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Tension over Taiwan

China says it has imposed sanctions on two American weapons manufacturers over their roles in supplying arms to Taiwan. The Chinese foreign ministry says the US administration is determined to provide weapons to Taiwan despite Beijing’s firm opposition. That, the ministry says, seriously harms China's sovereignty and security interests. The two targeted companies are Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. China says the firms are supplying arms to Taiwan under a last month contract for direct military aid to the island. China considers self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory. It argues that the US’s military support for the island emboldens forces seeking independence from China.

Libya floods

Nearly a week after devastating floods in Libya, the death toll has kept rising, now confirmed at 11,300. With 11,000 more still missing, it’s highly expected that the toll continues to go up. Those figures are confirmed by the Libyan Red Crescent Societies in Derna, the city hit hard by the floods in the country’s east. A search operation is underway. Many missing people have been buried under the mud or washed away into the sea. The natural disaster hit Libya on Sunday. Mediterranean storm, Daniel, made landfall, triggering floods and causing two dams to collapse. The exact number of casualties is hard to compile. That’s because the level of destruction has been very high. The chaotic political situation has added to the problems as well.

US autoworkers strike

Thousands of auto workers in the US have walked off their jobs. That came after their union failed to reach deals with the country’s three largest manufacturers over a new labor contract. The union, known as the United Auto Workers, announced the strike at three assembly plants owned by General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. They are known as the Detroit Three, and it’s the first time in their history that they are hit by a strike. The announcement came after a deadline to reach an agreement with employees expired. The union says the industrial action aims to put pressure on the three companies. The United Auto Workers represents 150,000 people working in the US automobile industry. It has demanded a 40%  increase in wages as well as better benefits and job protections for its members. The Detroit Three have offered up to 20% raise in hourly wages, without key benefits demanded by the union.

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