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Australia Pledges $1.4m For Beirut Relief Effort

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Lebanon Reimposes Lockdown Amid Covid-19 Spike - Ministry

The Australian government has on Thursday pledged an initial 2 million Australian dollars ($1.4 million) to the relief effort in Lebanon following the deadly blast that ripped across the capital Beirut.

Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the aid will be provided to the World Food Program and to the Red Cross for food, medical care and essential items.

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He says his country is considering another round of support.

Morrison says some Australian Embassy personnel were injured but “they are safe and accounted for and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

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On Tuesday, an explosion rocked and shook the country’s capital killing at least 135 persons and injuring more than 5,000.

Investigators focused on possible negligence in the storage of tons of a highly explosive fertilizer in a waterfront warehouse, while the government ordered the house arrest of several port officials.

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North Korea Apologizes For ‘Unfortunate’ Killing Of South Korean Official

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North Korea Apologizes For 'Unfortunate' Killing Of South Korean Official

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apologized for the killing of a South Korean official, an incident which could have been a disaster for any hopes of rekindling talks between the South and the North.

According to a report by Yonhap news agency on Friday Kim reportedly told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that the “disgraceful affair” should not have happened.

Earlier on Monday, a South Korean fisheries official disappeared from a fisheries patrol boat when it was about 10km (six miles) south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed line of military control that acts as the de facto maritime boundary between the two Koreas.

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On Thursday, South Korea said on Thursday the 47-year-old man had been shot dead by North Korean troops and his body burned.

In a message to Seoul, Kim said he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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News agency reported that the North said it had conducted its own investigation into the incident and found that soldiers near its western sea border had fired at least 10 shots at the South Korean. The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and the North is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent coronavirus from entering the country.

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However, the North insisted that it had not burned the man’s body but rather the “floating material” that was carrying him.

Also, some experts were skeptical of claims that the man had been trying to defect to a country that has seen more than 30,000 North Koreans fleeing to South Korea in the past two decades, defections from South to North are rare.

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Belarus: Mass Protests After Lukashenko Secretly Sworn In

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Belarus: Mass Protests After Lukashenko Secretly Sworn In

Mass street protests have continued in Belarus’s capital of Minsk, after the unannounced swearing in of president Alexander Lukashenko.

There were reports of beatings and detentions by police, and video footage showed water cannon being used.

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Lukashenko was secretly sworn in for a sixth term, with only a few hundred supporters in attendance. Opposition members call the ceremony, quote: “thieves’ meeting”.

The opposition says last month’s poll was rigged in Lukashenko’s favour.

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Belarus electoral commission announced Lukashenko won more than 80% of the vote, triggering weeks of mass protests across the country.

Several EU countries and the us say they do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus.

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Two Louisville Police Officers Shot And Injured Amid Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death

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Two Louisville Police Officers Shot

Protesters took to the streets of Louisville, Kentucky expressing anger hours after a grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for killing Breonna Taylor.

Authorities confirmed two officers were shot and wounded during the demonstrations over police killings of black people.

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Interim Louisville police chief, Robert Schroeder, said a suspect was in custody but did not offer details on whether that person was participating in the demonstrations. He said both officers are expected to recover.

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The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.

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The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.

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