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NATO chief to meet with Orbán in surprise Hungary visit

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NATO chief to meet with Orbán in surprise Hungary visit

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit the Hungarian capital Wednesday to meet the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to visit Budapest this week to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

“It is part of my job as secretary general to see the leaders of NATO countries to make sure we have an agreement,” Stoltenberg explained in Riga at a B9 Summit press conference.

“I look forward to sitting down and discussing (with Orbán) the agenda of the Washington summit, which includes both NATO security and deterrence and support for Ukraine,” he added.

“I expect all allies to give the OK to strengthen aid coordination in Kyiv and approve financial support,” Stoltenberg concluded.

The leaders will hold a joint press conference on Wednesday, according to the press release from the alliance.

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Currently, Stoltenberg is on a visit to Riga — which recently marked one year of a successfully revived military conscription policy — to take part in the B9 Summit, hosted by Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs and his Romanian and Polish counterparts Klaus Iohannis and Andrzej Duda.

At a joint press conference in the Latvian capital, Stoltenberg praised the Baltic country for “leading by example” by allocating 2% of GDP to its defence portfolio — expected to increase to 3% by 2027 — and its military efforts in support of Ukrainian soldiers.

“Latvia also provides robust military support to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg added.

“You provide extensive military training to Ukrainian soldiers. You lead a coalition that works with industry to supply drones. And you contribute to the Czech-led initiative to provide more artillery shells.”

The Romanian president announced in March he would join the race to become the next leader of the 32-nation NATO military alliance, emphasising the country’s strategic position in Europe and proximity to Ukraine.

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“Russia is proving to be a serious and long-term threat to our continent, to our Euro-Atlantic security,” Iohannis previously said. “Under these conditions, NATO’s borders become of paramount importance, and the strengthening of the eastern flank … will remain a long-term priority.”

He said he believes NATO needs a “renewal of perspectives” and that Eastern Europe’s historical challenges could provide that in the face of Russian aggression.

Many of NATO’s easternmost members have expressed concern about Russia’s attempts to reassert influence over their region, with memories of living under Soviet influence still strong for some.

Stoltenberg, who has been in the post since 2014, has made it clear he was not seeking a successive term.

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U.S. bus company Coach files for bankruptcy to sell its business

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U.S. bus company Coach files for bankruptcy to sell its business
Coach USA, the operator of Megabus and other commuter bus lines in the U.S. and Canada, filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware late Tuesday, seeking to sell its assets and shed debt incurred in an ill-timed 2019 private equity buyout.
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Mexico finds the remains of some of the 63 miners who died 18 years ago

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Mexico finds the remains of some of the 63 miners who died 18 years ago

Mexican authorities announced Wednesday that they found the remains of some of the 63 miners who were trapped 18 years ago in a coal mine in northern Mexico.

The accident occurred at the Pasta de Conchos mine in the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, on Feb. 19, 2006. Of the 73 miners on duty, eight survived with serious burns, and two bodies were recovered.

2 MEXICAN COAL MINERS KILLED IN ACCIDENT AT ILLEGAL MINE

The Interior ministry said Wednesday that after years of searching they were able to locate “the first human remains” in one of the mine’s chambers, but they did not specify when the remains were recovered.

The accident is considered one of the biggest mining tragedies in the country.

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Pedestrians walk by a sculpture of a bright red number 65 that pays homage to the coal miners killed in the 2006 Pasta de Conchos mine accident, in Mexico City. Authorities announced on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the discovery of the skeletal remains of some of the 63 miners who have remained missing for almost two decades. Sixty-five miners died in the explosion, but authorities only found two of the miners’ bodies.  (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

It wasn’t until 2020 when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made a promise to recover the bodies that the process began. Three consecutive governments opted not to try for the rest, saying it would be too dangerous and costly, with no guarantee of success. But victims’ relatives continued to press authorities on the issue over the years.

López Obrador put the Federal Electricity Commission, the nation’s public utility known as the CFE, in charge of the dig – mining and burning coal to reach the long-buried miners.

In the chamber where remains were found there were 13 miners working the day of the accident, according to the Interior ministry.

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The government indicated it has not yet determined if an explosion caused the mine’s collapse.

The Coahuila state prosecutor’s office, in collaboration with the National Search Commission and the National Institute of Genomics Medicine, will begin analyzing the remains for identification and try to determine the cause of the accident.

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Significant part of Gaza facing ‘famine-like conditions’, WHO says

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Significant part of Gaza facing ‘famine-like conditions’, WHO says

Thousands of Palestinian children in Gaza have been diagnosed with malnutrition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, as Israel continues to severely restrict supplies of food, water, medicine and fuel to the territory.

“A significant proportion of Gaza’s population is now facing catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday.

“Despite reports of increased delivery of food, there is currently no evidence that those who need it most are receiving sufficient quantity and quality of food.”

Tedros said 8,000 children under five years old have been diagnosed and treated for acute malnutrition in Gaza.

“However, due to insecurity and lack of access, only two stabilisation centres for severely malnourished patients can operate,” the WHO chief added.

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Tedros said 32 deaths in the besieged Palestinian enclave have been attributed to malnutrition.

United Nations officials have warned of the risk of famine as Israel continues its war on Gaza. In January, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to “ensure the delivery of basic services and essential humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza”.

The UN’s top court reasserted that ruling in March, demanding that Israel take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay… the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”.

Some of Israel’s closest allies, including the United States, have also called for more aid to enter Gaza and reach people in need.

Last month, Israel seized and shut down the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which had served as a major gateway for aid and humanitarian workers.

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Last month, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on charges of alleged war crimes, including using “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare”.

A UN-backed independent commission also accused Israel of inflicting hunger on Palestinians.

“In relation to Israeli military operations and attacks in Gaza, the Commission found that Israeli authorities are responsible for the war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare, murder or wilful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, forcible transfer, sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, arbitrary detention and outrages upon personal dignity,” the panel said in a report on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this week that Israel has taken “important steps” in recent months to remove obstacles to aid delivery in Gaza, but he acknowledged that it “can and must do more”.

“It is crucial to speed up the inspection of trucks and reduce backlogs; to provide greater clarity on – and shorten the list of – prohibited goods; to increase visas for aid workers and to process them more quickly,” he said at a Gaza aid conference in Jordan on Tuesday.

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Blinken, who announced $404m in new assistance to Palestinians, also called for “clearer, more effective channels” to protect humanitarian workers from military operations.

Israeli attacks have killed at least 270 aid workers in Gaza, including seven World Central Kitchen employees in April – an incident that sparked global outrage.

Aid organisations have been stressing that even the inadequate aid that gets into Gaza often fails to reach people who need it most because of the Israeli offensive.

“The US’s latest humanitarian package for Gaza is a welcome step,” the International Rescue Committee said on Wednesday. “However, the effective delivery of any financial package depends wholly on unfettered access for aid and the ability for aid workers to operate seamlessly.”

Beyond Gaza, the WHO’s Tedros highlighted a growing health crisis in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces have killed hundreds of people since the outbreak of the war.

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“WHO has documented 480 attacks on healthcare in the West Bank since the seventh of October last year, resulting in 16 deaths and 95 injuries,” he said.

In one major incident, undercover Israeli forces raided a hospital in Jenin and killed three people inside the medical centre.

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