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    China said Tuesday it will “resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests” over the shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon by the United States, as relations between the two countries deteriorate further.

      Search teams and aid poured into Turkey and Syria on Tuesday as rescuers working in freezing temperatures and sometimes using their bare hands dug through the remains of buildings flattened by a powerful earthquake.

        Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have announced plans to provide Ukraine with at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1 battle tanks. The announcement follows Germany agreeing last month to allow deliveries of the more modern Leopard 2 tanks. It also comes as Kyiv anticipates a new Russian offensive around the anniversary of the invasion. However, military analysts expressed skepticism about the potential impact of such an assault. Meanwhile, Moscow's forces continued to shell Ukrainian towns and cities. Regional authorities reported Tuesday that shelling in the northeastern town of Vovchansk caused a fire late Monday the local municipal hospital. Emergency crews evacuated eight civilians but reported no casualties.

        The United States approved a policy that makes Cuban migrants request a permit online before arriving with the sponsorship of a relative or friend in the U.S. Although the parole program also applies to Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans, Cubans are responding with zeal.

         

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        A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has shaken Turkey and war-torn Syria has killed thousands of people. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers working in cold and snow look for trapped people in the rubble of toppled buildings. Monday's earthquake is among the world’s deadliest in recent decades. A staggering 316,000 people were killed in 2010 by a magnitude 7.0 quake in Haiti. A magnitude 9.1 quake in Indonesia triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed about 230,000 people in a dozen countries in 2004. A magnitude 9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people.

        Rescuers are racing to find survivors in the rubble of thousands of buildings brought down by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks that struck eastern Turkey and neighboring Syria. The death toll rose to more than 5,000. Countries around the world dispatched teams to assist in the rescue efforts, and Turkey’s disaster management agency said more than 24,400 emergency personnel were now on the ground. But with such a wide swath of territory hit by Monday’s earthquake and nearly 6,000 buildings confirmed to have collapsed in Turkey alone, their efforts were spread thin. Attempts to reach survivors were also impeded by temperatures below freezing and close to 200 aftershocks, which made the search through unstable structures perilous.

        China says it will "resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests" over the shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon by the United States. The incident has prompted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a visit to Beijing that had offered slight hopes for an improvement in relations. China says the object was a civilian balloon used for meteorological research but has refused to say to whom it belongs. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Tuesday reiterated that the unmanned airship posed no threat and entered U.S. airspace accidentally. She again criticized the U.S. for overreacting and using force in handling the matter. Asked if China wanted the debris returned, she reasserted the airship belongs to China.

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