from Moscow that ammunition it has given Ukraine made from depleted uranium risks raising the nuclear stakes in the war.
Depleted uranium shells are used by many militaries including Russia to penetrate armour such as tanks.
The U.K. doesn’t consider it nuclear armament, but the dust it creates does pose a risk to people wherever the shells land after being fired.
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