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Briton Confirmed Killed in Ukraine Was UK Armed Forces Veteran

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A British man has been killed in Ukraine and a second Briton is missing.

Scott Sibley, 36, has been named as the Briton who died.

Mr Sibley is the first British national confirmed to have been killed in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

It is thought the pair could have been fighting against Russian troops as volunteers in support of Ukraine‘s military, although this has not been confirmed.

Britons, and other foreigners, have also travelled to Ukraine to take part in humanitarian assistance.

Mr Sibley is a veteran of the British armed forces.

His former unit, the Logistic Support Squadron, part of the Commando Logistic Regiment of the Royal Marines, paid tribute to him on its official Facebook page following the news of his death.

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) did not provide any details on what the men had been doing in Ukraine.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a British national has been killed in Ukraine and are supporting their family.”

A GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs said that Mr Sibley was a father.

His friend, Craig, who set up the page, wrote: “To me he was a friend like no other and the bravest person I’ve had the pleasure to have known, he was as good as a brother to me.

“His life may have been cut short but he lived to the full and did things the Sibs way, right until the end.”

One person commenting on the site, Damon Tyler, said: “Sibs, knew you back in basic and after, great fella and a really sound lad, had a wicked sense of fun and always with a smile.”

On the second British man, the FCDO spokesperson said: “We are aware of a British national who is missing in Ukraine and are supporting their family. We are urgently seeking further information.”

The Foreign Office did not provide details on when the British national was killed and when the other man went missing and is urgently seeking further information.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so far

There are a number of fighters who have decided to head to Ukraine to join the fight against Vladimir Putin’s forces, including British veterans.

At the beginning of the war, Ukraine’s government urged volunteers from across the world to come and help support its armed forces as they took on Russia’s invasion.

Read more: Ben Wallace backs Liz Truss and says Russia

should be pushed out of ‘the whole of Ukraine’ – including Crimea

The advice from the UK government has been that people should not travel to Ukraine to fight, but they can support Ukraine in many other ways.

A number of individuals decided to come anyway and are in the country helping Ukraine’s military defence.

It comes over a week after two British fighters – Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin – were captured by Moscow’s forces.

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Separately, Shaun Pinner (L) and Aiden Aslin were captured by Russian forces earlier this month

The pair, who have been held in Ukraine, appeared on Russian state TV and asked to be swapped for Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian politician who is close to Vladimir Putin.

But asked by Sky News’ Kay Burley about the potential for such a swap, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said: “We’re actually going through the process of sanctioning people who are close to the Putin regime.

“We’re not going to be looking at how we can help Russia, we’re looking to actually ensure that the Putin regime is unsuccessful in this abhorrent invasion and we’ll continue to do everything we can to support the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian president and government to defeat Putin.”

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Original Article: news.sky.com

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WHO Estimates 15m People Have Died Directly or Indirectly From COVID – More Than Double Official Death Toll

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The World Health Organisation estimates that 15 million people worldwide have now died of coronavirus – or as a result of its impact on health services.

WHO data shows the number of excess COVID mortalities to be somewhere between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This is more than double the official death toll of around six million.

Excess mortality refers to the number of people who have died of the virus either directly or indirectly by being unable to access health services for other conditions.

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The figures were compiled using country-reported data and statistical modelling, the WHO said.

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There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with COVID-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

Most excess COVID deaths (86%) happened in Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the figures.

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Middle-income countries accounted for 81% of deaths, with 28% occurring in upper-middle-income countries and 4% in low-income ones.

Some 68% of all excess deaths worldwide happened in just 10 countries.

There was a higher rate for men (57%) than there was for women (43%), with more excess deaths among the elderly than younger generations.

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WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented: “These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems.

“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

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Original Source: news.sky.com

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Pope Francis Seen Using Wheelchair for the First Time for Mobility Reasons

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The Pope has been pictured using a wheelchair – the first time he’s used one in public due to the knee pain that’s made it hard for him to walk and stand.

Francis, 85, was wheeled on stage and helped into a seat during an audience with a group of nuns and religious superiors from around the world at the Vatican.

He appears to be having a flare-up of sciatica, a nerve condition he suffers with that he’s called his “troublesome guest”.

The Pope has had to cancel or cut short activities several times in the last month because of pain in his right knee.

He was pictured in a wheelchair last July after major intestinal surgery, but this is believed to be the first time he’s used one in public due to his mobility problems.

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Before Thursday’s event, he was able to walk the roughly 10 metres or so from the side entrance of the stage to his seat with some help.

He recently received some injections to try to relieve the pain but has continued to struggle.

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His impaired movement was apparent over Easter when he attended but did not take charge of masses at St Peter’s Basilica, instead delegating a cardinal or archbishop to preside.

During a trip to Malta in April he was also pictured using an elevator platform to get on and off the plane.

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Original Article: news.sky.com

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Woman Pulled Alive From Rubble Six Days After Building Collapsed

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A woman has been found alive in the rubble of a building that partially collapsed almost six days earlier, Chinese state media has said.

At least five people are confirmed to have died and possibly dozens are still missing following the disaster in the city of Changsha, in central China‘s Hunan Province, on 29 April.

The unidentified woman has become the 10th survivor and was rescued shortly after midnight today, about 132 hours after the rear of the six-storey building suddenly caved in, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.

The woman was conscious and told rescuers how to pull her out without causing further injury, Xinhua added.

Teams had used dogs and hand tools as well as drones and electronic life detectors in the search.

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All the survivors were reportedly in good condition after being treated in a hospital and it is thought intermittent rain showers over the last few days may have helped their chances of survival without food or water.

At least nine people have been arrested in relation to the collapse of what Xinhua has described as a “self-built building”.

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This includes its owner, on suspicion of ignoring building codes or committing other violations.

Three people in charge of design and construction were also held, along with five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.

The building also housed residences, a cafe and shops.

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An aerial photo shows the site of the collapsed residential building in Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province

There has been increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.

Following the building collapse at the weekend, he urged for more victims to be found in the rubble “at all costs”.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for similar disasters.

China also suffers from decaying infrastructure such as gas pipes that has led to explosions and collapses.

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Source: news.sky.com

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