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The world in brief: India tests airport arrivals for covid-19

by Compiled by Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | December 23, 2022 at 3:56 a.m.

India tests airport arrivals for covid-19

NEW DELHI -- India has begun randomly testing international passengers arriving at its airports for covid-19, the country's health minister said Thursday, citing an increase in cases in neighboring China.

Mansukh Mandaviya announced the new rule in Parliament, where he also urged state governments to increase surveillance for any new coronavirus variants and send samples of all positive cases to genome sequencing laboratories.

Mandaviya also asked the public to wear masks and maintain social distancing, even though there are no official mandates for either.

India relaxed its mask-wearing rules earlier this year after coronavirus cases began dropping sharply. It has reported the most covid-19 cases in the world since the pandemic began, but confirmed infections have fallen sharply in the past few months.

According to health ministry data, India currently has about 3,400 active coronavirus cases.

Cases have surged in neighboring China since it relaxed its harsh restrictions earlier this month following rare public protests.

Group: Few Israeli soldiers prosecuted

JERUSALEM -- Israeli soldiers accused of harming Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past five years have been indicted in less than 1% of the hundreds of complaints against them, an Israeli rights group reported. The watchdog argued that Israel's military systematically fails to conduct a credible prosecution of itself.

Between 2017 and 2021, the Israeli military received 1,260 cases of alleged offenses by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians, including 409 cases involving the killing of Palestinians, according to military data obtained by the group Yesh Din and released Wednesday after a freedom of information request.

The Israeli military opened 248 criminal investigations into instances of possible misconduct in response to those complaints -- just 21.4% of the total, Yesh Din said. Only 11 investigations during that five year period have yielded indictments. In those cases, Israel's military prosecutors acted with leniency toward convicted soldiers, the group added, with those sentenced for killing Palestinians serving only short-term military community service.

In response to a request for comment, the Israeli military contended there had been more charges filed against soldiers than Yesh Din had reported, with a total of 31 indictments lodged during the five-year period for offenses also involving the use of weapons, property damage and violence against Palestinians.

China makes show of force, Taiwan says

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China's military sent 39 planes and three ships toward Taiwan in a 24-hour display of force directed at the island, Taiwan's defense ministry said Thursday.

China's military harassment of self-ruled Taiwan, which it claims is its own territory, has intensified in recent years, and the Communist Party's People's Liberation Army has sent planes or ships toward the island on a near-daily basis.

Between 6 a.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, 30 of the Chinese planes crossed the median of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary once tacitly accepted by both sides, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense.

Those planes flew to the island's southwest and then horizontally all the way to the southeastern side before doubling back, according to a diagram of the flight patterns provided by Taiwan. Among the planes were 21 J-16 fighter jets, four H-6 bombers and two early-warning aircraft.

Taiwan said it monitored the Chinese moves through its land-based missile systems, as well as on its own navy vessels.

In its largest military exercises aimed at Taiwan in decades, China sailed ships and flew aircraft regularly across the median of the strait and even fired missiles over Taiwan itself that ended up landing in Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Fire hits Russian aircraft carrier at port

MOSCOW -- A fire broke out onboard Russia's sole aircraft carrier on Thursday, Russian state media reported.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, a flagship of the Russian Navy, suffered a "minor" fire while undergoing repair work at a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk, according to reports by the Russian state Tass and RIA Novosti news agencies. Both cited Aleksey Rakhmanov, head of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corp. that is overseeing a major refit of the carrier, as saying that the blaze was quickly extinguished and caused no casualties.

Delays and accidents have marred the Admiral Kuznetsov's ongoing overhaul, which began in 2017 and was initially set to conclude last year. At least one person was killed and 12 others were injured after a fire broke out in December 2019. The previous year, a crane crashed onto its deck after a floating dock holding it began to sink, causing unspecified damage.

Rakhmanov told Russian media in June that he expected the Admiral Kuznetsov to return to service in early 2024, almost three years behind schedule.


Print Headline: Group: Few Israeli soldiers prosecuted

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