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Is this Cherrie? Police investigate cold case.

Today’s News Briefs: Is this woman the missing 8-year-old?; Putin threatens; Japan and drinking; Raffah push may end soon

Here are today’s news briefs including a woman who claims she a girl who disappeared 50 years ago from a bus stop; Gen Z drinking less; Putin threatens West, and Israel makes statement on end of Gaza operation.

Woman claims she’s the girl who vanished at 8 years old

A woman is claiming she’s Cherrie Mahan, the girl who disappeared from a school bus stop four decades ago when she was 8. The incident made national headlines after she vanished 50 feet from her Pennsylvania home on Feb. 22, 1985. She was declared dead in 1998. The woman made the claim on a Facebook group dedicated to uncovering the mystery of the disappearance. Pennsylvania State Police have opened an investigation. Cherri’s mom, Janice McKinney, doubts the woman’s claims. McKinney responded with an uplifting sentiment: “I’m ok it is hard but my job now is to educate people on this. Please pray for my next steps. Thanks for everyone who stands with me. God bless (sic) knows an (sic) someday we will.”

Putin says he may arm others against West

Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning that Moscow may arm other nations with the aim of attacking western democracies.  Putin made the statement while criticizing the US and Europe who recently greenlighted Ukraine attacks within the borders of Russia. Putin singled out Germany, which recently told Ukraine it was free to hit targets inside Russia with long-range German-made weapons. UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has said it is up to Ukraine to decide how to use British weapons and insisted it has the right to strike targets on Russian territory. Russia, having depleted much of its domestic weapons, is relying on Iranian, North Korean and Chinese weaponry in its war on Ukraine.

Japan breweries expanding alcohol-free beer

Multiple studies in the US. UK and Australia show that people from Gen Z are much more sober than their parents and grandparents. They’re just not drinking as much. In Japan, where alcohol was previously the cornerstone of business deals, the culture has changed, threatening breweries and tax revenue. Now, companies are expanding and pushing alcohol-free drinks which today make up 20% of the market there. While Japan’s population shrinks, beer companies are setting their sights on the US, where “Dry January” is now expanding to the rest of the year plus more  choosing not to drink in public. “I just find other things more enjoyable, and I don’t find drinking very important, especially in party settings,” American Gen Z Vincent Ball told the BBC.

Israel operation in Raffah to end this month

The Israeli military estimates that the operation in Gaza’s Rafah city will be completed within a few weeks, in line with initial estimates. The operation is “progressing and precise,” and its objectives will be fully achieved by the end of the month, with a focus on the underground infrastructure both in Rafah itself and under the Philadelphi Corridor, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Decisions will need to be made regarding both the Gaza Strip and the situation along Israel’s northern border. Israel has pushed forward with destroying Hamas which has promised to additional October 7 events. Israeli media is filled with questions about why the West, including the US, is pushing Israel into a ceasefire as it is on the verge of successfully destroying the terror military organization.

–Dwight Widaman and wire services

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