Iran's naval might
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has added a new warship and vessels equipped with missile launchers to its naval fleet. In a ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, the IRGC unveiled the Shahid Mahdavi warship. It is capable of carrying and operating different variants of helicopters, drones and high-speed destroyers. The indigenously-built ocean liner is also equipped with missile defense systems and radars. Meanwhile, 95 smaller vessels added to the IRGC fleet can launch missiles with a range of about 10 to 180 kilometers. The vessels have been upgraded from rocket launchers to destroyers. They have high maneuverability and can operate in all weather conditions. In the ceremony, IRGC chief, Major General Hossein Salami said that Iran’s enemy is present in the region with its full force. But he added that the more the enemy tries, it gains less and deviates from its intended goals.
Israeli forces have shot dead three more Palestinians during a pre-dawn raid on the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry says the killings took place near the flashpoint city of Jenin. The victims have been identified as three young Palestinians, aged 26, 25 and 22. Jenin and its surrounding areas have been repeatedly targeted by the regime’s forces in recent months. The Israeli attack on the West Bank has increased since the formation of the regime’s right-wing cabinet under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The new deaths bring to 77 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in the occupied territories so far this year. Tel Aviv has been intensifying its atrocities against Palestinians with impunity.
France pension reform
France’s Senate has voted to raise the retirement age to 64 as part of the government’s moves to reform the country’s existing pension system despite mounting anger among workers. The conservative-dominated upper house of parliament approved the bill with 201 votes for and 115 against it. The move effectively wipes out more than a thousand amendments made to the text by opponents. Lawmakers have until March 26 to vote on a final draft. Tens of thousands of people have marched in Paris and other cities in recent weeks to denounce the reform. Workers in different sectors, including railways and energy, have also been staging strikes for a third consecutive day to pile pressure on the government. After a sixth day of record protests on Tuesday, trade unions have called for a new day of nationwide demonstrations at weekend. The government seeks to raise the retirement age to two years, arguing that the current system is expected to dive into a deficit within a decade.
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