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Taiwan Says 25 Chinese Planes, 3 Ships Sent Toward Island

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Taiwanese capital TAIPEI — China dispatched 25 warplanes and three warships to Taiwan on Wednesday morning, according to the island’s Defense Ministry, as tensions between Beijing and Taipei’s main backer, Washington, remain high.

According to the ministry, 19 planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone while the ships continued operating in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s response was to scramble fighters, dispatch ships, and activate coastal missile defense systems to “closely monitor and respond.”

China conducts such incursions on a near-daily basis as part of “grey zone” tactics aimed at intimidating Taiwan and wearing down its equipment, exhausting its personnel, and degrading public morale. These include cyberwarfare, disinformation campaigns, and an ongoing campaign to deprive Taiwan of diplomatic allies.

Taiwan has responded by upgrading its F-16 fighter jet fleet and ordering 66 more from the United States, purchasing a variety of other weaponry and increasing the mandatory term of military service for all males from four months to one year.

Relations between Beijing and Washington, Taiwan’s main ally and supplier of defensive weapons, have deteriorated due to China’s actions toward the island, trade, technology, and the South China Sea.

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Taiwan has responded by upgrading its F-16 fighter jet fleet

Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a trip to Beijing after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the US east coast, sparking outrage in China.

China claims Taiwan as its territory, capable of being seized by force if necessary, and has rapidly expanded its military in preparation for such a challenge.

Top US officers have called for increased preparations in memos and testimony, saying China sees a shrinking window for action and may move on Taiwan within a few years.

China claims it prefers peaceful unification of the two sides, but the Taiwanese public overwhelmingly supports the island’s current de facto independence.

By recent standards, Wednesday’s incursions were minor. During China’s National Day weekend in 2021, Beijing dispatched 149 military aircraft in strike group formations southwest of Taiwan. In response to then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, China staged war games surrounding the island, simulating a blockade, and fired missiles over it into the Pacific Ocean.

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan has been pushing for the country’s defense industry to be brought back to life. She wants Taiwan to make conventionally powered submarines and buy new equipment from the US.

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SOURCE – (AP)

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Pregnant Hailey Bieber Shows Off Her Baby Bump In Glam Gothic Attire — See Her Look!

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Hailey Bieber | People Image

Hailey Bieber is channeling her darker side.

On Saturday, June 22, the 27-year-old model, presently pregnant with her first child, published an Instagram Story of herself wearing a black lace gown.

Bieber posed in a black lace bodysuit, emphasizing her baby bump. She paired the outfit with black sunglasses and a small black pocketbook and wore her hair in a sloppy bun.

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Hailey Bieber | People Image

Pregnant Hailey Bieber Shows Off Her Baby Bump In Glam Gothic Attire

When spotted on the streets of New York City, the Rhode founder was wearing a black leather jacket over his gothic outfit.

Hailey and Justin Bieber announced their first pregnancy in May with a romantic Instagram post in which Hailey held a bouquet and showed off her expanding baby bump.

Justin’s mother, Pattie Mallette, expressed excitement in an Instagram Reel following their news.

“I’ve been waiting for this day. And now that they’ve announced it, I can finally celebrate with you all, and oh my word, I’m going to be a grandmother,” she added in the video.

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Hailey Bieber | People Image

Pregnant Hailey Bieber Shows Off Her Baby Bump In Glam Gothic Attire

Shortly after, Hailey’s uncle, Billy Baldwin, spoke exclusively with PEOPLE about his growing family. “I really feel like there’s no higher calling than that responsibility,” he said of Hailey and Justin, 30, who are becoming parents.

The couple married in a small courtroom ceremony in September 2018 before exchanging vows in a grander ceremony in South Carolina the following year.

Throughout Hailey’s pregnancy, she has boldly shown her baby bump.

Earlier this month, the pregnant woman took a mirror selfie dressed in baggy black slacks and a slightly cropped striped blouse. She accessorized the look with a black leather shoulder bag, matching sunglasses, and one of Rhode’s viral phone cases.

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Hailey Bieber | Teen Vogue Image

Pregnant Hailey Bieber Shows Off Her Baby Bump In Glam Gothic Attire

Before that, she published photographs from her latest campaign with Yves Saint Laurent, revealing that she had been carrying her child for months when she photographed for the brand.

“Shot this 4 months preggy with a little bean in my belly,” she posted on Instagram Stories, alongside a photo of the ad.

SOURCE – (People )

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Canada Day Parade Cancelled in Montreal Due to Bureaucracy and Politics

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Canada Day Parade Cancelled in Montreal

The organizer of Montreal’s Canada Day parade has cancelled this year’s event, blaming bureaucratic red tape and politics. Nick Cowen the main Organizer of the Montreal Canada Day Parade issued a press release stating that he has had increasing difficulty in obtaining permissions and funds, as well as approval from government officials.

“Despite honoring all conditions set forth, Cowen said in his press release that he had been met with rules that change at the last minute and requests that make putting on the parade virtually impossible, An event that is meant to inspire unity has been thwarted because of division.”

Cowen claimed that in 2023, he was compelled to fill out the same documentation many times and completely restructure the event to satisfy Montreal city regulators. He also stated that he was directed to find 148 volunteers at the last minute, in order to ensure that at least one person stood by the procession cars’ tires.

“Imagine you are in traffic and need four people, one at each tire, to make sure no one runs under the wheel of a normal car,” he stated in an email.

Government Bureaucracy

He added that the federal government “requested that parts of the parade be removed entirely,” including the cake to be presented at the end of the march. “The parade’s budget was also reduced to 2013 levels in another devastating blow to this cherished event,” the author said.

The city of Montreal and the federal heritage agency did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The parade has taken place since the late 1970s, however it was canceled between 2020 and 2022 due of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The news comes as organizers in some communities have rethought their celebrations in recent years due to rising security and insurance costs, as well as funding issues.

Cowen told The Canadian Press that, while COVID-19 contributed to the event’s cancellation, he was also trying to meet mounting costs as federal financing failed to keep up with inflation.

Other Canada Day celebrations will take place in Montreal on July 1, including the customary Old Port celebration with games, face painting, cupcakes, and music.

Canada Day in Montreal

In Montreal, Canada Day is a vibrant celebration that oozes enthusiasm and pride throughout the city. People dress in their finest patriotic garb, and the streets are filled with red and white.

Typically, the day begins with a massive parade through the city center, complete with colorful floats, marching bands, and cultural performers. Local parks are wonderful picnic spots since they host family-friendly activities such as face painting, games, and live music.

Streetside food trucks bordering the avenues serve a variety of Canadian foods, including poutine and maple sugar. Fireworks over the Old Port brighten the sky as the sun sets, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

Concerts and other activities continue throughout the evening, emphasizing local talent and fostering a sense of community. It’s a day of celebration, togetherness, and deep appreciation for Canada’s rich history.

Both locals and foreigners should attend this event because of Montreal’s unique fusion of French and English cultures, which adds a unique flavor to the celebrations.

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NATO Secretary-General Urges Trudeau to Honour Canada’s Spending Target

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Canada
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: AP Image

Canada needs to meet NATO’s minimum defence spending target, and present a plan on how it will reach it as a way to show authoritarian regimes that Western allies are aligned, NATO alliance’s secretary general has said.

Numbers NATO released this week show Canada is expected to spend 1.37 per cent of its gross domestic product on defence this year, well below the two per cent target.

“Canada’s standing in NATO is strong, but at the same time of course we expect all allies to make good on the promise of investing two per cent,” Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, said during an event hosted by the NATO Association of Canada in Ottawa.

Ahead of Stoltenberg’s remarks, Defence Minister Bill Blair promised the goal will eventually be reached, as Russia’s war in Ukraine raises a threat of expanded conflict in Europe.

Last year, members agreed that two per cent should be a minimum, a reflection of worries over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Stoltenberg acknowledged it’s tough for politicians to prioritize defence over social services, but said a precondition of success in any Western country is preserving peace and investing in security.

Canada faces the same challenges as all the allied countries that have budgets, he said.

“They’re concerned about the fiscal balance. They want to spend money on health, education and on the other things,” he said.

But at the end of the day, if those countries aren’t able to prevent war, their efforts on health, education and climate change “will fail” he said.

NATO Association of Canada

His remarks on spending received enthusiastic applause from the NATO Association of Canada, including from former defence minister Anita Anand, who snuck in the back to listen to his remarks.

A handful of protesters gathered outside a building in the parliamentary precinct where Stoltenberg spoke.

On the sidewalk in front of the building, “Canada lagging behind our NATO allies” was written in chalk, along with “Trudeau and Blair laughing stocks of the world” and “Canadians are not laughing.”

Stoltenberg’s visit came the same day Russia and North Korea signed an agreement that pledges mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

Stoltenberg expressed concern that Russia could be providing support to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and over China “propping up Russia’s war economy” by providing electronics that are being used in weapons and combat against Ukraine.

“So the answer is that when they are more and more aligned, all the authoritarian regimes like North Korea, China, Iran and Russia, then it’s even more important that we are aligned as countries believing in freedom and democracy,” he said.

Defence Spending

Defence spending across European allies and Canada was up nearly 18 per cent this year alone, Stoltenberg said during a speech at the White House on Monday — the biggest increase in decades.

Blair has said Canada’s defence spending will climb to at least 1.75 per cent of its GDP by 2029.

Additional spending on a new submarine fleet and integrated air defence and missile systems will probably push the figure past the two per cent mark, Blair said.

“Let me assure you that we’ve been doing a great deal of work within our Defence Department, with the government of Canada, but also with our NATO allies,” Blair said.

Allies were “very encouraged” by a defence policy update Canada released earlier this year, he said.

Defence spending will be among a number of topics Stoltenberg said he would raise with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who he had dinner with on Wednesday.

Defence spending delayed

The secretary general embraced Trudeau and Ottawa warmly, calling Canada like “home” and the prime minister “friend.” Stoltenberg also wants Canada to scale up its contribution in the North and maritime operations.

Both Blair and Anand, now treasury board president, acknowledged this week that defence spending is delayed because of a shortage of procurement workers. “We have the ability to accelerate spending. It does require an investment in people to get the job done,” Blair said.

The Liberal government has set aside $1.8 billion over 20 years to increase the number of workers who can purchase new equipment, recruit, train new soldiers and upgrade infrastructure.

NATO leaders are set to meet in Washington, D.C., next month for an annual summit and mark the alliance’s 75th anniversary.

Increasing funding for Ukraine will be an agenda priority, after Stoltenberg came forward with a proposal for all NATO allies to contribute 40 billion euros a year, Blair said.

At the White House on Monday, Stoltenberg said his expectation for next month’s meeting is to have allies agree “to step up financial and military support to Ukraine,” and reduce the burden on the U.S.

Source: The Canadian Press

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