US Adds Fourth Iranian Cargo Plane to Export Violation List over Russia Flights

Men and a woman walk along the side of a road in the center of Iran's capital Tehran on September 26, 2022. (Reuters)
Men and a woman walk along the side of a road in the center of Iran's capital Tehran on September 26, 2022. (Reuters)
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US Adds Fourth Iranian Cargo Plane to Export Violation List over Russia Flights

Men and a woman walk along the side of a road in the center of Iran's capital Tehran on September 26, 2022. (Reuters)
Men and a woman walk along the side of a road in the center of Iran's capital Tehran on September 26, 2022. (Reuters)

The US Commerce Department said on Monday it had added a fourth Iranian cargo plane serving Russia to a list of aircraft believed to violate US export controls under Biden administration sanctions.

The department added three Iranian cargo planes to the list on Sept. 19. The fourth plane belongs to Iran's Saha Airlines, which is owned by Iran's air force, the department said in a statement.

The plane added to the list on Monday has flown into Russia without proper Commerce Department authorization, the statement said.



G7 Working on Package of Measures against Iran, Says British PM Sunak

 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement on the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement on the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
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G7 Working on Package of Measures against Iran, Says British PM Sunak

 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement on the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement on the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)

The Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations is working on a package of coordinated measures against Iran following Saturday's retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday.

"We are urgently working with our allies to see what steps we can take together in a coordinated fashion to deter and condemn what Iran is doing," Sunak said in parliament, citing discussions among G7 leaders over the weekend.

"I spoke to my fellow G7 leaders, we are united in our condemnation of this attack."

On Saturday, Iran launched drones and fired missiles at Israel as a retaliatory strike for an attack on its embassy compound in Damascus that raised the risk of further escalation and a wider regional conflict.

Earlier Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the G7, said it was open to new sanctions against individuals engaged against Israel

Sunak said that coordinating any measures - which could include sanctions - among allies would ensure they had the maximum impact on Iran and those who may be sanctioned.

The G7 groups the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.


Russian Strike on Kharkiv Region Kills Two and Injures Four, Governor Says

A cloud of smoke rises above a site following a rocket attack in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 11 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
A cloud of smoke rises above a site following a rocket attack in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 11 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
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Russian Strike on Kharkiv Region Kills Two and Injures Four, Governor Says

A cloud of smoke rises above a site following a rocket attack in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 11 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
A cloud of smoke rises above a site following a rocket attack in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 11 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)

Russian forces killed two people and injured four more after hitting an education facility in the Kharkiv region on Monday, its governor said.

The Russian military used a guided aerial bomb on Lukiantsi village near the Russian border, the region's governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Syniehubov added that the four people injured in the attack were hospitalized with blast injuries and shrapnel wounds.

As Russia has intensified its strikes in the spring, the Kharkiv region has increasingly taken the brunt of the attacks.

Ukraine's air defense shortages and the eastern region's proximity to the Russian border left it especially vulnerable to strikes on energy infrastructure, which have caused large-scale power cuts.


Trump Faces Criminal Trial, a Historic First for a Former President

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection on the first day of his hush money trial in New York, New York, USA, 15 April 2024. (EPA)
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection on the first day of his hush money trial in New York, New York, USA, 15 April 2024. (EPA)
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Trump Faces Criminal Trial, a Historic First for a Former President

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection on the first day of his hush money trial in New York, New York, USA, 15 April 2024. (EPA)
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection on the first day of his hush money trial in New York, New York, USA, 15 April 2024. (EPA)

Donald Trump became the first former US president to stand criminal trial on Monday when he appeared in a Manhattan court to face charges stemming from a hush-money payment to a porn star that could complicate his bid to win back the White House.

Wearing his signature blue suit and red tie, Trump, 77, sat at the defense table while Justice Juan Merchan set limits on witnesses and evidence to be presented at trial and denied a motion by Trump's lawyers to have the judge recuse himself.

Trump's legal team has for months filed a flurry of legal motions to delay or derail the four criminal cases against him.

Trump, the 2024 Republican candidate for president, is required to attend the trial, which is expected to last through May. The selection of 12 jurors and six alternates from a pool of Manhattan residents is expected to take about a week, followed by witness testimony.

New York state prosecutors accuse him of falsifying records to cover up a $130,000 payment in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels about a 2006 sexual encounter she has said they had.

Trump has denied any such relationship. He pleaded not guilty last year to 34 counts of falsification of business records in the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, in New York state court.

Police stood guard in front of the courthouse amid a maze of barricades, and helicopters shadowed the motorcade of black SUVs that ferried Trump from his Trump Tower apartment.

A handful of protesters, gathered in the plaza across the street, carried hand-painted signs reading "LOSER" and "convict Trump already."

Though the case is regarded by some legal experts as the least consequential of the four criminal prosecutions he faces, it is the only one guaranteed to go to trial before the Nov. 5 election.

If convicted, Trump could still hold office, but Reuters/Ipsos polling shows a guilty verdict could hobble his prospects.

The businessman-turned-politician, who served as president from 2017 to 2021, has used past court appearances to rally his supporters and claim he is being targeted by his political enemies.

Over the past year, Trump has criticized witnesses, court officials and relatives of those involved in the various legal cases - prompting Merchan and two other judges to impose limited gag orders against him.

In this case, Trump has unsuccessfully sought to force Merchan to step aside, arguing that he faces a conflict of interest because the judge's daughter has worked with Democratic politicians.

"This is an outrage," Trump said before entering the courtroom. "This is political persecution."

In his three other criminal cases, Trump stands accused of mishandling classified information and trying to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. He has painted all the criminal cases against him as a plot by Biden's Democrats to undermine his presidential campaign.

Bragg has argued that the case concerns an unlawful scheme to corrupt the 2016 election by burying a scandalous story that would have harmed Trump's campaign. Trump's lawyers have said the payment to Daniels did not amount to an illegal campaign contribution.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll published last week found that nearly two in three voters found the charges in the case at least somewhat serious. One in four of his fellow Republicans and half of independents said they would not vote for Trump if he were convicted of a felony.

TABLOIDS

Choosing a jury from a pool of people from heavily Democratic Manhattan could take several days, to be followed by opening statements and testimony from a parade of potentially riveting witnesses.

Those witnesses will include Daniels and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who has testified that he made the payments to buy her silence ahead of the 2016 election, in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

David Pecker, the former head of the National Enquirer tabloid, will also testify that he ran stories in the tabloid to boost Trump's 2016 campaign, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said.

Also due on the witness stand is Karen McDougal, a former nude model for Playboy magazine who prosecutors say was paid by the National Enquirer to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump.

Merchan said he would not permit witnesses or prosecutors to tell the jury that the affair took place while Trump's wife Melania was pregnant with their child.

Trump has said he plans to testify in his own defense, a risky proposition that would open him up to probing cross-examination by prosecutors.

Merchan said he would not permit the jury to see other evidence of questionable sexual behavior by Trump, including a tape from the "Access Hollywood" TV show that included denigrating comments about a female host.

Trump is accused of falsely recording reimbursements to Cohen as monthly legal retainer fees in his New York-based real estate company's books. Falsifying business records in New York is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, though many defendants convicted of that charge have been sentenced to fines or probation.

Trump's defense has argued that his payments to Cohen in 2017, while he was president, were for legal services. Trump has called Cohen a "serial liar" and his lawyers are expected to attack his credibility at trial. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating campaign finance law, though the federal prosecutors who brought that case did not charge Trump.


Israel Says It Shot Down Iranian Salvo ‘Shoulder-to-Shoulder' with US 

The remains of a rocket booster that, according to Israeli authorities critically injured a 7-year-old girl, after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, near Arad, Israel, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
The remains of a rocket booster that, according to Israeli authorities critically injured a 7-year-old girl, after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, near Arad, Israel, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
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Israel Says It Shot Down Iranian Salvo ‘Shoulder-to-Shoulder' with US 

The remains of a rocket booster that, according to Israeli authorities critically injured a 7-year-old girl, after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, near Arad, Israel, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)
The remains of a rocket booster that, according to Israeli authorities critically injured a 7-year-old girl, after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, near Arad, Israel, April 14, 2024. (Reuters)

Israel's repelling of a massive Iranian drone and missile salvo was fully coordinated with the Pentagon, which had a US operational liaison officer in the control room of the Arrow ballistic air defense system, a senior Israeli official said.

The United States, along with Britain, France and Jordan, helped Israel intercept the bulk of the weekend barrage and potentially stave off escalation between the regional enemies.

At least half of the hundreds of pilotless one-way planes, cruise missiles and surface-to-surface missiles, which Israel said carried a total of 60 tons of explosives, were shot down by Israeli warplanes and aerial shields, according to local media.

Israeli officials said much of the work was done by their Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 high-altitude defense systems, which were developed jointly with the Pentagon and Boeing Co.

Arrow's interceptor missiles cost between $2 million and $3.5 million a piece, according to Israeli industry sources.

Moshe Patel, director of missile defense at Israel's Defense Ministry, said Arrow and lower-altitude interceptors were synced with counterpart US systems in the region.

"The systems share information, for a joint picture of the sky, and the sky was certainly busy," Patel told Channel 12 TV.

"Afterward, there is also coordination in battle doctrine. An American officer sits in the control room of the Arrow weapons system and essentially conducts the coordination with the US systems, shoulder-to-shoulder."

There was no immediate comment from US Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations. On Sunday, it said US forces destroyed more than 80 of the drones and at least six of the ballistic missiles aimed at Israel.

Israel said 99% of all the projectiles were downed in time, limiting the toll to injuries to one person and damage to one military base. That surprised even Zvika Haimovitch, a retired brigadier-general who formerly commanded Israel's air defenses.

"(This was) well-synchronized and coordinated between all the elements – the air, the ground forces - and, yes, to be honest it is a great percentage and much more than we expected if you would have asked me three days before," he told Reuters.

"But we need to be sure that we will be ready for the next time because for sure there’ll be a next time," he said. "We need to take as an assumption that the Iranians will do their homework next time and will try to challenge our systems. That means we need to be one step before and not after our enemies."

Daniel Gold, director of weapons development at Israel's Defense Ministry, told Channel 12 television that work was already under way on more advanced Arrow models 4 and 5.

Arrow 3 shoots down incoming ballistic weapons above the atmosphere, using a detachable warhead that slams into the target in space.

The Maariv newspaper reported that Arrow 3 downed 110 missiles outside Israeli air space, at a potential cost of up to $385 million. The Israeli military had no immediate comment on that. Asked on Army Radio how much the interceptions had cost Israel, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said he did not know.

Mindful of the need for thrift in the face of foes on several fronts, Israel in 2022 said it was developing a laser-based missile shield to deliver shoot-downs as cheap as $2 each.

"I believe that the laser will be in the next few years one of our main solutions in dealing with a variety of threats – rockets, missiles, drones, UAVs and more," Haimovitch said.


Bishop and Priest Wounded in Stabbing in Sydney Church, Police Say

A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. (AFP)
A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. (AFP)
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Bishop and Priest Wounded in Stabbing in Sydney Church, Police Say

A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. (AFP)
A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. (AFP)

At least four people including a bishop were wounded in a knife attack during a service at a church in a suburb of Sydney on Monday, police and witnesses said, triggering clashes between angry residents and police.

It was the second reported mass stabbing in just three days in Sydney after six people were killed in a knife attack at a mall in the Bondi area.

Officers arrested a man and took him to an undisclosed location following the attack in Wakeley, about 30 km (18 miles) west of Sydney's central business district.

A large crowd quickly gathered outside the church after the attack, throwing rocks at police and demanding they bring out the perpetrator, according to two witnesses.

Police fired pepper spray as they pushed back people onto nearby streets, according to a Reuters journalist. More than 100 police officers were ultimately called in to deal with the unrest, and two were taken to hospital with injuries.

Monday's attack happened during a service at an Assyrian church called "Christ The Good Shepherd Church."

Videos of the incident circulating online showed the bishop of the church, Mar Mari Emmanuel, standing at the altar of the church and speaking to worshippers as another man wearing a black jumper walks towards him and attacks him.

Horrified members of the congregation scream as the man stabs the priest several time in the chest, the videos show.

The church streamed the sermons live on its social media page. The motive of the attack is unknown.

The church said in a Facebook post that Emmanuel and a priest, Father Isaac Royel, were among the injured.

"We ask for your prayers at this time. It is the Bishop's and Father's wishes that you also pray for the perpetrator," the post said.

The wounded suffered non-life threatening injuries and were being treated by paramedics, police said.

The New South Wales ambulance service said at least four people were injured including a man in his 50s who was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

"There was so much anger because the bishop is loved by them, he’s loved by myself as well, he preaches about the Lord and we love the Lord," said a local resident who gave her name as Canny, and who saw the bishop put in an ambulance.

Emmanuel was ordained a priest in 2009 and then a bishop in 2011, according to the church's website. The bishop appears to be a popular figure on social media, with clips of his sermons garnering millions of views on platforms including TikTok.

Emmanuel became well known for his hardline views during the pandemic, local media reported at the time, with the bishop describing COVID lockdowns as "mass slavery".

A recent sermon posted online by fans shows him claim the United Nations was founded by Satan.

The attack drew condemnation from figures in the city's Jewish and Muslim communities.

The Australian National Imams Council said the attacks were "horrifying and have no place in Australia, particularly at places of worship and toward religious leaders".

"Extremely concerning scenes at a Sydney church," the Australian Jewish Association said in a social media post.

"Our thoughts are with our Assyrian friends."

New South Wales state Premier Chris Minns said in a social media post: "It's important that the community remain calm and continue to listen and act to the directions of Police and Emergency Services."


Russia Says It’s Extremely Concerned by Rise in Middle East Tensions, Urges Restraint 

A boy rides a donkey near one of the batteries of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system at a village not recognized by Israeli authorities in the southern Negev desert on April 14, 2024. (AFP)
A boy rides a donkey near one of the batteries of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system at a village not recognized by Israeli authorities in the southern Negev desert on April 14, 2024. (AFP)
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Russia Says It’s Extremely Concerned by Rise in Middle East Tensions, Urges Restraint 

A boy rides a donkey near one of the batteries of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system at a village not recognized by Israeli authorities in the southern Negev desert on April 14, 2024. (AFP)
A boy rides a donkey near one of the batteries of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system at a village not recognized by Israeli authorities in the southern Negev desert on April 14, 2024. (AFP)

Russia said on Monday it was very worried by the rise in tensions in the Middle East following Iran's mass drone and missile attack on Israel at the weekend.

"We are extremely concerned about the escalation of tensions in the region," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We call on all countries in the region to exercise restraint."

"Further escalation is in no one's interests. Therefore, of course, we advocate that all disagreements be resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic methods," Peskov said.

Iran launched the attack in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed top Revolutionary Guards commanders and followed months of clashes between Israel and Iran's regional allies, triggered by the war in Gaza.

Russia has refrained from criticizing its ally Iran in public over the strikes.

Moscow on Sunday noted that Tehran had said the attack was made within the right to self-defense after Israel's strike on the Iranian embassy compound, which Moscow condemned.

President Vladimir Putin's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian by telephone on Sunday.


Allies Seeking New Ways to Enforce North Korea Sanctions, US Envoy to UN Says 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C) leaves the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea, 15 April 2024, following talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul. (EPA/Yonhap South Korea)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C) leaves the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea, 15 April 2024, following talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul. (EPA/Yonhap South Korea)
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Allies Seeking New Ways to Enforce North Korea Sanctions, US Envoy to UN Says 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C) leaves the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea, 15 April 2024, following talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul. (EPA/Yonhap South Korea)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C) leaves the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea, 15 April 2024, following talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul. (EPA/Yonhap South Korea)

Washington and allies are looking for new avenues to enforce Security Council sanctions against North Korea, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday, amid concerns Pyongyang may now be more emboldened to advance its weapons program.

Russia last month vetoed the annual renewal of a panel of experts that monitor the enforcement of Security Council resolutions against North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Thomas-Greenfield is in Seoul and will also visit Japan meant to advance bilateral and trilateral cooperation on the sanctions and beyond, US mission to the UN spokesperson Nate Evans said.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo criticized Russia's veto and China's abstention, which experts said would undermine the sanctions enforcement, with a South Korean envoy likening it to "destroying a CCTV to avoid being caught red-handed".

Meeting with South Korea's defense minister, Thomas-Greenfield said the end of the panel's work creates a vacuum in the enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang and that this could provide an opportunity to further advance its nuclear and missile programs, the ministry said in a statement.

She said the United States is working on alternatives ways to drawing up reliable reports on sanctions enforcement and looks forward to cooperation from allies including South Korea, the ministry said.

Russia has said the experts' work was neither objective nor impartial, and that they had turned into a tool of the West. The panel had worked on monitoring the enforcement of sanctions against the North over the past 15 years.

Russia's veto came after ties between Moscow and Pyongyang after their leaders met in September. Pyongyang has been accused of supply arms to Moscow that are being used in its war in Ukraine.


Iran Says MSC Aries Vessel Was Seized Due to ‘Maritime Laws Violation’ 

13 April 2024, Iran, Strait Of Hormuz: A helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. (Tasnim News Agancy/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
13 April 2024, Iran, Strait Of Hormuz: A helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. (Tasnim News Agancy/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Iran Says MSC Aries Vessel Was Seized Due to ‘Maritime Laws Violation’ 

13 April 2024, Iran, Strait Of Hormuz: A helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. (Tasnim News Agancy/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
13 April 2024, Iran, Strait Of Hormuz: A helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. (Tasnim News Agancy/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

The Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries vessel was seized on April 13 by Iran due to "maritime laws violations", Iran's Foreign Minister Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on Monday, adding that there was no doubt the vessel was linked to Israel.

"Iran strives to create a safe shipping environment in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf," he added.

"The vessel was diverted into Iran's territorial waters as a result of it violating maritime laws and not answering calls made by Iranian authorities," Kanaani said.


Floods Grip Kazakhstan and Russia as Tributaries of Ob Rise 

A drone view shows a flooded residential area in Petropavl, Kazakhstan April 13, 2024. (Reuters)
A drone view shows a flooded residential area in Petropavl, Kazakhstan April 13, 2024. (Reuters)
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Floods Grip Kazakhstan and Russia as Tributaries of Ob Rise 

A drone view shows a flooded residential area in Petropavl, Kazakhstan April 13, 2024. (Reuters)
A drone view shows a flooded residential area in Petropavl, Kazakhstan April 13, 2024. (Reuters)

Swathes of northern Kazakhstan and Russia's Urals region were flooded on Monday as melt waters swelled the tributaries of the world's seventh longest river system, forcing more than 125,000 people to flee their homes.

Russia's southern Ural region and northern Kazakhstan have been grappling with the worst flooding in living memory after very large snow falls melted swiftly amid heavy rain over land already waterlogged before winter.

That has swelled the tributaries of the Ob, which rises in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia and empties into the Arctic Ocean, beyond bursting point, leaving some cities in Russia and Kazakhstan under water.

Several districts of the northern Kazakh city of Petropavlovsk were completely flooded, said a Reuters journalist in the city, which sits on the Ishim River, a tributary of the Irtysh, the chief tributary of the Ob.

Almost 1,000 houses have been flooded in the North Kazakhstan region of which Petropavlovsk is the center, and over 5,000 people have been evacuated, local officials said. There have been interruptions in power and water supply in the city.

People were queuing up in front of water trucks moving from one neighborhood to another in the city. The main reservoir supplying the city with drinkable water has been flooded.

Just a few hundred kilometers over the border, Russia's Kurgan, a region of 800,000 people at the confluence of the Ural mountains and Siberia, was grappling with flooding and rising water levels in the Tobol River, another tributary of the Irtysh.

Water levels rose to 6.31 meters (over 20 ft) in the main city, Kurgan. Governor Vadim Shumkov said there was almost a "sea" of water approaching.

"The city of Kurgan itself will be next," Shumkov said. "The flow of the Tobol is accelerating. The water level in it is constantly rising."

"Fellow countrymen, leave the flooded areas immediately."

Shumkov warned that flooding would begin shortly on the right bank of the Tobol, which slices the region south to north, and the low part of its left bank.

Floods were also inundating homes in the Tomsk region in the southwestern part of Siberia, regional officials said on Telegram.

Almost 140 houses near the city of Tomsk, which is the regional administrative center, were under water on Monday and 84 people were evacuated.

The Ob-Irtysh river system is the world's seventh largest, after the Yellow River, the Yenisei, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Amazon and the Nile.


Cameron: Israel Attack a 'Double Defeat' for Iran

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron - File/AFP
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron - File/AFP
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Cameron: Israel Attack a 'Double Defeat' for Iran

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron - File/AFP
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron - File/AFP

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged Israel not to retaliate after Iran's drone and missile attack, saying it should "think with head as well as heart" because Tehran's strike had been a near total failure.

The strike by more than 300 missiles and drones from Iran caused only modest damage in Israel as most were shot down by its Iron Dome defense system and with help from the US, Britain, France and Jordan. It followed a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran's embassy compound in Syria on April 1.

"I think they're perfectly justified to think they should respond because they have been attacked, but we are urging them as friends to think with head as well as heart, to be smart as well as tough," Cameron told BBC TV

He said he was urging Israel not to escalate the tensions in the Middle East, Reuters reported. 

"In many ways this has been a double defeat for Iran. The attack was an almost total failure, and they revealed to the world that they are the malign influence in the region prepared to do this. So our hope is that there won't be a retaliatory response," he told Sky News.

Cameron said Britain would also work with allies to look at imposing more sanctions on Iran, and it urged Israel to return its focus on agreeing a ceasefire with Iran-backed Hamas in the Gaza war.