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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

US-sanctioned general to become public face of China’s growing military; Russian shelling kills Kherson resident, Zelensky denounces ‘terrorist attack’ & more

Below is a summary of the current world news briefing.

U.S.-sanctioned general to be public face of China’s growing military

General Li Shangfu, who was named China’s new defense minister on Sunday, is a veteran of the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), an effort that has led to U.S. sanctions on him over weapons purchases from Russia. While his new position within the Chinese system is considered primarily diplomatic and ceremonial, Li’s appointment is closely watched given his background, regional diplomats said.

Russian shelling kills Kherson resident, Zelensky condemns ‘terrorist attack’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian shelling killed three civilians in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Saturday and condemned what he called a “brutal terrorist attack” by pro-Moscow forces. Ukraine retook Kherson in November, shortly after the start of the massive invasion, which Russian forces occupied for nearly eight months. The area is now under almost constant bombardment by Russian forces across the Dnieper.

U.S. not negotiating new Venezuelan prisoner swap despite appeal, U.S. official says

The United States has not discussed the prisoner swap described in a letter and video appeal to President Joe Biden from an American detained in Venezuela, according to two U.S. officials. Evan Hernandez was “likely forced” to call on Biden to trade him and seven other U.S. detainees for Alex Saab, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. Sabo, a Colombian-born businessman, faces trial in Miami.

Mutiny at the BBC: Lineker spat leads to growing BBC crisis

The BBC faces a growing crisis after football presenter Gary Lineker’s criticism of the government’s immigration policy sparked a presenter mutiny that drew the Prime Minister’s comments and made the broadcaster’s boss stand for his own Defense of the position. The BBC was forced to cut most of its sports coverage on Saturday after the presenter refused to work in a show of solidarity with Lineker, after the BBC shut down the broadcast over Lineker’s social media comments to defend its impartiality.

Iran upholds death sentence for Swedish-Iranian Arab dissident

Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of a Swedish-Iranian dual citizen convicted of leading an Arab separatist group accused of carrying out attacks, including in 2018, state media reported on Sunday. An attack on a military parade killed 25 people. Iran said in 2020 that its security forces arrested Habib Farajollah Chaab, who lives in Sweden, in Turkey and took him to Tehran, but did not say where or how he was captured.

Russia says troops continue to attack Ukraine’s Donetsk region

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday its forces continued a military operation in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, claiming to have killed more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen in the past 24 hours. “In the direction of Donetsk … more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen, an infantry fighting vehicle, 3 armored fighting vehicles, 7 vehicles and a D-30 howitzer were destroyed during the day,” the defense ministry said .

French Senate votes for Macron’s pension plan despite fresh protests

The French Senate passed President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular pension reform late on Saturday, after a seventh day of demonstrations was less massive than authorities had expected. 195 members of the upper house of France’s parliament voted in favor of the text, whose main measure is to raise the retirement age by two years to 64, while 112 voted against it.

‘Meager existence’: Man stranded in Turkey after being denied entry by UK

Siyabonga Twala, who has been stranded in Turkey since being barred from boarding a flight to the UK more than two months ago, spent his 34th birthday with his son and family in an unfamiliar city on Saturday. Twala, who holds South African citizenship, has lived in the UK since 2004 and is the father of a British son. But on December 29, he was flying back to the UK with his parents, son and two siblings after a trip to South Africa when he was stopped in Istanbul as he was boarding a plane.

China consolidates, upgrades domestic strategic resource base – official media

China will consolidate and increase its domestic strategic resource bases this year to achieve rapid accumulation of mineral resources, Natural Resources Minister Wang Guanghua said on Sunday, state media reported. “We will launch a new round of strategic actions for mineral exploration,” Wang told reporters on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

Iran’s behavior will be closely watched in coming months, says Saudi columnist

Saudi Arabia will observe Iran’s actions during an agreed two-month window to resume relations, a Saudi columnist said on Sunday, reflecting continued vigilance over the long-running rivalry between Sunni Muslim and Shia forces in the region. The breakthrough on Friday, prompted by China, the two countries’ main trading partner, came after several rounds of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region aimed at curbing tensions, as the Gulf swayed the United States from its engagement with Iran. feel depressed. the area.

(According to agency opinion.)

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