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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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Jamal Khashoggi murder tapes were ‘shared’ with multiple countries : Turkey

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ISTANBUL — Turkey has shared recordings related to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Germany, France and Britain, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, seeking to maintain international pressure on Riyadh over the killing of Khashoggi.

Erdogan,in the first public acknowledgement of the existence of tapes of the slaying, has said that officials from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain have listened to audio recordings related to the killing of journalist Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

President Erdogan also told reporters that Saudi Arabia had to act fairly and disclose those responsible for the killing of The Washington Post journalist to rid itself of ‘suspicion’.

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“We gave them the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to America, to the Germans, the French, to the British, to all of them,” Mr Erdogan said.

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit which Erdogan says was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

His killing provoked global outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and a supporter of Washington’s plans to contain Iranian influence across the Middle East.

Agencies

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