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Monday,30-January-2023
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Australia scraps requirement to declare Covid vax status for int’l arrivals

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The Australian government has announced an end to requirements for international travellers to declare Covid-19 vaccination status.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Health Minister Mark Butler on Sunday announced that, from Wednesday, travellers arriving in Australia will no longer have to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) to declare vaccination status, reports Xinhua news agency.

It marks an end to all Australia’s international travel restrictions more than two years after they were first introduced in March 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“As more and more of us travel internationally and we get more confident in managing our risk of COVID, our airports are getting busier,” O’Neil said in a statement.

“Removing these requirements will not only reduce delays in our airports but will encourage more visitors and skilled workers to choose Australia as a destination.”

All people flying to Australia will still be required to wear face masks for the duration of the flight.

The announcement came when Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise in Australia.

On Monday morning, Australia reported more than 25,000 new Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths, 24 in Victoria and one in New South Wales.

Butler said “it is pretty clear” that the cases are going to rise in the next couple of months.

“It is putting pressure on hospitals with more than 3,000 people in hospital today with Covid. We are still seeing around 300 or more deaths every week with Covid,” Butler told reporter on Sunday.

“We are not through this virus yet so that’s why I continue to reinforce to people to get their third dose of the vaccine.”

International News

OIC: General Secretariat strongly condemns!!

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The OIC General Secretariat strongly condemns the treacherous attack against the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 27 January 2023, killing the Embassy’s head of security service and injuring two security guards.

The General Secretariat calls for bringing the perpetrators of the heinous attack to justice and underlines the necessity of ensuring the security and safety of diplomatic missions.

The OIC Secretary General, Mr. Hissein Ibrahim Taha, while expressing his solidarity with the Government and people of Azerbaijan, offered his condolences to the family of the deceased and wished speedy recovery to the injured.

(Source: OIC OFFICIAL)

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Crime

Israeli fighter jets strike Gaza in response to rockets firing

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Israeli fighter jets on Friday carried out a series of airstrikes on facilities belonging to militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave, witnesses said.

Israeli army drones and fighter jets were heard buzzing in the air, and several explosions were heard in central Gaza Strip, the witnesses told Xinhua news agency.

They added that more than 14 missiles were fired at a military post that belonged to Gaza militant groups.

Palestinian medical sources said that no injuries were reported during the strikes that mainly targeted posts and facilities that belong to the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The airstrikes were in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel, said a spokesman from the Jewish state’s army.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, which was a response to the killing of nine Palestinians during an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, deemed to be the most deadly in nearly two decades.

During the Israeli airstrikes on Friday, militants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave also fired at least five rockets at southern Israeli communities close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and anti-craft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets by Hamas militants, sources close to Hamas security told Xinhua.

Media outlets in Gaza quoted an Egyptian source as saying that Egyptian intelligence is in intensive contact with the Palestinian factions to prevent an escalation in Gaza.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2022, and at least 29 have been killed in January this year, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

The tensions have been further aggravated since Israel’s most right-wing government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office last month.

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International News

Armed attack targets Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran

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Armed attack targets Azerbaijan's embassy in Iran

A guard has been killed in an armed attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy compound in Iran, the nation’s foreign ministry has said.

Two people were also wounded in Friday’s attack.

“The attacker destroyed the guard post with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon and killed the head of the security service. Two security guards of the embassy were also injured while preventing the attack,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said.

The ministry said it would evacuate its embassy staff in Tehran.

The Iranian capital police chief, General Rahimi, said the attacker entered the embassy with his two children.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the attacker’s motive was personal and family problems,” Iran’s local Mehr News Agency reported.

Act of terrorism’

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that an attack on his country’s embassy in Iran was “an act of terrorism” and demanded a swift investigation and punishment of the “terrorist”.

“I fiercely condemn the terrorist attack perpetrated against our Embassy in Tehran today,” Aliyev said on Twitter.

“We demand that this terrorist act be swiftly investigated and the terrorists punished,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has condemned the “treacherous attack” in a tweet.

“Azerbaijan is never alone,” Cavusoglu added.

Separately Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding the deadly attack, saying that Türkiye which has been subjected to similar attacks in the past, deeply shares the pain of the Azerbaijani people.

“It is very important that those responsible for this heinous attack should be immediately apprehended and brought to justice,” the ministry said.

Suspect detained

Nasser Kanani, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran also condemned the attack and said the suspect was detained.

“Police and security forces immediately intervened and arrested the assailant, who is currently under investigation,” the spokesman said.

The foreign ministry also noted that the situation is under investigation with dimensions of action and the motive of the assailant.

Azerbaijan borders Iran to its northwest. There have been tensions between the two countries as Azerbaijan and Armenia have fought over the Karabakh region.

Iran in October launched a military exercise near the Azerbaijan border, flexing its martial might amid the nationwide protests rocking the Islamic Republic. 

Azerbaijan also maintains close ties to Israel, which Tehran views as one of its top regional enemies.

(Source: TRT WORLD)

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