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Devastating Landslide Strikes Remote Mountain Region in South Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea

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The landslide occurred at 3 a.m. local time, burying at least 1,100 houses and over 300 people across 3 to 4 football field-sized affected areas in six villages. Most villagers were asleep when the landslide hit, leaving them no time to escape. Due to the remote and treacherous terrain, helicopter rescue teams are the only means of reaching the disaster zone. Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea has mobilized rescue personnel, defense forces, and engineering teams to aid in recovery efforts.

While the cause of the landslide remains unclear, there were no signs of an earthquake.

The region is known for its gold mines, and ongoing mining activities may have contributed. With heavy rainfall being common in this equatorial area south of the equator, the Red Cross speculates that excessive rain could be a likely factor. Authorities from Papua New Guinea and neighboring Australia have urgently deployed military and medical personnel to assist affected communities.

However, ongoing landslides continue to pose risks to other villages in the vicinity.

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Norway, Ireland, and Spain to Recognize Palestinian Statehood Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict

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In an unprecedented move, Norway, Ireland, and Spain have broken the deadlock surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the heels of last year’s Hamas attack on Israel, which resulted in thousands of deaths and the abduction of hundreds of hostages, Israel’s retaliatory actions in Gaza have led to over 35,000 fatalities, predominantly among women and children. The indiscriminate violence has sparked global outrage.

On the 22nd, these European and Western nations announced their intention to formally recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. The recognition process is set to be initiated, with official statements expected by the 28th. Middle Eastern countries have expressed approval of this decision. However, Israel strongly opposes it and has recalled its ambassadors from the three countries. Meanwhile, the United States, France, Germany, and others argue that the timing is not conducive to such recognition.

Leaders including Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have all issued statements in support of a two-state solution—one for Israel and one for Palestine. They emphasize that this approach is essential for peace in the Middle East, ensuring security, dignity, and equal self-determination rights for both parties. Notably, they underscore that recognizing Palestine does not imply opposition to Israel or its Jewish population.

While at least 143 countries worldwide officially recognize Palestine—representing over 70% of UN member states—the majority of them do not maintain embassies or engage in formal diplomatic relations due to the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories. In contrast, European and American countries have been hesitant to recognize Palestine.

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Naples, Florida Tops List of Most Livable Cities in the U.S.

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The annual ranking of the “Most Livable Cities” in the United States has been released, according to U.S. News & World Report. Naples, Florida, claimed the top spot, and a total of 14 cities in California made it into the top 150 nationwide.

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UK Blood Contamination Scandal: Over 30,000 People Infected with HIV and Hepatitis C Due to Blood Transfusions; Prime Minister Apologizes

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The UK revealed its largest medical “blood contamination scandal” investigation report on May 20th, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued an apology in response. The report exposed a severe blood contamination incident that occurred in the UK between the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in approximately 30,000 people being infected with hepatitis C and HIV, with around 3,000 deaths. On May 21st, the government announced plans to pay compensation of up to several billion pounds.
Prime Minister Sunak expressed remorse on behalf of the government, acknowledging that the investigation report had shaken the nation’s core. He referred to this day as a “national shame” and pledged full compensation for those affected.

The UK government intends to make interim payments of £210,000 to living victims within 90 days, with the formal compensation scheme set to begin by the end of the year. However, some individuals may face challenges in applying for compensation due to a lack of medical records.

The report attributed the “blood contamination scandal” to errors by doctors and the government. In an attempt to protect their image and save costs, the government chose to conceal the truth.

According to reports, during the 1970s and 1980s, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provided contaminated blood to hemophilia patients and others with blood disorders, resulting in exposure to HIV or hepatitis C. Due to blood shortages in the UK at the time, they imported blood products from the United States. These blood products were collected from thousands of individuals, including paid donations from prisoners, without proper screening.

The scandal only gained public attention in 2016 when victims and their families pressured the government to investigate and reveal the truth. In 2021, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated that if the allegations were confirmed, the government would pay substantial compensation. Notably, in 1970, similar infections affected thousands of people in countries such as Japan, Canada, and the United States, leading to legal actions against relevant officials and suppliers.

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Eastern Celestial Creatures Bestows Blessings Upon the Earth

FOWPAL Holds Peace Prayer Event in Tuscany

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The Creazione Cultural Association under the patronage of the Municipality of Castellina Marittima, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, leader of Tai ji Men and the president of FOWPAL, presented by Mayor Alessandro Giari on behalf of the Association.

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Finland and UK Strengthen Strategic Partnership in Response to Russian Threat

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Finland and the United Kingdom signed a "Strategic Partnership Agreement” on May 20, stating that Russia poses the "most significant and direct threat" to peace and stability in Europe. Consequently, they pledged to cooperate to defend regional security and reaffirmed their joint support for Ukraine's steadfast position.

In a joint statement, British Foreign Minister David Cameron and Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen pointed out that Russia's illegal aggression against Ukraine has fundamentally altered the security environment in Europe. Therefore, the UK will join forces with Finland to counter various threats from Russia, including disinformation, malicious cyber activities, and hybrid attacks. They also vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in its resistance against Russia and in the post-war reconstruction and modernization process.

Cameron emphasized that Finland is a long-standing partner of the UK and a NATO ally. He pledged to provide military assistance and training to Ukraine together with Finland and expand cooperation with Finland in technology, trade, investment, and combating illegal immigration based on shared values.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Finland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and signed a "Defense Cooperation Agreement" (DCA) with the United States, allowing US troops to enter Finnish bases. Finland has actively cooperated with NATO allies, participated in various joint exercises, and closed most of its borders with Russia in response to threats from Russia. The UK is a major supplier of military equipment to Ukraine.

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NBA Owner Gifts Graduates $1000 Each at University Ceremony

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The University of Massachusetts in Massachusetts held its graduation ceremony on the 16th, inviting NBA Celtics owner Robert Hale Jr. to be the keynote speaker. During his speech, he unexpectedly announced to the over 1,100 graduates present that each of them could receive $1000 (approximately NT$32,000) as long as they adhered to "one condition," totaling over $1.1 million (approximately NT$35.4 million).

According to CBS, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth held its graduation ceremony on the 16th and invited Robert Hale Jr., founder and CEO of Granite Telecommunications and a billionaire, to be the keynote speaker. During his speech, he suddenly announced that the over 1,100 graduates present could immediately receive $1,000 in cash as long as they agreed to "one condition," which was to "share."

Hale pointed out that in these difficult times, what society needs is sharing, caring, and giving back. "At this time, our community needs you and your generosity more than ever," he said. He stated that as long as the students promised to share $500 (approximately NT$16,000) of the money with someone who needs it more than themselves, each person could immediately receive $1,000 in cash.

Hale's generous gift at the graduation ceremony surprised and delighted the graduates. However, this isn't the first time Hale has employed his "money education" tactics. Last year, he also gave the same amount of graduation money to over 2,500 graduates at UMass Boston, and in 2021, he did the same for 230 graduates at Quincy College.

Hale founded Granite Telecommunications in 2002, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, with business operations covering the US and Canada. According to Forbes magazine's estimates, Hale's net worth is $5.4 billion (approximately NT$173.7 billion), ranking him 572nd on the global billionaire list. He has donated over $270 million (approximately NT$8.69 billion) for cancer research, educational institutions, and other charitable purposes.

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Italian Senator Lucio Malan Rings the Bell of World Peace and Love

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Italian Senator Lucio Malan rings The Bell of World Peace and Love, becoming the 552nd bell ringer globally.

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Spreading Love in Europe with Conscience and the Power of Hope: Pope Francis and Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze’s Historic Meeting

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Pope Francis and Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, renowned for their significant contributions to world peace, exchange a handshake, symbolizing their lifelong and unwavering commitment to securing a sustainable future for humanity.

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Bangkok Faces Climate Crisis: Consideration of Relocation Due to Rising Sea Level

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Recent reports indicate that the population of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has exceeded ten million. However, the city faces challenges due to global warming and rising sea levels. Officials from Thailand’s Climate Change and Environment Agency have expressed concern that Bangkok, with its low-lying terrain, may be submerged by seawater by the end of the 21st century. Authorities are actively researching adaptation measures, including the possibility of relocating the capital.

The report highlights that Deputy Director Pavich Kesavawong of the Climate Change and Environment Agency has suggested studying the Netherlands’ approach to flood prevention. The Netherlands, a low-lying European country, has successfully used levees to combat seawater intrusion during rainy seasons.

Additionally, Kesavawong revealed that relocation is also under consideration. However, this plan presents complex challenges and substantial costs, estimated at 32 billion US dollars. Notably, Southeast Asian countries have precedents for capital relocation, with Indonesia’s new capital, “Nusantara,” set to be completed this year, replacing the sinking former capital, Jakarta.