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North Koreans face 20 years in Russian prison for Sea of Japan attack

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The crew of a North Korean fishing boat faces up to 20 years in prison for attacking the Russian coastguard, according to the charge announced by Russia’s top investigative agency on Wednesday.
Four members of the Russian coastguard were wounded, one by gunfire, during the incident on Tuesday in the Sea of Japan, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The coastguard had intended to check the North Korean vessel for evidence of illegal fishing in Russian territorial waters, the statement said.
The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on a charge of “encroachment on the life of a law enforcement officer,” the statement said.
The crime is punishable by up to two decades in prison.
Earlier it was reported that three members of the Russian coastguard had been injured. Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned North Korea’s charge d’affaires over the incident the same day.
Russia and China, which share land borders with North Korea, have the relatively closest diplomatic relations with the extremely insular North Korean state.
Russia’s Federal Security Service, which oversees the coastguard, said in a statement on Tuesday that more than 80 North Korean nationals had been detained in a round-up of suspected poachers.
The fishing vessel involved in the attack on the Russian coastguard had a crew of more than 45 people, the Federal Security Service said.
FAT/YEE

(Edited by Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim)

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Finland to modernize northwestern railways to streamline Arctic-Asia goods transport

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Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka on Wednesday said that modernizing a section of railway in northwestern Finland will facilitate the transport of goods from the Arctic coast to Asia.

His remarks came one day after the Finnish government reconfirmed its commitment to modernize the cross-border rail connection to neighboring Sweden.

Speaking at a press conference, Harakka said that the Europe-Asia connection would be created by bridging the current gap.

“I am sure the modernization of the rail connection will offer major possibilities, when ready, for transportation to and from the Arctic coast,” Harakka said.

He pointed out that there are already container services on the railway that extends from Finland via Kazakhstan to China.

He noted that with the present technology, even cold storage products can be shipped by rail for long distances, and, if the Arctic route could be created, it can be used, for example, for the transport of Norwegian fish to the Chinese market.

Currently, the last 20 kilometers of the cross-border rails on the Finnish side are still not electrified. Harakka said the construction could begin in 2021.

The modernization program and a new cross-border bridge would cost an estimated 40 million euros (45 million U.S. dollars).

(XINHUA)

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18 militiamen killed by army in combat in northeast DR Congo

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At least 18 militiamen from the group CODECO were killed by the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), in an operation launched since Monday in several localities of Djugu, Ituri province in the northeast of the country, according to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesman for the army on the spot in this area.

According to Jules Ngongo, this operation enabled the armed forces to recover at least six entities occupied for several days by the militiamen in the territory of Djugu. A FARDC soldier was also killed and another injured, and several weapons were recovered by the FARDC.

The combat took place in particular along Lake Albert on the border with Uganda where the militiamen gathered in several zones. According to the army spokesperson, the objective of the operations is to prevent the attackers from reorganizing to attack civilians and the police.

The ongoing fighting in Ituri province between the attackers and the military has already prompted more than a million people to flee their homes for refugees in displacement camps. Thousands more have already crossed the border into the Republic of Uganda.

According to the United Nations, attacks on civilians have intensified since March, especially around artisanal mining sites.

(XINHUA)

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9 killed in gunmen attack in northern Nigeria

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At least nine people were killed in an attack carried out by gunmen in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna state on Wednesday, said a local official.

Cafra Caino, chairman of Kajuru council, who confirmed the incident to Xinhua, said that the gunmen invaded Tudu village in the early hours of Wednesday with dangerous weapons such as guns, machetes and knives. They attacked people sporadically, and forced residents to scamper for safety.

He said nine people were killed on the spot while those who sustained injuries have been taken to hospital for treatment.

Caino said more people would have been killed but for the timely intervention of security forces, which made the bandits flee into the bush.

Local police has yet confirmed the attack.

A series of gunmen attacks have been reported in northern Nigeria since the beginning of this year.

(XINHUA)

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2 killed in train accident in northern Spain

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Two people were killed after a train with more than 150 people on board hit a car on the tracks in northern Spain on Tuesday, local media said.

The accident happened at around 16:11 local time (1411 GMT). A four-wheel drive vehicle fell off a bridge and landed on the train line, causing the front wagon of the train to be derailed, local media said.

The car’s driver and a train’s machinist were killed, and another train driver was seriously injured and taken to hospital, local media said.

(XINHUA)

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Republican National Convention site to be changed as North Carolina insists on coronavirus measures: Trump

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United States President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Republican party was “forced” to choose another location for its presidential nominating convention, as North Carolina rejected its demand for a full-fledged gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said on Twitter that because of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper‘s refusal to accommodate a fully-attended 2020 Republican National Convention in the Spectrum Arena in Charlotte, “we are now forced to seek another

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“The people of North Carolina

do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity,” Cooper said in a letter to the Republican National Committee on Tuesday.

“We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled down convention would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that,” Cooper wrote.

The Republican National Committee sent Cooper a letter on Saturday, demanding a 19,000-person convention in his state. Trump reportedly told Cooper in a phone call on Friday that he wanted the convention to be held without requirements for masks and social distancing.

Following Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, Cooper tweeted that “it’s unfortunate” that the Republican party “never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.”

The convention, at which Trump is expected to be confirmed as Republican presidential nominee seeking re-election later this year, has been postponed until August 24-27 due to the spread of the coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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helicopter with 3 on board crashes in Northern California

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A helicopter with three people on board crashed near Fairfield, Northern California on Tuesday.

According to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the crash caused a power outage affecting some 40,000 PG&E customers.

Three people were believed to have been on board, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

FAA Pacific Division Communications Manager Ian Gregor confirmed that a Bell 206 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances near the intersection of Lyon Road and Soda Springs Road around 1:30 p.m., according to the local media.

(XINHUA)

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1st LD: New Ebola outbreak reported in northwest DR Congo

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A fresh outbreak of the Ebola virus disease was declared on Monday by Congolese Minister of Health Eteni Longondo in the city of Mbandaka, in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

“The samples taken in Mbandaka and sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa were positive,” said the health minister during a press conference in Kinshasa.

According to Eteni Longondo, the heads of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa confirmed on Monday the result of the test taken from the patients on the spot in the town of Mbandaka.

A few days ago, the authorities of the city of Mbandaka in Equator Province alerted at least four cases of suspicious deaths in the same health zone of Mbandaka.

For health authorities in Kinshasa, the Ebola response team is already in place at the provincial level and another team will be deployed from Kinshasa to strengthen the response.

The announcement comes as health authorities started a countdown to declare the end of the tenth Ebola epidemic that has plagued the east part of the country since 2018, which has left more than three thousand people contaminated and 2,280 people dead.

According to WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has confirmed six cases, including four already dead by his Twitter account, WHO already has its teams on scene to support the fight against the epidemic.

The tenth epidemic has been the deadliest in the history of the country since the discovery of the first Ebola epidemic around 1977 in the province of Bandundu.

The government was planning to announce the country Ebola free on June 25, but with new cases resurfacing, the country has to continue fighting it, media reports said.

(XINHUA)

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New Ebola outbreak declared in northwest DR Congo

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An eleventh outbreak of the Ebola virus disease was declared on Monday by Congolese Minister of Health Eteni Longondo in the city of Mbandaka, in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).

“The samples taken in Mbandaka and sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa were positive,” said the health minister during a press conference in Kinshasa.

According to Eteni Longondo, the heads of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa confirmed on Monday the result of the test taken from the patients on the spot in the town of Mbandaka.

A few days ago, the authorities of the city of Mbandaka in Equator Province alerted at least four cases of suspicious deaths in the same health zone of Mbandaka.

For health authorities in Kinshasa, the Ebola response team is already in place at the provincial level and another team will be deployed from Kinshasa to strengthen the response.

The announcement comes as health authorities started a countdown to declare the end of the tenth Ebola epidemic that has plagued the east part of the country since 2018, which has left more than three thousand people contaminated and two thousand people dead.

According to WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has confirmed six cases, including four already dead by his Twitter account, WHO already has its teams on scene to support the fight against the epidemic.

The tenth epidemic has been the deadliest in the history of the country since the discovery of the first Ebola epidemic around 1977 in the province of Bandundu.

(XINHUA)

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North Macedonia reports 62 new COVID-19 cases

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North Macedonia reported 62 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising its total to 2,226, according to the country’s health ministry.

The ministry informed that 1,552 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 disease have recovered so far, while 133 people have died.

While visiting the city of Kumanovo, northeastern North Macedonia on Sunday, Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski called on citizens to abide by the coronavirus preventive measures.

“It is up to citizens and how much they respect measures whether movement restrictions will be restored in certain areas,” Spasovski told reporters.

Health authorities in North Macedonia have announced that movement restrictions may be restored in areas where the number of new coronavirus cases is on the rise.

As of Sunday, a total of 29,575 tests for COVID-19 had been conducted across the country, the ministry said.

(XINHUA)

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