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‘More than half’ of 90 howitzers US is sending to Ukraine are in country: Pentagon

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said “more than half” of the 90 howitzer heavy artillery the US is sending to Ukraine are now in country, and 50 Ukrainians have been trained to use them.

“I can tell you without giving whole numbers that more than half of those howitzers are in Ukraine,” Kirby said at a press briefing.

He added that 50 Ukrainians have been trained on the howitzers as a “first tranche” in an undisclosed country outside of Ukraine. But he did not know if the second tranche of training has started yet.

The trained Ukrainians will train their teammates inside Ukraine, Kirby said.

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The Pentagon had announced last week an $800 million defense package headed to Ukraine. It included 72 155 mm howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 121 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial systems and vehicles with which to tow the howitzers.

That package was in addition to the previous 18 howitzers and 40,000 artillery shells, bringing the total number of howitzers to 90 and 183,000 artillery rounds.

The howitzers deliver long-range artillery fire in support of ground troops. It is used by US Army and Marine Corps.

The howitzers’ delivery come at a time when Ukrainians are anticipating “extremely difficult weeks” of heavy fighting ahead due to the large-scale offensive Russia is preparing to launch on the eastern Donbas region.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley had said earlier in April that fighting in the east would be more difficult for Ukrainians and would therefore need more armor and artillery.

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Tarjama, Ureed, Future Work sign MOU to empower Saudi youth in labor market

Tarjama Saudi Arabia, Ureed and Future Work have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand the freelancer landscape in Saudi Arabia and build a platform for young freelancers to find job opportunities.

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The MoU was signed in the Kingdom’s capital Riyadh. The initiative hopes to meet the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 through the empowerment of young talents, the creation of equal job opportunities for women and the creation of local content.
Future Works CEO, Eng. Bandar bin Abdullah al-Mohamadi described the MoU as a continuation of “efforts to support the training and employment of youths.”
“This agreement helps further target modern work models, including freelance work and flexible work to empower citizens working in the digital economy, and provide them with job opportunities and services,” he said.
Regarding this strategic partnership, Tarjama CEO Nour al-Hassan said, “We are honored to be collaborating with Future Work to build a platform for flexible work opportunities in the Kingdom and give the Saudi youth access to bigger employment opportunities.”
Tarjama is a language and translation service based in the MENA region while Ureed is the region’s largest freelance marketplace platform. Future Work is a company dedicated to empowering youths in labor markets.

Read more:
Amethis completes minority investment in language technology & services firm Tarjama

Nour al-Hassan’s ‘Tarjama’ translation service featured in Gartner report on AI

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Seven dead, another 55 feared killed in landslide in Indian state of Manipur

At least seven people have died and another 55 are feared to have been killed after a massive landslide in a remote area of the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur, local officials said on Thursday.
Rescue workers battled heavy rains and inclement weather to pull out nineteen survivors from the rubble on Thursday morning after the landslide occurred at a railway construction site in the early hours, but said the likelihood of finding any more was thin.

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“In all there were about 81 people. The chances of survival of the remaining 55 people are very thin considering the fact that the landslide occurred around 2 a.m.,” Haulianlal Guite, district magistrate of Noney district in Manipur, where the accident occurred, told Reuters by telephone.
This month unprecedented rains have lashed India’s north-eastern states and neighboring Bangladesh, killing more than 150 people.
Millions have been displaced by the catastrophic floods in recent weeks, and in some low-lying areas houses have been submerged.
Army helicopters were on standby and assisting in rescue operations at the site of the landslide, a statement from the
Indian army said.
“Army helicopters are on standby. The weather is very hostile and more landslides are hampering our rescue operations,” the statement said.

Read more: Monsoon floods kill 42, leave millions stranded in Bangladesh and India

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UK FM Truss: West must learn from Ukraine lessons and apply them to Taiwan

The West must learn from its mistakes in failing to deter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and apply those lessons to “protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” British foreign minister Liz Truss said on Thursday, as Beijing protested.
Tensions between Taiwan and China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own territory, have risen in recent years as China steps up military activities near Taiwan to pressure it to accept Chinese rule.

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Truss said the West, and in particular countries in the Indo-Pacific region, had to make sure Taiwan was defended.
“We need to learn the lessons of Ukraine, which was that we could have ensured that Ukraine had the defensive capability earlier,” Truss told LBC radio.
“And that would have done more to deter [Russian President Vladimir] Putin from invading, so-called deterrence by denial, and that is a similar approach to the approach we need to take for other sovereign nations, including Taiwan.”
In Beijing, the foreign ministry said China had lodged an official complaint with Britain over Truss’ remarks on Taiwan.
“The lack of common sense and the arrogance of her remarks are surprising,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing on Thursday. “We hope she will not make such irresponsible remarks in the future.”
At a NATO meeting in Spain the previous day, Truss had told a panel session that China was “extending its influence through economic coercion and building a capable military.”
She added, “There is a real risk that they draw the wrong idea, which results in a catastrophic miscalculation such as invading Taiwan.”
Asked to comment on Truss’ Wednesday remarks about Taiwan, Zhao reiterated China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, its internal affair and said no external force had a right to interfere.
On Thursday, Truss avoided questions about whether she was suggesting that Britain should arm Taiwan, saying only: “We also need to make sure that together, the free world are ensuring that Taiwan has the defense capability it needs.”
Britain should continue to build trade ties with China but avoid becoming strategically dependent on it, she added.
“Of course, we should continue to trade with China. But we need to be careful not to become strategically dependent on China.”
On Thursday, the spokesman, Zhao, responded that using ideology and small circles to artificially separate the world’s supply chains would not succeed.
Britain and at least six nations have been helping Taiwan in a secretive program to build submarines, a Reuters investigation found last year.

Read more: NATO returns to combat stance to counter a new and hostile world

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