Fri, 18 Jun 2021

ISTANBUL -- At least 12 people were killed and 438 others were wounded at a strong earthquake that hit Turkey's western province of Izmir on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

At a televised speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said search and rescue operations are continuing in the ruins of 17 buildings. (Turkey-Earthquake)

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BAGHDAD -- The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said Friday that it supports the Iraqi government plan to return displaced people to their homes, and is committed to coordinating with the Iraqi government on humanitarian aid.

A statement by UNAMI said that the assistance mission supports the safe, dignified, voluntary, and sustainable return of the displaced. It maintains its mandate to coordinate with the Iraqi government on humanitarian assistance issues and works to ensure that those who have left the camps and returned to their homes have the necessary support on their way and upon arrival. (UN-Iraq-Refugees)

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ISTANBUL -- Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz died Friday at a hospital in Istanbul at the age of 73 after suffering from lung cancer.

"Yilmaz lost the struggle he has been fighting for about two years against lung cancer and subsequent medical conditions," Ozgur Samilgil, chief of medicine at Florence Nightingale Hospital, said in a written statement. (Turkey-Mesut Yilmaz)

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JERUSALEM -- Israel's coronavirus cabinet decided that the second stage of the exit plan from the ongoing full lockdown will begin Sunday, Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Friday.

The new phase will further scale back the lockdown measures the Israeli government imposed last month to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Israel-Lockdown-Exit Plan)

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