World news in brief
Big earthquake hits northwest Turkey
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted a northwest town in Turkey during the early hours of yesterday, causing panic among people and damage to property. The quake struck at 4.08am local time in the town of Golkaya, in Duzce province, located nearly 200km (124 miles) east of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.
The strong tremors were felt in the capital Ankara, Istanbul and other parts of the country. At least 35 aftershocks were recorded, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said. The quake woke people from their sleep, with some of them rushing out of the buildings in panic or jumping from balconies and windows. According to reports, power was disrupted in the region.
Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said 22 people were being treated in hospitals for injuries sustained during the panic. Schools in the province were being shut down for protection, Duzce governor Cevdet Atay said.
North Korean leader’s sister says US is ‘a barking dog’
The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned the US that it will face a “more fatal security crisis” after Wahington pushed for UN condemnation of an intercontinental ballistic missile test. Kim Yo-jong issued the warning hours after US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) that Washington would circulate a proposed presidential statement condemning North Korea’s recent missile launches.
During the meeting, there were many calls for condemnation of state’s first successful launch of the new Hwasong-17 missile, which is capable of reaching North America. Ms ThomasGreenfield read a statement by 14 countries that supported action to limit North Korea’s advancement of its weapons programmes.
Ms Kim, considered to be the second-most powerful person in North Korea, compared the US to a ”barking dog seized with fear”, while lambasting what she called “a disgusting joint statement together with such rabbles as Britain, France, Australia, Japan and South Korea”. She added that North Korea would consider the US-led joint statement a “wanton violation of our sovereignty and a grave political provocation”.
“The UNSC has turned blind eyes to the very dangerous military drills of the US and South Korea and their greedy arms build-up aiming at the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] and taken issue with the DPRK’s exercise of its inviolable right to self-defence,” she said in a statement.
Iran a step closer to weapons-grade uranium, says IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that Iran is enriching uranium to 60 per cent purity at its Fordow plant as a part of an expansion of its enrichment capacity in defiance of objections raised by Western countries.
In a statement on Tuesday, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi said: “Iran has started producing high enriched uranium – UF6 enriched up to 60 per cent – using the existing two cascades of IR-6 centrifuges in the Fordow fuel enrichment plant, in addition to such production that has taken place at Natanz since April 2021.”
Weapons-grade uranium is 90 per cent enriched or more, according to a report by the BBC. Under its 2015 nuclear deal with China, France, Germany, Russia, the US and the UK, Tehran was allowed to enrich uranium up to 3.67 per cent purity.
Tehran’s move appears to be in retaliation to a resolution passed by the UN’s nuclear watchdog last week, in which the 35-nation board of governors ordered Iran to cooperate with the ongoing years-long probe into the origin of uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in the country.
West Bank school ‘demolished by Israeli military’
A school in the occupied West Bank has been demolished by the Israeli military, a rights group has claimed. Footage distributed by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem shows a bulldozer tearing down the single-storey structure as soldiers stand guard nearby. The group said that schoolchildren were still inside the classrooms as soldiers arrived ahead of the demolition.
A court ruling earlier this year upheld a long-standing expulsion order against eight Palestinian hamlets in the Masafer Yatta area, paving the way for the potential displacement of at least 1,000 people. Rights group have accused Israel ever since of carrying out a gradual demolition of the structures in the area, with the school the latest to be torn down.
The military declared Masafer Yatta a firing and training zone in the early 1980s. Israeli authorities have argued that the residents use the area only for seasonal agriculture and had no permanent structures there at the time.
One dead and many injured in Jerusalem blasts
At least one person was killed and 14 others were injured after two blasts rocked crowded bus stops in Jerusalem yesterday, emergency services said. Israel’s police officials said the blasts were caused by explosive devices found at two sites near the city’s exit, according to preliminary findings.
The police officials suspect the twin blasts, which occurred about 30 minutes apart during rush hour traffic, to be Palestinian terror attacks. But no responsibility for the blasts has been claimed by any groups yet. The first blast occurred shortly after 7am GMT near the main entrance of Jerusalem in Givat Shaul, while the second blast took place shortly after 7.30am GMT at Ramot junction, another entry point to Jerusalem, reported The Times of Israel.
Health services said they had taken a dozen people to the hospital after the first blast, of which two had serious injuries. Another three were wounded in the second explosion, police officials said. One of the wounded died in hospital, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre said.
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