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An Israeli missile has hit Iran, two US officials have told the BBC's US partner CBS News.

Iranian state media is reporting that flights have been suspended over several cities, according to Associated Press.

Iran has been on high alert after Israel said it would respond to an Iranian attack against it on Saturday night

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Democrats stepped in to support bringing the aid package to the floor, in a remarkable breach of custom on a key vote that paved the way for its passage.

The House took a critical step on Friday toward approving a long-stalled package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and other American allies, as Democrats supplied the crucial votes to push the legislation past Republican opposition so that it could be considered on the floor.

The 316-94 vote cleared the way for the House to bring up the aid package, teeing up separate votes on Saturday on each of its parts. But passage of those measures, each of which enjoys bipartisan support from different coalitions, was not in doubt, making Friday’s action the key indicator that the legislation will prevail.

The rule for considering the bill — historically a straight party-line vote — passed with more Democratic than Republican support, but it also won a majority of G.O.P. votes, making it clear that despite a pocket of deep resistance from the far right, there is broad bipartisan backing for the $95.3 billion package.

The vote was an enormous victory in the long effort to fund to Ukraine as it battles against Russian aggression, a major priority of President Biden that has met with bitter resistance from the right. It was a triumph against the forces of isolationism within the G.O.P. and a major moment of bipartisan consensus in a Congress that for the past year has been mostly defined by its dysfunction.

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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ca/post/19654099

Several resistance forces simultaneously attacked Defense Industry Factory No. 21, one of the Junta's arms factories, located in Magway Region on April 16, according to the initial battle report released by the Ministry of Defense of the National Unity Government (NUG).

At 9:00 am, the attack was executed simultaneously through collaboration between the People's Defense Force (PDF) and resistance forces affiliated with the Magway Region Command Office operating within the No. 1 Military Region.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday the government would look to tighten rules for long-term sick leave in a bid to reverse a rise in the number of Britons who have permanently dropped out of the workforce.

Labour force participation among working-age Britons is its lowest since 2015, mainly due to a rise in long-term illness and a greater number of students, in contrast to other large, rich nations which have seen increased participation since 2020.

With his eyes firmly on a national election later this year, which polls show he is expected to lose, Sunak sought to appeal to core Conservative voters by warning the current welfare bill was fiscally unsustainable, and arguing that a 'sicknote culture' around mental health needed to be reined in.

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Research into release of ‘forever chemicals’ raises concerns about contamination and human exposure along world’s coastlines

Ocean waves crashing on the world’s shores emit more PFAS into the air than the world’s industrial polluters, new research has found, raising concerns about environmental contamination and human exposure along coastlines.

The study measured levels of PFAS released from the bubbles that burst when waves crash, spraying aerosols into the air. It found sea spray levels were hundreds of thousands times higher than levels in the water.

The contaminated spray likely affects groundwater, surface water, vegetation, and agricultural products near coastlines that are far from industrial sources of PFAS, said Ian Cousins, a Stockholm University researcher and the study’s lead author.

“There is evidence that the ocean can be an important source [of PFAS air emissions],” Cousins said. “It is definitely impacting the coastline.”

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A man was arrested as a large security perimeter was deployed around the consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Paris, at mid-day on Friday, April 19. Security services were alerted to the presence of a person suspected of carrying an explosive device. Paris police officials told Agence France-Presse the man was arrested.

The suspect was identified by police as Nicolas K-M., a French-Iranian dual citizen aged 60. Police said he was not carrying any explosives and was not known to surveillance agencies. He had previously been arrested on September 11, 2023, for burning a tire in front of the Iranian consulate.

Le Monde has learned he was wearing a tactical vest and carrying mock grenades.

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France should repay billions of dollars to Haiti to cover a debt formerly enslaved people were forced to pay in return for recognising the island’s independence, according to a coalition of civil society groups that is launching a new push for reparations.

The Caribbean island state became the first in the region to win its independence in 1804 after a revolt by enslaved people. But in a move that many Haitians blame for two centuries of turmoil, France later imposed harsh reparations for lost income and that debt was only fully repaid in 1947.

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Reported Israeli drone strike on Isfahan may signal that this widening conflict has become more dynamic

While the details remain vague, and Iranian denials strong, it seems very likely, given past history and strong comments from US officials, that a limited Israeli drone strike was launched against the Iranian city of Isfahan on Friday morning.

Isfahan is significant for its military-industrial facilities, the presence of an important facility in Iran’s nuclear programme and a major airbase hosting the Islamic Republic’s ageing fleet of F-14 “Tomcats”, making the importance of any strike, whether carried out from beyond Iran’s borders or from within but backed by Israel, more than symbolic.

While Israel has long been engaged in a “shadow war” with Iran – including a claimed Israeli drone strike on a weapons production facility in Isfahan just over a year ago – the dynamics of conflict are defined as much by the context in which events happen as the discrete fact of the attacks themselves.

What is new and dangerous, regardless of the scale or the suspicion of a degree of posturing on both sides, is that a new normal is establishing itself in the conflict betweenIran and Israel.

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Australian police have charged a 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing a bishop and a priest with a terrorism offense. If convicted, he could face life imprisonment.

A 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing two clerics during a church service in the eastern Australian city of Sydney has been charged with committing a terrorist offense.

The boy, who is in hospital after treatment for injuries, spoke about the Prophet Muhammad having been insulted after he stabbed Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and the Reverend Isaac Royel at an Assyrian Orthodox service on Monday.

The charge of terrorism means police will gain more powers to investigate whether the suspect acted alone or as part of a wider network.

The boy's family has previously said he had perhaps displayed "anger management and behavioral issues" and a "short fuse" in the past but had shown no signs of being radicalized.

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  • Apple has removed WhatsApp and Threads from its Chinese app store following a government order.
  • WhatsApp has been blocked in China since 2017 and its parent company Meta since 2009.
  • Other Western platforms like Gmail, YouTube, Snap, and Spotify have also been censored in China.

Apple removed WhatsApp and Threads from its app store in China after being told to do so by the Chinese government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

China's top internet regulator asked Apple to remove the two apps because of national security concerns.

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The European Commission argues it was Europe's students and young graduates who were most affected by Brexit's mobility restrictions. The UK has reportedly responded cooly to the proposal.

The European Union is trying to improve mobility between its 27 member-states and the UK, particularly for people between the ages of 18 and 30. But whether such a proposal would be welcomed by London remains to be seen.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, is trying to open bloc-wide talks with the UK on allowing youth from EU countries to study or work and live in Britain for up to four years, with the same arrangement for British youth.

The proposal would largely revert youth mobility to pre-Brexit times, when members of the then-28-member EU, including Britain, were allowed to work and study without visa requirements. The Commission's new plan would involve a visa, but one whose fees would not be "excessive."

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From Puerta del Sol plaza in Madrid to the Tuileries Garden in Paris, guides reshape stories continent tells about itself

Dodging between throngs of tourists and workers on their lunch breaks in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza, we stop in front of the nearly 3-tonne statue depicting King Carlos III on a horse. Playfully nicknamed Madrid’s best mayor, Carlos III is credited with modernising the city’s lighting, sewage systems and rubbish removal.

Kwame Ondo, the tour guide behind AfroIbérica Tours, offers up another, albeit lesser-known tidbit about the monarch. “He was one of the biggest slave owners of his time,” says Ondo, citing the 1,500 enslaved people he kept on the Iberian peninsula and the 18,500 others held in Spain’s colonies in the Americas. As aristocratic families sought to keep up with the monarch, the proportion of enslaved people in Madrid swelled to an estimated 4% of the population in the 1780s.

It is a nod to the kind of conversation – one often neglected or wilfully ignored across the continent – that Ondo and his counterparts in Europe are steadily wedging into everyday life. From Barcelona to Brussels, London to Lisbon, a cohort of guides has trained its lens on Black and African history, laying bare how the continent has been shaped by colonialism and slavery as they reshape the stories that Europe tells about itself. While California debates reparation bills aimed at compensating for generations of discriminatory policies, and the UK takes down tributes to slave traders and colonialists, similar conversations have been conspicuously absent across much of the continent.

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Nearly half of China's major cities are sinking because of water extraction and the increasing weight of their rapid expansion, researchers say.

Some cities are subsiding rapidly, with one in six exceeding 10mm per year.

China's rapid urbanisation in recent decades means far more water is now being drawn up to meet people's needs, scientists say.

In coastal cities, this subsidence threatens millions of people with flooding as sea levels rise.

China has a long history of dealing with subsiding land, with both Shanghai and Tianjin showing evidence of sinking back in the 1920s. Shanghai has sunk more than 3m over the past century.

In more modern times, the country is seeing widespread evidence of subsidence in many of the cities that have expanded rapidly in recent decades.

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Ukraine's military says its forces have destroyed a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber used to attack Ukrainian cities. This comes as Russian missile strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region are reported to have killed eight people.

Ukraine said on Friday that its air defense had brought down a Russian strategic Tu-22M3 bomber for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion began more than two years ago.

"For the first time, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force in cooperation with the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine destroyed a Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber, a carrier of Kh-22 cruise missiles used by Russian terrorists to attack peaceful Ukrainian cities," Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said in a statement via Telegram messaging app.

The Russian Interfax news agency has cited the Russian Defense Ministry as reporting the crash of a Tu-22M3 bomber on Friday morning after what the ministry said was an apparent technical malfunction.

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Argentina formally requested on Thursday to join NATO as a global partner, a status that would clear the way for greater political and security cooperation at a time when the right-wing government of President Javier Milei aims to boost ties with Western powers and attract investment. 

The request came as NATO’s Deputy General Secretary Mircea Geoana held talks in Brussels on regional security challenges with visiting Argentine Defense Minister Luis Petri.

Geoana said he welcomed Argentina’s bid to become an accredited partner in the alliance — a valued role short of “ally” for nations that are not in NATO’s geographical area and not required to take part in collective military actions. NATO membership is currently limited to countries of Europe, Turkey, Canada and the United States. 

The designation could allow Argentina access to advanced technology, security systems and training not previously available to it, the Argentine presidency said.

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Saab chief cautions that Beijing dominates supplies of a key component to make powder to fire shells, and metal for submarines and warships.

Europe is too reliant on China to make powder for ammunition and risks a supply crisis that could threaten the continent’s security, one of the EU’s most important defense contractors warned.

In an interview with POLITICO, Saab CEO Micael Johansson called on governments to cut environmental rules to make it easier for companies to diversify their supply chains for critical military components.

Beijing plays a key role in supplying EU countries with the raw materials they need for their defense industries, even though China is also providing vital support to Vladimir Putin’s war machine in Ukraine. 

When it comes to the supply of ingredients for gunpowder — the propellant used to fire out shells — Western defense firms should look to diversify their sources, said Johansson.

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Under the beaming lights of New York's iconic Times Square, Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is attempting an ambitious challenge to break the record for the longest chess marathon.

He aims to play for 58 consecutive hours and raise $1m (£805,000) for charity in the process.

The money, he says, will support chess education for millions of children.

Hundreds of supporters have shown up to cheer on the chess master, including Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido.

The Nigerian community in New York has rallied behind their compatriot, providing Mr Onakoya with music and energising him with supplies of classic Nigerian dishes, including the beloved national staple, jollof rice.

Back home in Nigeria, people are throwing their support behind Onakoya as they watch him try to conquer the record on Twitch, a video-streaming service.

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Air defense batteries fired in several provinces over reports of drones being in the air, state television reported.

State television described all atomic sites in the area as “fully safe.” The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said “there is no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites” after the incident. Gen. Siavosh Mihandoost, a local army commander, also told state TV the incident caused “no damage” around Isfahan.

Iran then grounded commercial flights in Tehran and across areas of its western and central regions. Loudspeakers informed customers of the incident at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, online videos purported to show. Iran later restored normal flight service, authorities said.

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Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister, has called for the execution of Palestinian prisoners to ease overcrowding in the country's jails.

Writing on social media, he welcomed a decision by the Israeli army to build 936 additional prison places for "security prisoners". "The additional construction will allow the prison service to take in more terrorists, and will bring a partial solution to the prison crisis that exists in the Shabak," he said, referring to the Israeli Prison Service.

"The death penalty for terrorists is the right solution to the incarceration problem, until then - glad that the government approved the proposal I brought."

During a visit by members of the Public Defender’s Office, squalid conditions were noted, including "intolerable overcrowding", with less than three square metres of space per person, poor sanitary conditions, pest issues, inadequate ventilation, and a lack of basic necessities for the incarcerated.

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