06/17/2024, 11.26
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Accident off Singapore: 400 tons of oil in the sea

Today's news: Hourly breaks in the Gaza bombing announced by the Israeli army have been denied by Netanyahu; Chinese Premier Li Qiang on a visit to Australia; In West Bengal a collision between two trains claimed many lives; Thailand towards legalisation of same-sex marriages; Seoul wants to issue a 'K culture' training visa.


Authorities in Singapore are trying to clean up a major oil spill that has blackened the southern coast of the city-state, just days after a shipping accident. Last Friday, a Dutch-flagged vessel crashed into a Singapore coal ship off the nation's coast. After the tank was punctured, at least half of the contained oil, about 400 tonnes, leaked out. Visitors to some beach clubs on the popular island of Sentosa have reported that the water is still dark and oily.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes plans announced by the Israeli army to take daily tactical breaks from attacks along one of the main access roads to the Gaza Strip to facilitate the delivery of aid to the Palestinian enclave. The daily truces would last from 5am to 4pm in the area from the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing to the Salah al-Din Road, and then northwards. This is yet another rift between the head of government and the military leadership over the war in Gaza.


Several people are feared dead and others injured after at least two rear compartments of the Kanchanjunga Express bound for Sealdah derailed around 8.45am today after it collided with a goods train near New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a post on X, said: 'I am shocked to learn just now of a tragic train accident in the Phansidewa area of Darjeeling district.


The Marriage Equality Bill - which will allow same-sex marriages - is expected to pass final reading in Thailand's upper house of parliament tomorrow. It will then be sent to the King for approval and come into force 120 days after publication in the Royal Gazette. Thailand would become the third Asian country, after Taiwan and Nepal, to legalise such unions. The nation has long been a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travellers.


Beijing will include Australia in the list of visa-free countries, Premier Li Qiang said on an official visit to Australia. During talks at Parliament House, the two leaders welcomed the further increase in people-to-people exchanges. They also praised the establishment of new agreements to facilitate relations, including mutual access to multi-entry visas of up to three to five years for business, tourism and family reasons.


Korea will begin issuing a 'K culture' training visa for foreigners on a trial basis this year and will consider introducing a new work visa, with the aim of attracting more tourists from abroad. According to the plan, the new visa will be available for those who want to visit the country to participate in training programmes on K-pop, choreography and other cultural fields.


Russian opponents abroad Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Garri Kasparov issued an appeal to all pro-Western Russians for 'the creation of a united, harmonious and effective community', signing the Berlin Declaration for a 'free, just and federative Russia', for which a passport with the 'citizenship of Free Russia' will be granted and with it it will be possible to travel to any country in the world that supports 'resistance to Putinism'.


The leader of the Armenian opposition, Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, called for a reorganisation of the street demonstrations, removing the tents set up on the streets and reconvening on the evening of 17 June on the Bagramyan prospekt in Yerevan, explaining that "the movement must become broader and more determined to achieve victory and regime change".

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