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China, Pakistan agree on third parties participation in CPEC: Zhao Lijian

Both sides welcomed interested third parties to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened by CPEC.

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China, Pakistan agree on third parties participation in CPEC: Zhao Lijian
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Beijing: China has reiterated its commitment to work with Pakistan to push forward all China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in a safe, smooth, and high-quality manner, to better benefit the two countries and their people.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, during his regular briefing in Beijing said China is ready to follow through on the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries in this regard.

He said China and Pakistan have agreed on participation of third parties in CPEC and exchanges among media and think tanks, including promoting cooperation schemes involving third parties in line with the existing consensus and extending CPEC projects to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, in a tweet, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haque said the third meeting of CPEC Joint Working Group on International Cooperation placed emphasis on high-quality development of CPEC.

He said as an open and inclusive platform, both sides welcomed interested third parties to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened by CPEC.

Regional

Relief operations for flood affectees in full swing by PAF in South Punjab Region

Basic food items and commodities were distributed amongst the needy families

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Relief operations for flood affectees in full swing by PAF in South Punjab Region

Rawalpindi: Relief operations for the flood affectees are in full swing by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in South Punjab Region.

According to a press release, food and medical facilities are being provided round the clock to the affected families by the relief teams of PAF.

12155 pounds of basic food items and commodities were distributed amongst the needy families. Moreover, 939 patients were also attended by the paramedical team of Pakistan Air Force.

The recent floods have caused devastation in the low-lying areas of South Punjab Region, badly damaging the villages and infrastructure.

Despite inclement weather conditions throughout the country, especially in flood stricken areas, PAF personnel are working hard to provide humanitarian assistance to flood affectees.

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Technology

NASA's new rocket on launchpad for trip to Moon

The SLS rocket is 98 meters (322 feet) tall

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NASA's new rocket on launchpad for trip to Moon

Washington: NASA's giant new SLS rocket arrived at its launchpad Wednesday in Cape Canaveral ahead of a planned flight to the Moon in less than two weeks.

It will be the maiden voyage of the Artemis program -- America's quest to return humans to the Moon for the first time since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

The Artemis 1 mission, an uncrewed test flight, will feature the first blastoff of the Space Launch System rocket, which will be the most powerful in the world.

It will propel the Orion crew capsule into orbit around the Moon, and the spacecraft will remain in space for 42 days before returning to Earth.

Starting in 2024, astronauts will travel aboard Orion for the same trip, and the following year, at the earliest, Americans will once again set foot on the Moon.

The SLS rocket, in development for more than a decade, is 98 meters (322 feet) tall.

On Wednesday it stood at historic launch complex 39B, after a 10-hour overnight crawl from the assembly building.

"To all of us that gaze up at the Moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface, folks, we're here. We are going back," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said earlier this month.

The Orion capsule will fly to the Moon and 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) beyond it -- further than any previous crewed spacecraft.

On the way back through Earth's atmosphere, traveling at 40,000 km per hour (25,000 mph), Orion's thermal shield will have to withstand a temperature that is half that of the surface of the sun.

Liftoff for the Artemis 1 mission is scheduled for August 29 at 8:33 am (1233 GMT). If it has to be postponed due to bad weather, the backup dates are September 2 and 5.

After the 42-day trip, the capsule is supposed to splash down in the Pacific and be picked up by a US Navy vessel.

In 2024, an Artemis 2 mission is scheduled to take astronauts up to orbit the Moon but without landing on it. That honor is reserved for Artemis 3, a mission scheduled for 2025 at the earliest.

The last time people walked on the Moon was with the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

While the Apollo program featured only white male astronauts, NASA says the Artemis missions will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

The hope is to use the Moon as a staging ground to develop technologies for sending humans to Mars.

SOURCE: AFP

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World

At least 26 killed, dozens injured in northern Algeria forest fires 

Deaths include 24 people in El Tarf and two in Setif, with hundreds forced to leave their homes

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At least 26 killed, dozens injured in northern Algeria forest fires 

El Tarf: At least 26 people died and dozens of others were injured in forest fires that ravaged 14 districts of northern Algeria on Wednesday, the interior minister said. 

Kamel Beldjoud told state television that 24 people lost their lives in fires in El Tarf, near the border with Tunisia, in addition to two others who died earlier in Setif.

The civil protection agency in Setif had said that two women, "a 58-year-old mother and her 31-year-old daughter", were killed in the town.

In Souk Ahras, farther to the east near Algeria's border with Tunisia, people were seen fleeing their homes as fires spread before firefighting helicopters were deployed.

An earlier toll said four people in Souk Ahras suffered burns and 41 others had breathing difficulties, the authorities said. Media reports said 350 residents had been evacuated.

No updated toll was given on the number of people injured in the fires in other areas.

The gendarmerie has closed several roads as a result of the fires.

"Thirty-nine fires are underway in 14 wilayas (administrative councils)," the civil protection agency said, noting that El Tarf was the worst hit, with 16 fires in progress.

Helicopters used bambi buckets to drop water on fires in three wilayas, including Souk Ahras.

Since the start of August, 106 fires have broken out in Algeria, destroying more than 2,500 hectares of woodland.

Beldjoud said some of the fires were started by people.

Wednesday's toll brings the total number of people killed in wildfires this summer up to 30.

Algeria is Africa's largest country but it only has 4.1 million hectares (10.1 million acres) of the forest.

Each year the north of the country is affected by forest fires, a problem that has worsened due to climate change.

Last year, at least 90 people died in forest fires that ravaged northern Algeria, destroying more than 100,000 hectares of woodland.

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