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China’s Henan province has ordered its population of nearly 100 million people to get a COVID test every two days, an unprecedented move as the country battles a surge in omicron cases.
“Henan residents and workers there are obligated to provide DNA samples at least once every 48 hours,” AFP quoted a statement on the provincial administration’s website.
The authorities said that the tests would begin in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, before the end of May, to help “quickly identify potential risks”.
The statement added that residents who do not comply with these instructions will face problems in scanning the codes necessary to enter public places or use transportation.
Other regional capitals, such as Shijiazhuang in northern Hebei Province, have also taken similar measures, with Shijiazhuang saying it will start weekly COVID tests for its 11 million residents on Monday, while analysts have warned that frequent mass testing comes at a high cost to an already faltering economy.
Analysts say that if similar measures were extended to all of China, they could cost between 0.9 per cent and 2.3 per cent of China’s GDP.
It is reported that the main business center in Shanghai was closed almost completely for two months, disrupting supply chains, while the Chinese capital, Beijing, banned eating out and ordered millions to work from home.
Retail sales and factory production fell to their lowest levels in nearly two years last month, reflecting the fallout from the policy to limit the spread of the Corona virus in China.


Netanyahu: I will not sit with the anti-Jewish Mansour Abbas

Today, Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Israeli opposition, announced his opposition to sitting with Mansour Abbas, head of the United Arab List, claiming that he is anti-Jewish.
And the Hebrew channel “The 12”, this evening, Sunday, quoted Netanyahu as saying that he was shocked by the statements of David Amsalem, a member of his Likud party, in which he said that if the party wins 61 seats to form a government, Netanyahu will agree to the unified list joining the ruling coalition under Netanyahu’s leadership.
“The Ra’im [United Arab List] party is anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and supports terrorism,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu was not satisfied with that, but stressed that Mansour Abbas, the leader of the United Arab List, represented the “Muslim Brotherhood” group that seeks to destroy Israel, he said, adding that the Likud party under his leadership would never agree to include Ra’em in the coalition.
Netanyahu’s statements came against the backdrop of what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced last Monday, that a bill to dissolve the Knesset would be proposed and voted on next week, in a step that is heading the country towards a fifth election in 3 and a half years.
Israeli reports indicated that the date set for holding these elections is next October 25.
During this period, Lapid will assume the position of prime minister in accordance with the rotation agreement, while Bennett will become the alternate prime minister and responsible for the Iranian file in that transitional government.

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Seventeen people found dead in S.African nightclub

At least 17 young people were found dead at a nightclub in a township in South Africa’s southern city of East London on Sunday, police said.

“We got a report about 17 (people) that died in a local tavern in Scenery Park which is based in East London,” a provincial police chief brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana told AFP.

“We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident,” he added.

He said the victims were aged between 18 and 20 years.

Unverified pictures shared on social media showed bodies with no visible signs of injuries, strewn on the floor of the club.

Local television showed police officers trying to calm down a crowd of people gathered outside the club in the city, which lies on the Indian Ocean coast, nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Johannesburg.

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Explosions shake Kyiv’s center, fire at residential building – officials

Four explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early Sunday, with AFP journalists reporting a residential complex near the center of the city had been hit, causing a fire and cloud of grey smoke.

The blasts occurred around 6:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), half an hour after air raid sirens sounded in the capital, which has not not come under Russian bombardment for nearly three weeks.

There was no immediate information on casualties.

An AFP colleague living in the same residential complex heard a loud buzz preceding the explosions.

“Several explosions in the Shevchenkivsky district,” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

“Ambulances and rescuers are on site. In two buildings, the rescue and evacuation of residents is underway,” he added.

Thick smoke was seen in the affected residential area, which was cordoned off by police.

At the end of April, a Ukrainian journalist from Radio Liberty was killed in her apartment by a Russian strike on Kyiv during a visit by UN chief Antonio Guterres.

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