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China’s first home-built aircraft carrier begins sea trials

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BEIJING — China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier began sea trials Sunday, state media said, Beijing’s latest milestone in efforts to modernise its military footprint.

The still-unnamed ship left dock in the northern port of Dalian at 7:00am, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The official Xinhua news agency confirmed the ship had left for trials with a short announcement.”Our second aircraft carrier set sail from its dock in the Dalian shipyard for relevant waters to conduct a sea trial mission, to inspect and verify the reliability and stability of mechanical systems and other equipment,” Xinhua said.

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The carrier was launched this time last year but since then has been undergoing weapons fitting and work on other systems and has not yet entered service.

Chinese military experts have told state media that the carrier is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been fully kitted out and armed. But the government has said the new carrier’s design draws on experiences from the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, which was bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

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Former US President George HW Bush’s ex-doctor shot dead in Houston

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HOUSTON — A medical doctor who once treated former US president George HW Bush was shot dead while riding a bicycle in the city’s medical centre, authorities say.

Houston Methodist Hospital identified the doctor as Mark Hausknecht, 65, a cardiologist who was a member of the Houston Methodist staff and the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center.

Hausknecht was shot by another man on a bike around 9 am Friday (local time) near Texas Children’s Hospital. He specialized in cardiovascular disease and had been in practice for almost four decades.

The suspect then rode off, according to police, who have yet to give a motive for the daylight shooting in the busy city area.

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“Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” Mr Bush, 94, said in a statement, adding, “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers.”

Dr Hausknecht had worked in Houston for about three decades and often cycled to work, local media reported.

He once treated the former president for an irregular heartbeat.

The doctor’s widow, emergency physician Georgia Hsieh, called his killing senseless, according to a statement published by the Houston Chronicle.

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