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|HAVANA John Carlson Jersey , Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Cuban government, in an unprecedented move, has opened a relief account to receive donations for victims of Hurricane Irma, which hit the Caribbean island last weekend.
The foreign ministry said in a release on Saturday that the account at state-run Banco Financiero Internacional, is open for those wishing to contribute to the recovery of the devastated country.
It suggested that those interested in donating can contact Cuban embassies around the world or the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that multiple messages of solidarity and shipments of humanitarian aid had been received.
Hurricane Irma Braden Holtby Jersey , considered the worst to hit Cuba since 1932, lashed most of Cuba' s northern coastline during 72 hours, claiming 10 lives and causing major damage to tourism infrastructure.
Irma knocked out the national power grid, damaged numerous homes and led to evacuation of over 2 million people.
In a huge national effort to recover as soon as possible, the authorities mobilized tens of thousands of soldiers Andre Burakovsky Jersey , firemen, construction workers, and volunteers.
"These were hard days for our people who, in a few hours, have seen what they have built with so much effort hit by a devastating hurricane Philipp Grubauer Jersey ," President Raul Castro told the nation on Monday.
"The images of the last hours are eloquent, as is the spirit of resistance and victory of our people that are reborn with each adversity."
Cuba is located along a traditional route for tropical hurricanes in the Caribbean, but local authorities have never before opened an account to receive public donations.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hinted on Monday about the existence of military options on North Korea that might spare Seoul from a brutal counterattack but declined to say what kind of options he was talking about or whether they involved the use of lethal force.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.N. Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear program and that the United States might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.
Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could easily result in a degree of bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which claimed the lives of more than 50 Christian Djoos Jersey ,000 Americans and millions of Koreans and ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty.
Seoul is within artillery range of North Korea, which beyond nuclear and conventional weapons is also believed to have a sizable chemical and biological arsenal.
Asked whether there were any military options the United States could take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk, Mattis said: “Yes there are. But I will not go into details.”
Pressed on whether that might include so-called “kinetic” options that use lethal force, Mattis said: “I don’t want to go into that.”
Military options available to Trump range from non-lethal actions like a naval blockade aimed at enforcing sanctions to waging cyber attacks and positioning new U.S. weaponry in South Korea Devante Smith-Pelly Jersey , where the United States has 28,500 troops.
South Korea has raised the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to the peninsula. Mattis acknowledged discussing that with his South Korean counterpart but declined to say whether that option was under consideration.
“We have open dialogue with our allies on any issue that they want to bring up,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted that any use of lethal force against North Korea would be overwhelming, using phrases like “fire and fury” that evoke images of nuclear war.
The U.S. military said on Monday it had staged bombing drills with South Korea, flying a pair of B-1B bombers and F-35 fighter jets over the Korean peninsula Madison Bowey Jersey , in a show of force against North Korea.
Still, despite heated rhetoric and posturing in the United States and North Korea, there has been no positioning of U.S. military assets to suggest a military conflict is imminent.
Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
Mattis told reporters that he believed diplomacy and sanctions were so far succeeding in putting more pressure on Pyongyang.
“So, yes, it’s working Lars Eller Jersey ,” he said.
Even as tensions rise, the United States and its allies have stuck to a hands-off policy when North Korea test-fires its missiles. Mattis confirmed that policy on Monday, saying it would not shoot down a North Korean missile unless it poses a direct threat to the United States or its allies.
He said Pyongyang’s calculus appeared to be designed to race forward with its missile program, “without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable.”
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