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Rocket hits near US embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone
Baghdad [Iraq]: A rocket hit near the US embassy in Baghdad on early Tuesday morning and caused a large explosion, according to the military's statement cited by CGTN, China's state news agency.
The rocket was fired from an eastern district of Baghdad and hit an empty building inside the heavily fortified green zone in Baghdad, the statement said.
The green zone also houses other diplomatic compounds in Iraq. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and no casualties were reported.
Though the sprawling Green Zone complex and the surrounding area have been a frequent target for rocket strikes over the years - at least 27 so far in 2020 alone - such incidents have decreased in recent weeks, with the last one coming on May 6 near the Baghdad International Airport, located some 25 kilometers west of the Green Zone. If confirmed, Tuesday's strike would also come as the first since the appointment of Iraq's new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief.
After temporarily restoring funds, Donald Trump threatens to permanently cut off US funding of WHO
US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to permanently cut off US funding of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Donald Trump tweeted the letter he had sent to WHO Directer General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory!" he said.
Trump in the letter said that if the WHO “does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.”
Donald J. Trump
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory!
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
7:55 PM - May 18, 2020
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Donald Trump also attacked the WHO, saying the UN health body was a 'puppet' of China. Donald Trump claimed that more people would have died from coronavirus in the country had he not imposed a ban on travel from China, which was 'opposed' by the health agency.
"They (WHO) are a puppet of China. They're China-centric, to put it nicer. But they're a puppet of China. I think they have done a very sad job. The United States pays them USD 450 million a year. China pays them USD 38 million a year," Trump told reporters at the White House. He also said that the World Health Organization was against the imposition of a ban on travel from China in late January.
Earlier, Donald Trump backed Australia-led calls for an independent inquiry into the WHO's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donald J. Trump
We are with them! https://twitter.com/sbsnews/status/1262114445536440320 …
India, Japan, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, Russia, and all 27 EU member states are backing Australia's push for a probe into the COVID-19 pandemic. https://bit.ly/2Zd6wJS
7:41 AM - May 18, 2020
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Re-tweeting a media report which mentioned several countries "backing Australia's push for a probe into the COVID-19 pandemic", the US President tweeted: "We are with them." World Health Organisation (WHO) has faced criticism globally over the handling of the pandemic.
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Qatar Airways to give free flight tickets to 1,00,000 frontline health workers
In a bid to thank all the frontline healthworkers fighting the battle against coronavirus, Qatar Airways has said that it will give away 100,000 free tickets to frontline healthcare professionals to say thank you for their exemplary work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the airline’s work at the frontline of global efforts to repatriate stranded passengers, it now seeks to recognise and reward the world’s frontline healthcare workers.
How to apply?
The giveaway will open at 00.01 AM on 12 May and close at 23:59 on 18 May (Doha time). Healthcare professionals can register for this exclusive offer at qatarairways.com/ThankYouHeroes by submitting a form to receive a unique promotion code, offered on a first come, first served basis.
Who are eligible?
Healthcare professionals from every country in the world will be eligible for tickets. To ensure the application process is fair and transparent, each country will receive a daily allocation of tickets, depending on its population size, staggered over a seven day period from 12 to 18 May. The daily allocation will be released at 00:01 AM Doha time throughout the campaign period.
Healthcare professionals that receive the promotion code can book up to two complimentary Economy Class return tickets on Qatar Airways operated flights – one for themselves and one for a companion – to anywhere on the airline’s global network. Tickets must be booked before 26 November, with travel valid until 10 December 2020. The tickets will be fully flexible, with an unlimited number of destination or date changes allowed without any fees. Fare and surcharges will be waived on tickets, airport taxes apply.*
Commenting on this, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We at Qatar Airways are incredibly grateful for the commitment and hard work of healthcare professionals around the world who looked after people in these times of uncertainty. Their heroic display of kindness, dedication, and professionalism has saved hundreds of thousands of lives around the world."
He added, “We have built a strong level of trust with passengers, governments, trade partners, and airports as a reliable partner during this crisis and we intend to continue delivering on this mission by acknowledging the incredible efforts of these heroes. Our crew and operation has never given up during these past three months, never abandoned hope or their mission to help people get home to their loved ones and we do not intend to do so now."
“United in dedication, we share our gratitude. Now it is our turn to give something back to those on the healthcare frontline. There are no words or gestures that are enough to repay these brave men and women but we hope that our small offer of a complimentary return flight on Qatar Airways will allow them to enjoy a well-deserved holiday, visit family and friends or explore a destination they have always dreamed of, as travel restrictions start to ease,” he adds.
Moreover, as a further gesture of appreciation, healthcare professionals will be offered additionally a voucher with 35% discount to redeem at Qatar Duty Free retail outlets at the airline’s state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, which will be valid for use up to 31 December 2020.