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Apple supplier Foxconn suspends production at two China factories | Coronavirus pandemic

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Operations halted at factories in eastern China’s Kunshan after COVID-19 cases reported, report says.

Apple Inc’s prime supplier Foxconn Technology Group halted operations at two of its factories in eastern China’s Kunshan after new COVID-19 cases were reported on site, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The operations at those plants have been suspended since Wednesday last week, with all employees confined to dormitories inside, the report said.

The two Foxconn plants, located at Dianfa and Fuhong in the northern part of Kunshan, are two of four manufacturing campuses operated in the city by the Taiwanese firm, which is also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.

Apple and Foxconn did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.



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Russia-Ukraine live news: Putin warns Finland over NATO move | Russia-Ukraine war News

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  • Russian President Vladimir Putin warns Finland joining NATO would be ‘a mistake’ as Moscow halted electric supplies to the Nordic country.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says “very complex negotiations” with Russia are under way to get fighters out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
  • Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the US Senate, makes a surprise visit to Kyiv, assures Ukraine of sustained support.
  • A convoy of hundreds of cars that left Mariupol reaches safety in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia.
  • Ukraine wins the Eurovision song contest.
    INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Donbas DAY 80

Here are all the latest updates:


Blinken arrives in Germany for NATO meeting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Germany ahead of an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin.

The gathering will consider moves by Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance, as well as ways in which NATO can support Ukraine without being drawn into the conflict with Russia.


Mitch McConnell assures Ukraine of ‘sustained support’

The Republican leader of the US Senate has reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine during a surprise visit to Kyiv.

In a statement, Mitch McConnel said he reassured Zelenskyy that US “stands squarely behind Ukraine and will sustain our support until Ukraine wins this war”.


Ukraine wins Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest, riding a wave of public support across Europe for the embattled nation and buoyed by an infectious folk hip hop melody.

Kalush Orchestra’s song “Stefania” beat out 24 competitors in the finale of the world’s biggest live music event on Saturday. Sung in Ukrainian, the winning song fused rap with traditional folk music and was a tribute to band frontman Oleh Psiuk’s mother.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent good luck wishes earlier in the night, saying that if Kalush Orchestra were to win it would have a huge symbolic meaning.

“For us today, any victory is very important,” he said in his nightly address.

Russia had been excluded from the competition in Turin because of its invasion of Ukraine.

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine appear on stage after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy on May 15, 2022 [Yara Nardi/Reuters]
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine appear on stage after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy on May 15, 2022 [Yara Nardi/Reuters]
Ukrainian service members watch the performance of Kalush Orchestra during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest on May 14, 2022 [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]
Ukrainian service members watch the performance of Kalush Orchestra during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

Mariupol convoy reaches safety, refugees recount ‘devastating’ escape

A large convoy of cars and vans carrying refugees from the ruins of Mariupol has arrived in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia after waiting days for Russian troops to allow them to leave.

The refugees that arrived on Saturday first had to get out of Mariupol and then somehow make their way to Berdyansk – some 80 km further west along the coast – and other settlements before the 200 km drive northwest to Zaporizhzhia.

Nikolai Pavlov, 74, said he had lived in a basement for a month after his apartment was destroyed. A relative using “secret detours” managed to get him out of Mariupol to Berdyansk.

“We barely made it, there were lots of elderly people among us … the trip was devastating. But it was worth it,” he said after the convoy arrived in the dark.

An aide to Mariupol’s mayor said earlier that the convoy numbered between 500 to 1,000 cars and was the largest single evacuation from the city since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Envoy says Russian diplomats in US threatened, enticed by FBI, CIA

Russia’s envoy to the US says Russian diplomats in Washington are being threatened with violence and US intelligence services are trying to make contact with them, according to the TASS news agency.

“It’s like a besieged fortress. Basically, our embassy is operating in a hostile environment … Embassy employees are receiving threats, including threats of physical violence,” TASS quoted Ambassador Anatoly Antonov saying on Saturday.

“Agents from US security services are hanging around outside the Russian embassy, handing out CIA and FBI phone numbers, which can be called to establish contact,” the ambassador told TASS.

Russia and the US have been locked in a dispute over the size and functioning of their respective diplomatic missions since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Embassy in Washington DC in March 2022 [File photo: Susan Walsh/AP]
The Russian Embassy in Washington DC in March 2022 [File photo: Susan Walsh/AP] (AP Photo)

US’s Mitch McConnell meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the US Senate, paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv with other Republican senators and met the Ukrainian president for talks.

McConnell was accompanied by fellow Senators Susan Collins, John Barrasso and John Cornyn.

Zelenskyy hailed the visit as a powerful signal of US bipartisan support for Ukraine and the strength of relations between the two nations.

“We discussed many areas of support for our state, including in defence and finance, as well as strengthening sanctions against Russia,” Zelenskyy said in a video address, adding that he stressed to the senators the need for Russia to be designated a terrorist state.

McConnell is pressing Republican Senator Rand Paul to end his opposition to a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which has overwhelming support from both major parties in the US.

In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, shakes hands with Senator Mitch McConnell in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday, May 14, 2022 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP]
In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, shakes hands with Senator Mitch McConnell in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday, May 14, 2022 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP]

Ukraine band makes plea for Mariupol at Eurovision

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra made a plea for the city of Mariupol and fighters holding out at the Azovstal steel plant at the end of their appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now,” lead singer Oleh Psiuk shouted from the front of the stage in the Italian city of Turin after the band performed its song “Stefania”.

Russian forces have bombarding the steelworks in the southern port of Mariupol, the last bastion of hundreds of Ukrainian defenders in a city which is almost completely controlled by Russia after more than two months of a siege.

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022 [Yara Nardi/Reuters]
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022 [Yara Nardi/Reuters]

Putin tells Finnish president: Joining NATO would be ‘mistake’

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has told his Finnish counterpart that joining NATO would be “a mistake”, as Moscow cut off its electricity supply to the Nordic country earlier.

“Putin stressed that the end of the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake since there is no threat to Finland’s security,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.

“Such a change in the country’s political orientation can have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations developed over years in a spirit of good neighbourliness and cooperation between partners,” it said.

Read more here.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. Read all the updates from Saturday, May 14 here.





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At least 10 dead in US supermarket shooting: Reports | News

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Buffalo police confirmed the shooter was in custody in a tweet, but they did not identify the suspect.

A gunman sporting a rifle and body armour opened fire in a supermarket in the US city of Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before being taken into custody, law enforcement officials said.

Details on the number of additional people shot on Saturday at the Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available.

“Ten people were killed by a gunman dressed in body armour and armed with a high-powered rifle, while three others were wounded – two of them critically,” The Buffalo News reported citing a police official at the scene and another source close to law enforcement.

Investigators believe the man may have been live-streaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online, a police official told the Associated Press.

The official cautioned that the investigation was in its preliminary stages and that authorities had not yet discerned a clear motive, but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.

The supermarket is in a predominately Black neighbourhood, about 3 miles (5 kms) north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is primarily residential.

Buffalo police confirmed the shooter was in custody in a tweet, but did not identify the suspect. Police officials and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter was exiting. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties sporting full camouflage, a black helmet and what appeared to be a rifle.

“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He dropped to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police.”

Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across the street from the Tops store and expected to address the media.

Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo police.

The shooting comes little more than a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people.



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Nigeria: Curfew declared in Sokoto after student killing protests | News

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Deborah Samuel was beaten and burned by fellow students for alleged blasphemous statements about the Prophet Muhammad.

The governor of Nigeria’s Sokoto state has declared an immediate 24-hour curfew to quell protests demanding the release of suspects in the killing of school student Deborah Samuel.

Samuel was beaten and burned by fellow students on Thursday for alleged blasphemous statements about the Prophet Muhammad in a Whatsapp group.

Protests have erupted following the police arrest of two students and a search for other suspects who appeared in footage of the gruesome murder of Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, which circulated on social media.

The governor said in a statement on Saturday that the curfew applies to the state capital, Sokoto city.

“Everyone should, please, in the interest of peace go back home,” Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people demonstrated in the city over the arrest of the students following the murder, residents said.

In the early morning, youths took to the streets, lighting bonfires and demanding the release of the two detainees despite the deployment of police officers to maintain order, residents said.

Some of the protesters besieged the palace of the Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the sultan of Sokoto and the highest spiritual figure among Muslims in Nigeria who has condemned the killing and demanded those involved face justice.

Nigeria
Map of Nigeria showing Sokoto state [Al Jazeera]

“It was more of a riot by a mob of young men and women who were demanding the release of the two people arrested over the killing of the Christian student,” Sokoto resident Ibrahim Arkilla told AFP.

“The crowd … were also demanding the police stop the manhunt for those identified to have taken part in the killing,” said Arkilla, who witnessed the protests.

A large number of protesters besieged the palace of Abubakar, said resident Bube Ando, who lives near the palace, adding that police first tried to ask the protesters to leave.

“Policemen and soldiers who stood outside the palace hurled tear gas canisters and fired into the air and succeeded in dispersing the crowd,” he said, without giving details about whether anyone was hurt.

The protesters retreated downtown where they attempted to loot shops belonging to Christian residents but were again dispersed by security patrol teams, said another resident Faruk Danhili.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly condemned the murder of the student.



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