February 13, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. The death toll from a series of earthquakes that have rocked Turkey and neighboring Syria over the past week has exceeded 33,000. A magnitude 7.8 quake hit southern Turkey in the early hours of last Monday, followed by more tremors. Turkey has counted 29,605 deaths while Syria tallied at least 3,581 fatalities. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway in quake-stricken areas as many people are believed to be still trapped under collapsed buildings.
2.A government aircraft is delivering medical equipment and supplies to Turkey in the wake of last week’s massive earthquake. The Defense Ministry says the plane is heading to Turkey after stopping at Narita Airport to load about 15 tons of supplies for a Japanese emergency medical team, including tents, beds and operating tables.
3.The United States is calling on UN Security Council members to vote for increased access to quake-stricken Syria by opening more border crossings from Turkey. UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen stressed, “We are mobilizing funding and we are trying to tell everyone, put politics aside. This is the time to unite behind a common effort to support the Syrian people.