Sat, 21 May 2022

SYDNEY -- Authorities of Australia's state of New South Wales (NSW) warned on Monday that the number of COVID-19 deaths is "likely to be high" over the coming days due to the extent of community transmission.

The state health department reported 29,504 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in the 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. Sunday. Hospitalization numbers continue to rise, with 2,776 COVID-19 patients in hospital including 203 in ICU. (Australia-COVID-19)

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TOKYO -- The port city of Kobe in the western Japanese prefecture of Hyogo on Monday marked the 27th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake striking the region and claiming the lives of 6,434 people.

A moment of silence was observed at 5:46 a.m. local time on Monday morning, the time the 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the region in 1995. (Japan-Great Quake-Anniversary)

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SEOUL -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired two short-range projectiles into eastern waters, the fourth launch in less than two weeks, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Monday.

The JCS said in a statement that the South Korean military detected two projectiles, presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles which were launched northeastward to the Eastern coast from the DPRK's Sunan airfield in Pyongyang at about 8:50 a.m. and 8:54 a.m. local time each. (South Korea-DPRK-Projectiles)

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WELLINGTON -- A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion aircraft left Base Auckland on Monday morning for tsunami-hit Tonga to assist in an initial impact assessment of the area and low-lying islands.

"We are working hard to see how we can assist our Pacific neighbors after the volcanic eruption near Tonga," said a statement of the New Zealand Defense Force. (New Zealand-Tonga-Volcano)

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