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S.Korea to administer second COVID-19 booster shot to age 60

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South Korea’s will administer a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people over 60 as the country continues to battle the highly contagious Omicron variant.

According to health Minister, Kwon Deok-cheol, “The government plans to expand the fourth round of vaccination to those aged 60 and older, the infection rate in the age group has continued to rise to stand above 20 per cent.”

The country had previously begun providing second booster shots to high-risk groups, including those in nursing homes.

South Korea reported 195,419 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total tally to 15,830,644 infections and 20,034 deaths.

So far, over 316,608 people have received a second booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency data showed, with around 33 million people 64.2 per cent of the total population having received a first booster shot.

The health ministry also said, it will announce amendments to the current social distancing rules on Friday.

“A complete removal of all limits on the opening hours of businesses and private gatherings were among measures being considered as the effectiveness of the distancing rules have been declining.

“The current mask-wearing mandate is also on the list of measures being reviewed,” he said.

READ ALSO: S.Korea reports 219,241 daily COVID-19 cases

Reuters

 

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Experts urge Ukraine’s weapons could end up in ‘the wrong hands’

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Experts urge Ukraines weapons could end up in the wrong

Western countries have been increasing arms and ammunition shipments to Ukraine as Kyiv battles a Russian invasion, but arms trade experts have warned that some deadly aid could end up in the wrong hands.

In particular, Ukraine’s history as an arms trade hub in the 1990s is a wake-up call for those studying illicit flows.

“Currently there is a very significant risk of arms proliferation in Ukraine, especially with regard to small arms and light weapons,”

Nils Duque, researcher and director of the Flemish Institute for Peace, said.

ALSO READ: US shooter plans months of attack, triples the size of the scene

ukrainian weapons

Since Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border on February 24, Western countries, especially the United States, have announced successive deliveries of light and heavy weapons to the Kyiv army.

Washington alone has delivered or pledged military equipment, including hundreds of Switchblade kamikaze drones, 7,000 assault rifles with 50 million rounds of ammunition, laser-guided missiles, and radar systems to detect enemy drones and incoming Assault artillery.

“While the response to supplying more weapons to Ukraine is understandable … the immediate and long-term security implications are carefully considered,”

The US-based Stimson Center think tank said in March.

“We’ve seen time and time again how weapons designed to help allies in a conflict reach the front lines of unforeseen battlefields, often in the hands of groups at odds with U.S. interests or the interests of civilians,” it added, referring in particular to small arms.

Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine: The Latest Developments

Overwhelming challenge’

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many weapons stored in Ukraine were shipped to other countries and conflict zones around the world.

The looting of the country’s arms supplies resumed after Russia annexed Crimea on Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula in 2014 and pro-Moscow separatists seized two areas in eastern Ukraine.

According to the Small Arms Survey (SAS) of the Geneva-based Institute for International and Development Studies, 300,000 light weapons were stolen or lost between 2013 and 2015, and only 4,000 have since been recovered.

SAS found that instead of being shipped abroad as in the 1990s, most of these products ended up on the black market in Ukraine.

“Unresolved conflict in the east of the country and general anxiety about the security situation on the ground”

SAS researcher Matt Schroeder said this could explain the increased demand for weapons from the general population.

Looking ahead, “collecting these weapons and disposing of them properly is a daunting challenge for any government, let alone one that is still battling an existential threat,” he added.

Also read: Ukraine joins EU ‘no shortcut’: Scholz

“The Javelin Bank Robbery”

Even before the current conflict, the U.S. military’s inspector general in 2020 questioned the level of surveillance of weapons sent to Ukraine.

Annie Shiel of the Center for Civilians in Conflict (Civic) warns that “with regard to what risk mitigation or monitoring measures, if any, are in place by the United States and other countries sending arms to Ukraine… protection, with little transparency”.

The aid group is calling for deliveries to be linked to human rights commitments and to track weapons after they are handed over.

Other experts believe the task of tracking weapons through conflict zones is nearly impossible.

“It is an illusion to think that in a war context you can actually control the weapons there. We know many weapons will not be returned to official forces, but they will remain in the area for many years,”

Nils Duque said.

“Look at Yugoslavia, there has been success, but these weapons are still being smuggled all over Europe,”

The US-based Stimson Center think tank said in March.

A high-ranking French military officer raises a dire possible outcome.

“Once we saw the bank robbery with the Javelin, we would laugh on the other side of us,” he said, referring to the American-made anti-tank missile.

© AFP

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War in Ukraine. According to Moscow, 1730 Ukrainian fighters surrendered in Mariupol

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War in Ukraine According to Moscow 1730 Ukrainian fighters surrendered

Russia reports rocket fire on border region +++ Baerbok. Russia uses hunger as a weapon +++ Selensky extends martial law for 90 days +++ Developments in the war in Ukraine. star-Tickers.

85th day of the Russian invasion of UkraineFighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops in Ukraine continued on Thursday night. In Kiev, President Vladimir Zelensky prepared the population for a long war, calling for a 90-day extension of martial law until August.

At the same time, Sweden’s Finland’s efforts to join NATO continue. As a sign of support, US President Joe Biden will receive high-ranking officials of the two Scandinavian countries, who have been neutral so far. However, Turkey is still against it, it has reservations about the reception. Nevertheless, European-American diplomats expressed confidence that the problem could be solved.

News about the war in Ukraine on Thursday, May 19.

10.44. She complains about the “second-class attitude” of “some” EU countries.

The Ukrainian government has called for a clear prospect of joining the EU, and has strongly criticized the attitude of some EU countries in the process. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba complained on Twitter about the “second-rate attitude” of “some” EU countries. Earlier in the day, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) weakened expectations in the Bundestag that Ukraine could move faster in the EU accession process.

10:06. According to Moscow, 1730 Ukrainian fighters surrendered in Mariupol.

According to Russian information, the fighters of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol have now surrendered. In the last 24 hours alone, more than 770 Ukrainians have been taken prisoner, the Moscow Defense Ministry said. This would hand over 1730 fighters at the beginning of the week. It was not clear how many people were still in the factory. According to earlier Russian information, there should be several hundred more.

The Ukrainian side did not confirm the numbers from the beginning. Earlier this week, Ki spoke of a slightly more than 260 evacuated soldiers, and only then announced that the “humanitarian operation” would continue. Looking at the figures released by Russia now, the complete conquest of Mariupol may become apparent after almost three months of war.

9.35. Scholz clearly denies the dictated peace in Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has clearly rejected the Russian-imposed peace in Ukraine. “There will be no dictated peace because Ukrainians do not accept it as we do,” Scholz said in a government statement in the Bundestag.

“We all have one common goal: Russia must not win this war, Ukraine must survive,” Scholz said. “Only when Russian President Vladimir Putin realizes that he can not break Ukraine’s ability to defend itself will he be” ready to seriously negotiate peace, “the chancellor said. That’s why Ukraine’s defense capacity can be strengthened.

7.13. Russia’s border region accuses Ukraine of firing on one victim

The governor of Russia’s western Kursk region has accused Ukraine of shelling a city near the border. A civilian was killed in the village of Tyotkino at night, Governor Roman Starovoit wrote in the Telegram news service. A number of houses were also damaged. According to Russian sources, Tyotkino was attacked on Wednesday. The Belgorod region, which is also close to the border, also reported shelling. Ukraine did not initially comment on the allegations, and Russian information could not initially be independently verified.

At 6.31. The United States and Ukraine are talking about looting and abuse in Mariupol

The United States has blamed Russian forces for the violence in the port city of Mariupol. A U.S. official said Wednesday that Russian troops had “beaten” and “electrocuted” Ukrainian officials there. They too “would rob houses.” “Russian officials are concerned that these actions could further force Mariupol residents to resist Russian occupation,” he said.

The city of Mariupol told the Telegram that the Russians were trying to “return to the commercial port to export millions of dollars worth of grain, metal goods and other goods.” It is “theft”.

5.37. The United States has reopened its embassy in Ki

The United States has reopened its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Ki, after a three-month closure. “We are officially resuming work at the US Embassy in Kyiv today,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday. The US flag was waved again near the embassy building. “The Ukrainian people, with the support of our security, defended their homeland from a ruthless Russian invasion. As a result, the ‘Stars and Stripes’ (US national flag) are flying over the embassy again,” Blinken said. Washington closed its embassy in Kyiv ten days before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, temporarily relocating the embassy to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and then to Poland.

2.08 in the morning. Baerbok. Russia uses hunger as a weapon of war

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok has accused Russia of using the blockade on grain exports from Ukraine as a weapon of war. “Russia has launched a grain war that is fueling the global food crisis,” Burbok said during a meeting of foreign ministers at the United Nations in New York. Moscow is doing this not only by blocking Ukrainian ports, but also by destroying silos, roads, railways and fields. According to the federal government, Russia is blocking the export of 20 million tons of grain to Ukraine, most of which is in the port of Odessa.

“Russia is not only waging its brutal war with tanks and missiles and bombs,” Berbock said. “Russia is waging this war with another terrible, quiet weapon, famine and deprivation.” This is happening at a time when millions of people in the Middle East and Africa are already at risk of starvation.

1.15. Selensky promises help to the victims of the Russian occupation.

The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky promised special state aid to all the victims of the Russian occupation of his country. He signed a corresponding law, Zelensky said in his evening speech. He did not provide details. The aid also applies to “all Kremlin prisoners,” as he puts it, in Crimea or in the Russian-occupied part of Donbas.

01.07. Melnik. Ukraine’s membership in NATO will reduce the risk of nuclear war.

Taking into account the planned membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andrei Melnik considers his country’s membership in NATO feasible. “One thing is clear. We want to join NATO quickly. This can happen as quickly as in Sweden or Finland. “It will only require a purely political decision to integrate Ukraine quickly,” Melnik told the newspapers. Funke media group. “If Ukraine were in the bloc, the risk of nuclear war would be reduced. Then Putin would know. If Ukraine were to be attacked with nuclear weapons, it would have to take into account a nuclear strike. That would prevent him from doing so. ” Melnik also believes that Ukraine’s membership in the EU is possible in the next ten years.

12:00 Zelensky prepares the Ukrainians for a long war

The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is preparing the people of his country attacked by Russia for a longer war. In his video message on Wednesday evening, he hoped that the people of the territories occupied by Russia in the south would be liberated by Ukraine. “Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Enerhodar, Mariupol, all our cities and towns that are under occupation, under temporary occupation, should know that Ukraine will return,” he said. How long it will take depends on the situation on the battlefield. “We are trying to do that as soon as possible. “We have a duty to oust the occupiers and to ensure the real security of Ukraine,” he said.

In this context, he also announced the announced extension of the martial law, the general mobilization for 90 days, until August 23. “Our army, all those who defend the state, must have all the legal means to act calmly,” Zelensky said.

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