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Israel Launches Extensive Strikes In Lebanon In Retaliation Of Israeli Soldier Killed

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At least four people were reportedly killed in Israeli extensive air strikes in Lebanon after Hezbollah rocket fire killed a soldier in Israel.

A woman and two children were killed in the southern Lebanese town of Souaneh, state media and security sources said.

A man who Hezbollah identified as one of its fighters was killed in Aadchit.

Israel’s military said it hit Hezbollah infrastructure in response to a deadly rocket attack on its base in the northern Israeli town of Safed.

The Israeli Defence Force confirmed the attacks on their official X.com platform monitored by SOJ WORLDWIDE, it claimed,

“In response to ongoing rocket fire toward northern Israel, IDF fighter jets struck a series of Hezbollah terrorist targets.

The targets included military compounds, operational control rooms, and terrorist infrastructure. Several targets belonged to Hezbollah’s elite by Radwan Forces.” – IDF said.

Hezbollah fighters have exchanged fire with Israeli forces almost every day along the border since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip in October.

The clashes have raised fears of a wider regional conflict.

On Wednesday morning, sirens sounded across Northern Israel as barrages of rockets were fired towards the border communities of Netua and Manara, and the town of Safed, which is 14 km (9 miles) south of the frontier.

One Israeli soldier was killed and seven others were wounded after their base in Safed was hit by rockets, Israeli media and emergency services said. The soldier who died was later identified as Staff-Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo.

A video showed that another rocket landed near the gate of Safed’s hospital.

Hezbollah later claimed it had attacked an “enemy position” in Safed “in support of the people and resistance of Gaza which is being subjected to brutal Zionist aggression with a US green light”.

In the afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that fighter jets had “struck a series of Hezbollah terror targets” in Souaneh, Aadchit, Jabal al-Braij, Kfar Houneh and Kfar Dunin in response to the rocket fire.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said it would only cease fire “when the aggression stops and there is a ceasefire in Gaza”

“Among the targets struck were military compounds, operational control rooms, and terror infrastructure,” it said, adding that several targets belonged to Hezbollah’s elite Radwan Force, whose well-trained members are considered the group’s special forces.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA) said a strike on a home in Souaneh killed a Syrian woman, Rawaa al-Mohammed, and her two sons, Hassan Mohsen, 13, and Amir Mohsen, two.

Video from the town showed residents inspecting the rubble of at least one destroyed building and the burned-out wreckage of a car.

NNA also reported that one man was killed and 10 other people were injured in Aadchit. It named the dead man as Hassan Ali Najm, a Hezbollah fighter whose death the group confirmed in a statement on Telegram.

“As we have made clear time and time again, Israel is not interested in a war on two fronts. But if provoked, we will respond forcefully,” Israeli government spokesperson Ilana Stein told Reuters news agency.

“The current reality, where tens of thousands of Israelis are displaced [in the north] and cannot return to their homes, is unbearable. They must be able to return home and live in peace and security.”

The IDF’s chief of staff, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, meanwhile told the heads of northern municipalities: “There are great achievements striking Hezbollah in Lebanon, but we continue to operate – this is not the time to stop.

“We are intensifying the strikes all the time, and Hezbollah are paying an increasingly heavy price.”

On Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israeli leaders in a speech that launching a war against the group would result in a “million evacuees” from northern Israel.

“To those who threaten us with a widening of the war: if you widen, we will too,” he said, adding that “those who think the resistance might be afraid are very mistaken”.

He also vowed that Hezbollah would only cease fire “when the aggression stops and there is a ceasefire in Gaza”.

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Saudi Arabia threatens pilgrims with severe penalties over visa violations

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The Saudi Arabian authorities have warned all pilgrims participating in this year’s Hajj against using invalid Hajj visa to enter the country.

In the warning issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Saudi Arabian Kingdom threatened to invoke severe penalties against any pilgrim or group found to have entered the country illegally.

The ministry of Interior stipulated a penalty of deportation and fine of 10,000 SR on anyone caught performing Hajj without the authorized Hajj permit.

The warning was contained in a letter received by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Abuja, disclosing the stand of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars on the matter.

The Council, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the NAHCON’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, issued a Fatwa (a legal ruling given by recognized religious authority) to the Muslim Ummah emphasizing the prohibition of performing Hajj without a permit.

“The Council in its Fatwa, urged pilgrims to adhere to rules and regulations, aimed at enabling Muslims to perform the Hajj in safety and tranquility,” the letter to the commission reads in part.

Usara, however, recalled that NAHCON had issued several warnings in the past against Nigerians falling into the bait of scammers making so many job offers for the pilgrimage season.

Similarly, the Saudi Ministry of Interior similarly advised persons against “becoming victims of the several fictitious companies and fake accounts on social media who claim to be agents/ authorities to facilitate Hajj using Umrah, tourism, work, family visit and other types of Visa at attractive rates.”

Assistant Director in charge of Tour Operators Unit, Ahmad Shira, has since shared contents of the message to all licensed Hajj and Umrah operators from the public and private sectors.

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World’s longest serving flight attendant who chose where she flew dies at 88 before retiring

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The world’s longest serving flight attendant, who served mid-flight lobster to the Kennedys and never retired, has died aged 88 after seven decades of service.

Bette Nash started her career in the air in 1957 when she was just 21 years old. She died in hospice care last week after a brief battle with breast cancer.

Her employer of 67 years, American Airlines, posted a touching tribute to her on X (formerly Twitter) mourning her death.

“We mourn the passing of Bette Nash who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air….Bette inspired generations of flight attendants. Fly high Bette,” the airline’s post read.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union which represents airline staff in the United States, shared another tribute to her on Facebook. “Bette’s remarkable career spanned over six decades during which she touched countless lives with her warmth, dedication and unparalleled service,” its tribute read.

“Her passion for flying and her commitment to her passengers were truly inspiring. Bette’s legacy will forever be remembered in the aviation community and by all who had the privilege of knowing her.”

As America’s most senior flight attendant Betty was able to fly any route she desired – and the one she liked most was between Washington DC and Boston so she could get back to her home in Virginia to look after her son, who has Down Syndrome.

Bette held the Guinness World Record for the longest ever serving flight attendant which she was awarded in 2022. In 2017 she celebrated her 60th anniversary with the airline and reflected fondly on serving the Kennedy’s lobster and carved meats on platters during their flight to Boston.

“My job means the world to me,” she said at the time. “It’s truly been a joy.”

The Daily Mail reported at the time that she had no intentions of retiring, and was still strong enough to drag a sick or injured passenger out of their seat and into the aisle to start CPR. Bette told ABC affiliate WJLA the first few years of her career were not exactly easy.

“You had to be a certain height, you had to be a certain weight. It used to be horrible. You put on a few pounds and if you stayed that way they would take you off the payroll.”

In addition to the strict body restrictions, Bette said the airline used to check up on her at her home to ensure she wasn’t living with a man, as it was a requirement of the job to be single.

She began her lifelong career when tickets cost just $12 (£9) and the flight schedules were written on chalkboards every morning and afternoon.

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Over 2,000 people feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

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More than 2,000 people are feared buried in a Papua New Guinea landslide that destroyed a remote highland village, the government said yesterday , as it pleaded for international help in the rescue effort.

The once-bustling hillside community in Enga province was almost wiped out when a chunk of Mount Mungalo collapsed in the early hours of Friday morning, smothering scores of homes and the people sleeping inside them.

“The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” Papua New Guinea’s national disaster centre said in a letter to the United Nations obtained by AFP.

The main highway to the large Porgera gold mine was “completely blocked”, it told the UN resident coordinator’s office in the capital Port Moresby.

The landslip was continuing to “shift slowly, posing ongoing danger to both the rescue teams and survivors alike”, the disaster centre said.

The scale of the catastrophe required “immediate and collaborative actions from all players”, it added, including the army, and national and provincial responders.“The centre also called on the United Nations to inform Papua New Guinea’s development partners “and other international friends” of the crisis.“

 

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