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China Welcomes a Chilly Year of the Dragon

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China Welcomes a Chilly Year of the Dragon

China’s aviation regulator said it had scheduled 2,500 extra international flights ahead of the holiday, and transportation officials said that they expected 480 million rail trips during the 40-day travel surge, a nearly 40 percent increase from last year.

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Israeli delegation expected in Qatar for more Gaza talks

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Israeli delegation expected in Qatar for more Gaza talks

Framework of the agreement includes a six-week pause in fighting that could see an exchange of captives and increase in aid.

An Israeli delegation is soon expected in Qatar to continue talks on securing a pause in the war on Gaza that could see captives released.

The talks began last week in Paris and were attended by the chiefs of Israel’s spy agency Mossad and domestic security service Shin Bet, along with mediators from the United States, Qatar and Egypt.

The Israeli delegation returned from the French capital, with Israeli national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, saying during a televised interview late on Saturday that “there is probably room to move towards an agreement”.

According to Israeli media, negotiators had a meeting with the Israeli cabinet, which agreed to send a delegation to Qatar in the coming days to continue negotiations.

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Al Jazeera’s Willem Marx, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said Israeli media are talking about the details of a framework for talks, which could potentially see a pause in fighting for up to six weeks if a captive is released each day from Gaza.

“It looks like there will be around 40 Israeli hostages being released – that would be women civilians, female soldiers, older men with serious medical conditions – in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently held in detention or Israeli jails.”

Marx said an agreement could also lead to a considerable increase in humanitarian aid going into the Gaza Strip and a potential return of Palestinians to the heavily bombarded and attacked areas in the northern part of the enclave.

“Hamas, crucially, has not commented on any of this,” he said.

Prior to the latest round of talks, Hamas had said it would accept nothing less than a complete cessation of fighting and an end to the siege of Gaza, something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had dismissed while emphasising “total victory” over the armed group.

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Close to 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been confirmed killed by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, with thousands more missing and presumably still under the rubble.

More than 100 captives, including Israelis and other nationals, were released as part of a one-week pause in fighting in November, which also saw hundreds of Palestinians released from Israeli prisons.

‘We need a new government’

In Israel, pressure has been steadily building on Netanyahu and his war cabinet to strike a deal to secure the release of the captives.

Thousands of protesters once more gathered at what has become known as “hostages square” in Tel Aviv on Saturday to demand swifter action and new elections, with police using water cannon to disperse the crowds.

Al Jazeera’s Hamdah Salhut, reporting from Tel Aviv, said Saturday’s gathering was the “biggest show of force since the war began”.

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“Antigovernment protesters say they will continue coming out every Saturday in full force until their message is received by the Israeli government.”

Neria Bar, a protester, told Al Jazeera that the government has failed and needs to be replaced.

“We need a new government, new people, new leadership, someone that counts us in and thinks about us, not just about themselves,” she said.

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List of winners at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards

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List of winners at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The list of winners so far at the 30th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are being presented live Saturday in Los Angeles.

MOVIES

FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

STUNT ENSEMBLE

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning – Part I”

TELEVISION

COMEDY ENSEMBLE

“The Bear”

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MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Pedro Pascal, “The Last of Us”

MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Jeremy Allen White, “The Bear”

FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear”

FEMALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED TV SERIES OR MOVIE

Ali Wong, “Beef”

MALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED TV SERIES OR MOVIE

Steven Yeun, “Beef”

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STUNT ENSEMBLE

“The Last of Us”

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Reporter's Notebook: Aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea: 'Constant self-defense'

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Reporter's Notebook: Aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea: 'Constant self-defense'

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It’s the dark of night, the middle of the Red Sea, but it’s not quiet. The whine of several F-18 super hornet fighter jets produce an ear-splitting sound on the deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. 

In bright primary-colored shirts, sailors on the flight deck tend to their specific jobs. The munitions officers, in red shirts, flip a switch that engages the sidewinder missiles on the outside of the fighter jet’s wings. It’s like taking the safety off your gun. The missiles are now ready to be fired. The pilot inches his jet forward so catapult officers can hook the tow-bar on his front wheel to the shuttle which runs down a steaming slot to the end of the flight deck.  

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Through a series of hand signals, a deck officer with yellow flashlights tells the pilot it’s time. He throttles the jet engines to full power and everyone’s rib cages shake on deck. An officer with the title shooter triggers the catapult and with a mighty roar the super hornet is launched into combat over the Red Sea.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: EMBEDDED WITH THE IDF DEEP INSIDE HAMAS TUNNELS UNDER UNRWA HQ

Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea (Fox News)

Each takeoff is a launch into combat. Everything happens in the “weapons engagement zone,” close enough to Houthi controlled Yemen that they are in range of hostile fire.  

“We are in constant self-defense out here when it comes to threats that can be shot at us,’ says Rear Admiral Marc Miguez, commander of the strike group. 

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Self-defense does not mean they don’t go on the offensive. Often times, the F-18s launch with a planned target. Captain Marvin Scott, commander of the air wing on the carrier says his pilots have already degraded the ability of the Houthis to fire at cargo ships and warships crossing the Red Sea. “By targeting their ability to see us, their surveillance radars, and now we’re primarily focused on their military capabilities,” he says.

USS Dwight Eisenhower

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea (Fox News)

Many of the targets are “dynamic targets”, something that presents itself after the F-18 is in the air. U.S. Central Command says on Thursday U.S. forces struck four drones and two anti-ship cruise missiles that were prepared to launch. On Friday, they shot down three drones near commercial ships in the Red Sea.  

US, COALITION FORCES DESTROY 6 HOUTHI ONE-WAY ATTACK DRONES

Oil tanker on fire

In this photo provided by the Indian Navy on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, a view of  the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack, in the Gulf of Aden. The crew aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker hit by a missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels is battling a fire onboard the stricken vessel sparked by the strike. (Indian Navy via AP)

The threats are constant and while the sailors have proven to be effective at shooting missiles out of the sky, it’s not an easy task and failure is not an option. “We have to be right 100% of the time and they only have to be right once,” says Miguez.

The USS Eisenhower is one of six ships in strike group two. One of them is a cruiser, the USS Philippine Sea. It serves as a sentinel for the strike group, with layers of sailors who monitor high-tech electronics that detect incoming threats. In a matter of seconds, the “watchstanders” determine the nature of the threat and how to respond. 

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“It just depends what the threat is and what’s coming at us,” Says Captain Steve Liberty who defined what his ship is ready for, “Anything they can throw our way,” he says.

 

USS Dwight D Eisenhower

Sailors on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. (Fox News)

In the end, their mission is as old as the Navy itself. Protecting safe maritime trade is the reason the Navy was created in the first place. “Freedom of Navigation,” Says Captain Chris Hill, Commander of the Dwight D Eisenhower, “It’s something we’ve been doing since 1775, and it’s something we’re really good at.”

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