Daily News Brief

TRT World


A summary of today's impactful news stories from around the world hand-picked by our staff at TRT World.

Available on


1182 episodes

April 1, 2024

*) US, Israel to discuss Rafah invasion in virtual meeting: report The US and Israel will hold a virtual meeting to discuss alternative proposals from the Biden administration regarding a possible Israeli military invasion of Rafah, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are taking refuge, Israeli and US officials confirmed to Axios. The meeting, originally scheduled for last week, was cancelled by Netanyahu in protest at a perceived lack of US involvement as tensions escalated after the US refrained from vetoing a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. *) Israeli forces admit most Gaza killings are civilians The Israeli newspaper Haaretz collected testimony from Israeli officers and soldiers involved in the Gaza war who reportedly admitted that the majority of individuals classified by the army as “terrorists” were actually civilians. The Israeli army claimed that 9,000 terrorists were killed during the Gaza war. However, the officers and soldiers in the report testify to Haaretz that those killed were civilians, their only crime being crossing an invisible line drawn by the Israeli army. Another soldier also stated that they were explicitly instructed to shoot to kill any suspect who ran into a building, even if it resulted in serious civilian casualties. *) Azerbaijan warns Armenia against military ‘provocation’ along border Azerbaijan has warned Armenia against any military build-up on the border, saying any provocation would be dealt with firmly. In a statement on Sunday, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said intensive movements and military build-ups by the Armenian army had been observed recently. The ministry also added that there has been a further activation of revanchist forces threatening Azerbaijan with war and a concentration of manpower, armoured vehicles, and artillery installations in different directions of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conditional border. *) Rockets target Libyan PM’s residence, no casualties reported The residence of Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah was targeted with rocket-propelled grenades in an attack that caused no casualties, a Libyan minister told the press. The minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed in a statement on Sunday that the attack had caused some damage. The minister did not give further details. *) Erdogan declares local elections ‘turning point’ for Türkiye Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the results of the local elections marked a “turning point” for his Justice and Development Party. Regarding the outcome of the local elections, Erdogan vowed to “respect the decision of the nation.” Speaking from the party’s headquarters in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said his party had failed to achieve the expected results in Sunday’s local elections and that the party “would evaluate the results of the local elections with an open heart within the party and will engage in self-criticism.”

Apr 01
March 29, 2024

*) Israel must ensure urgent aid, food gets into Gaza without delay: ICJ The world's top court has ordered Israel to "ensure urgent humanitarian assistance" in Gaza without delay, saying "famine has set in". It also said, "Israel shall take all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay the unhindered provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance," in Gaza And that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, but famine is setting in". *) Israeli strikes in Syria's Aleppo kill 33 people — report Israel's air strikes on the Syrian countryside near Aleppo have killed and wounded at least 33 civilians and regime soldiers, according to several media reports and officials. Syrian regime news agency SANA said that "at approximately 1:45 am, the Israeli enemy launched an air attack from the direction of Athriya, southeast of Aleppo", adding that "civilians and military personnel" had been killed and wounded in the strike on Friday. However, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the casualties consisted of military personnel, and the attack killed at least "36 Syrian soldiers" and targeted an area "near rockets depots belonging to Lebanese group Hezbollah". *) 'Evidence' links Ukraine to Moscow massacre — Russia Russia said it had evidence that the perpetrators of last week's massacre at a concert hall outside Moscow were linked to "Ukrainian nationalists", a claim the United States called "nonsense". Despite a Daesh affiliate claiming responsibility, President Vladimir Putin and his security services continue to claim that Kiev and the West were somehow involved in the attack, which killed at least 143 people. The Russian Investigative Committee has also said they found evidence linking the detained terrorists with Ukrainian nationalists through analysis of seized technical devices and financial transactions. *) US seeks to stop exports to 600+ defence firms with Russia ties A US Commerce Department official said that they are asking American companies to voluntarily stop shipping goods to more than 600 foreign parties out of concern that the items could be diverted to Russia for use in its attack on Ukraine. He said that the Commerce Department had sent letters to at least 20 companies in recent weeks with the warning in its latest effort to stop Russia's war in Ukraine. The companies in question make and sell products found in missiles and drones found in Ukraine. *) China's Xiaomi to enter highly competitive EV market for first time Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is set to unveil its first EV at a press conference in Beijing, entering a fiercely competitive sector in the world's biggest car market. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the SU7 EV will "stake its reputation" to challenge Chinese car giant BYD and Elon Musk's Tesla. Lei said the SU7, available in blue bay, olive green, or elegant grey, even includes "sound simulation" to recreate the thrill of driving a sports car.

Mar 29
March 28, 2024

*) Prepping for Rafah invasion, Israel orders 40,000 tents from China Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the purchase of 40,000 tents from China to be set up in besieged Gaza, Israeli media reported, in preparation for a ground invasion of Rafah. It comes as Netanyahu downplayed global fears of a humanitarian catastrophe if Israel launches a planned ground invasion into Gaza’s southernmost city, where more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge. Speaking to a US Congressional delegation visiting Israel, Netanyahu said people sheltering in Rafah will be able to move away from the fighting. *) Biden team official flags plausible genocide in Gaza, resigns in protest A US State Department official has resigned in protest of the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza. Annelle Sheline, who worked as a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, accused Washington of “directly enabling” a plausible genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave. Sheline wrote in an article for CNN that she was “unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities,” and resigned. *) F-16s won’t change anything in Ukraine battlefield: Putin Russian news agencies quoted President Vladimir Putin as telling military pilots that if Western countries supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters, the aircraft will not alter the situation on the battlefield. Putin said the fighters can carry nuclear weapons and Moscow would have to take account of that in its military planning. Putin’s remarks followed comments by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that the F-16 aircraft should arrive in Ukraine in the coming months. *) Colombia kicks out Argentine diplomats after Milei calls Petro ‘terrorist’ Colombia has ordered the expulsion of Argentine diplomats from their embassy in the Andean nation, Colombia’s Foreign Ministry said. It cited “denigrating” comments by Argentine President Javier Milei about Colombian President Gustavo Petro. In a recent interview with news channel CNN, which has not yet been aired in full, Milei called Petro a “terrorist”, “murderer” and “communist”. *) Vinicius Junior breaks down as he laments racism in Spanish football Real Madrid and Brazil star Vinicius Junior broke down in tears at a news conference as he spoke about the racism he suffered in Spain. The 23-year-old forward said, “Playing football is important, but the fight against racism is very important.” Vinicius said that racism is a global problem and noted that football’s governing bodies could all “do more things.”

Mar 28
March 27, 2024

*) Isolated, US & Israel see UN states back report on Israeli genocide in Gaza The UN expert who concluded Israel was committing acts of genocide in besieged Gaza has received broad support at the United Nations, with countries speaking up to back her and her report. Francesca Albanese, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, told the UN Human Rights Council that countries should impose an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel. Albanese said Israel was characterising the entire Palestinian population in besieged Gaza as “targetable, killable and destroyable” and had ostentatiously laid bare its “genocidal intent” to “rid Palestine of Palestinians.” *) ‘He swam to get food for his children’: 12 drown as US drops aid off Gaza Palestinian resistance group Hamas has demanded a halt to aid airdrops after 18 people drowned while attempting to reach the dropped supplies. The group said Israel must lift its brutal siege and allow aid into Gaza via land crossings. Six people were killed in stampedes and 12 others drowned off the territory’s Mediterranean coast trying to salvage aid packages. *) Russia claims downing 18 airborne targets in Belgorod Russia has claimed that its air defence units downed 18 airborne targets over the southern region of Belgorod bordering Ukraine, the regional governor said. Writing on the Telegram messaging app, the governor of the Belgorod region said one person was injured and there was damage to private homes and cars. Ukraine has been staging air attacks for months on Belgorod and two nearby regions, Kursk and Voronezh. *) India court bans Muslim religious schools in UP state ahead of election A court in India has effectively banned Muslim religious schools in the country’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. The ruling last week scraps a 2004 law governing Muslim religious schools in Uttar Pradesh, saying it violates India’s constitutional secularism and ordering that students be moved to conventional schools. The Allahabad High Court order affects 2.7 million students and 10,000 teachers in 25,000 religious schools across the state. *) Türkiye stands firm against false claims of defence ties with Israel Türkiye has rejected allegations of cooperation with Israel, particularly defence-based cooperation, saying the country will not do anything that will harm Palestinians and their cause. The country’s defence ministry said, “It is not possible for the Republic of Türkiye, which has always supported Palestine, to carry out or engage in any activity that would harm Palestinians.” The statement came after false claims by some media outlets that Türkiye continues to export gunpowder, weapons and ammunition to Israel.

Mar 27
March 26, 2024

*) UNSC finally demands Gaza ceasefire in Ramadan after US abstains vote The UN Security Council for the first time in 5 months since the Israeli war on Gaza started has demanded an immediate ceasefire after the United States, Tel Aviv’s ally which vetoed previous drafts, abstained. All 14 other members voted in favour of the resolution, which “demands an immediate ceasefire” for the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It also demanded the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs.” *) Blinken tells Gallant alternatives exist to Rafah invasion US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stressed that “alternatives exist to a ground invasion of Rafah” in a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. Speaking about Rafah, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller earlier highlighted that a “full-scale invasion would be a mistake and that Israel has not presented a coherent evacuation plan for Rafah.” But on top of that, Miller said, “This type of invasion would weaken Israel’s security and would make Israel less safe, not more safe. It would undermine its standing in the world.” *) Pakistan foils BLA terror attack on naval air station in Balochistan Pakistani security forces have foiled a late-night attack on a naval air station in southwestern Balochistan, according to officials. Four to six heavily armed militants tried to enter PNS Siddiq in Turbat district last night. However, security forces “neutralised all the attackers” and no loss to any “sensitive equipment or casualties of our own troops” has so far been reported, a senior military official told Anadolu Agency. There was no official statement from the military. *) Haiti delegates squabble over choosing leader as gang violence escalates Efforts to form a transitional government and fill a power vacuum in violence-torn Haiti have failed as delegates bickered over the choice of a leader and death threats prompted one member to quit over the weekend. After Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned, the body, supported by the United Nations and regional bloc CARICOM, among others, is still struggling to come into shape two weeks after Henry’s March 11 announcement. Meetings were held over the weekend and on Monday, with a virtual summit between the delegates and CARICOM scheduled, the members of the Council are expected to try to elect a leader. *) EU launches probe of Apple, Google, Meta compliance with new digital law The EU has hit Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Meta with the first-ever probes under a mammoth digital law, which could lead to big fines against the US giants. Among six firms named as market “gatekeepers” under the EU’s landmark Digital Markets Act — along with Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance and Microsoft — the companies have been obliged to comply with the new law since March 7. Under the new rules, the commission can impose fines of up to 10 percent of a company’s total global turnover. This can rise to up to 20 percent for repeat offenders. In extreme circumstances, the EU can order the break up of companies.

Mar 26
March 25, 2024

*) UN agency for Palestinians barred from North Gaza aid deliveries The United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees says that Israel had definitively barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. The head of the agency Philippe Lazzarini said on X that “despite the tragedy unfolding under our watch, the Israeli Authorities informed the UN that they will no longer approve any UNRWA food convoys to the north.” He called the decision “outrageous,” saying the decision makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a “man-made famine.” *) Israeli war to only end with Jews settling in northern Gaza: Knesset member The head of the Knesset’s National Security Committee Zvika Fogel has said “the Israeli war on Gaza will end with Jews settling in northern Gaza,” while speaking to Israeli public broadcaster KAN. He added that “Israel must end the war when Jews settle in the entire northern Gaza Strip.” Fogel called for encouraging the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from Gaza saying, whoever wants to “voluntarily migrate” will receive a “grant” from him. *) Four suspects remanded in custody over Moscow concert attack Four men accused of involvement in the massacre at a Moscow concert hall that killed 137 people have been remanded in custody, as Russia observed a national day of mourning following the attack claimed by the Daesh terror group. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to punish those behind the “barbaric terrorist attack,” and said the four gunmen had been arrested while trying to flee to Ukraine. Kiev has strongly denied any connection to the attack. All four suspects have been charged with terrorism, according to Moscow’s Basmanny district court, and face life imprisonment. *) Senegal anti-establishment candidate leads in presidential poll Senegal’s anti-establishment candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye appeared to be closing in on a first-round victory in a presidential poll. Opposition figure Faye had promised voters “a profound change” and a presidential programme of left-wing pan-Africanism. Faye was well ahead of former ruling coalition Prime Minister Amadou Ba, according to preliminary results from individual polling stations published by local media and on social networks. *) Pro-Palestine protesters stage event at New York Metropolitan Art Museum Protesters covered the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art with a large patchwork blanket displaying messages of solidarity with Palestine to draw attention to Israel’s war on Gaza. Many demonstrators gathered on the steps of the museum, also known as The Met as they chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine” and “How many children did Israel kill today?” They also distributed brochures that highlighted the museum’s silence over Israel’s “genocide” of Palestinians and its support for its war in Gaza, advocating for a world where justice prevails.

Mar 25
March 22, 2024

*) Blinken to press Israel for 'immediate' truce in Gaza war US Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Israel to press for a truce in Gaza, ahead of a key UN Security Council vote on a US draft resolution calling for an "immediate" ceasefire. Israel's main backer the United States announced it would submit for a vote on Friday a draft to the Security Council on the need for an "immediate ceasefire as part of a hostage deal", after repeatedly using its veto power to block other similarly worded resolutions. *) UK, Australia call for ‘immediate cessation of fighting’ in Gaza Britain and Australia declared the need for an "immediate cessation of fighting" in Gaza, as diplomatic pressure built on Israel to ditch a planned ground assault on the southern city of Rafah. After a meeting of Australian and UK foreign and defence ministers in Adelaide, Australia the allies stressed the "urgency of an immediate cessation of fighting in Gaza to allow aid to flow and hostages to be released". *) Trump faces backlash from US Jews over his remarks about Jewish voters Several members of the US Jewish community have expressed criticism towards former President Donald Trump following his recent comments, where he accused Jewish Democrats of being disloyal to their faith. Jonathan Sarna, an American Jewish history professor, highlighted that Trump's remarks are exacerbating tensions within the Jewish community. Sarna noted, "For people who hate Donald Trump in the Jewish community, certainly this statement will reinforce their sense that they don’t want to have anything to do with him." *) Russian missile strikes damage power supply in Ukraine's Kharkiv About 15 blasts were heard in Ukraine's Kharkiv, mayor Ihor Terekhov said, and Russian missile strikes appeared to be targeting the city's power supplies, causing partial blackouts. Terekhov did not report any casualties. He said some of the city's water pumps had stopped because of the attacks. In central Ukraine, Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said blasts were heard in the city, but provided no details. And finally… *) Oil prices decline amid potential Gaza ceasefire, dollar strength Oil prices slipped on the possibility of a nearing Gaza ceasefire that could ease geopolitical concerns in the Middle East, while a stronger dollar and faltering US gasoline demand also weighed on prices. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he believed talks in Qatar could reach a Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Brent crude futures fell by 0.5 percent to $85.36 a barrel, while US crude futures dropped 0.5 percent to $80.67/barrel. Both contracts are set to end the week little changed after rising more than 3 percent last week.

Mar 22
March 21, 2024

*) US submits UN resolution for 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza The United States has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council, calling for an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza linked to the release of hostages. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced it during his visit to Saudi Arabia, where discussions on the ongoing Israel's war on Gaza were held. The resolution is aimed at addressing the escalating situation and garnering international support for peace efforts in the region. *) Nearly 70 ex-US officials urge Biden to take hard line on Israel A group consisting of nearly 70 former US officials, diplomats, and military officers has issued an open letter urging President Joe Biden to warn Israel of serious consequences should it deny civil rights and basic necessities to Palestinians, as well as expand illegal Zionist settlement activity in the occupied West Bank. The letter calls for concrete action from the United States to oppose such practices, including potential restrictions on assistance to Israel consistent with US law and policy. The group highlighted Israel's invasion, citing "repeated violations" of international law prohibiting indiscriminate killing and the use of weapons that fail to discriminate between combatants and civilians. *) 'We have shown flexibility' to reach ceasefire deal in Gaza: Hamas Palestinian group Hamas has expressed flexibility in reaching a ceasefire deal with Israel in Gaza. Hamas leader Osama Hamdan stated during a press conference in Beirut that the resistance movement has demonstrated openness to an agreement, shifting the onus onto Israel to respond. Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas have resumed in Doha, Qatar, aiming to establish a truce in Gaza. Hamdan outlined Hamas's vision for a comprehensive agreement, emphasising key priorities such as halting aggression, facilitating the return of displaced individuals, withdrawing occupation forces from Gaza, and enabling aid entry. *) UN warns Sudan among 'worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory' The United Nations has issued a dire warning regarding the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, describing it as one of the worst in recent history after nearly a year of conflict. Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations at the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), lamented the lack of action from the international community, labelling the situation a "humanitarian travesty." Speaking on behalf of UNOCHA head Martin Griffiths, Wosornu emphasised the urgent need for attention and action, highlighting the significant scale of humanitarian needs, displacement, and hunger facing Sudanese civilians. *) Musk's Neuralink unveils brain-chip patient playing online chess Elon Musk's brain-chip startup, Neuralink, has achieved a significant milestone by live-streaming its first patient using a chip implanted in his brain to play online chess. Noland Arbaugh, a 29-year-old who was paralysed below the shoulder following a diving accident, utilised the Neuralink device to control the cursor on his laptop while playing chess. The implant, designed to enable individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard solely through their thoughts, marks a remarkable advancement in neurotechnology. Arbaugh, who received the implant from Neuralink in January, previously demonstrated the ability to control a computer mouse using his thoughts, as confirmed by Musk last month.

Mar 21
March 20, 2024

*) Gaza hospital hit in intense Israeli raid for second day Explosions and shootings have once again rocked Gaza's largest hospital, Al Shifa, and its surrounding neighbourhoods as Israeli forces storm through the facility for a second day. This latest raid deals a devastating blow to the already-strained Al Shifa medical complex, which had only partially resumed operations after a destructive Israeli raid in November. Reports indicate that thousands of Palestinian patients, medical personnel, and displaced individuals are currently trapped within the sprawling hospital compound, with heavy fighting raging in the nearby districts. *) Canada to halt future arms exports to Israel — report A Canadian government source revealed that Canada is ceasing its arms shipments to Israel. The decision marks a significant shift as Ottawa has only exported "non-lethal" shipments such as communications equipment to Israel since its war on blockaded Gaza. According to the source, no arms exports have occurred since January. Israel has historically been a major recipient of Canadian arms, receiving over $15 million worth of military materials in 2022 and $19 million in 2021, as reported by Radio Canada. *) US, Israel defence chiefs to meet in Washington Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is scheduled to meet with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin next week in Washington. This confirmation comes from a US defence official speaking anonymously to disclose details not yet public. The meeting's agenda is reported to include discussion of securing the release of hostages, humanitarian aid to Gaza and protecting those in Rafah. *) UN chief alarmed by killings of civilians in Myanmar United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern over reports of continued military air strikes on villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Locals reported that more than 20 people were killed in these strikes on Monday alone. The clashes in Rakhine state have intensified since November, following an attack by the Arakan Army on security forces, effectively ending a ceasefire established after the military coup in 2021. And finally… *) Japan hikes rates for first time in 17 years Japan's central bank has scrapped its negative interest rate as it finally began unwinding one of the world's most aggressive monetary easing programmes. Implemented in 2013, the unconventional policy aimed to stimulate economic growth and inflation following Japan's prolonged period of economic stagnation, often referred to as the "lost decades." In a historic move, the Bank of Japan raised its short-term policy rate for the first time in 17 years from -0.1 percent to a range between zero and 0.1 percent.

Mar 20
March 19, 2024

*) MSF urges blocking Israel’s Rafah assault Doctors Without Borders chief Christopher Lockyear warns against Israeli war in southern Gaza's Rafah, citing a potential catastrophe that must not be allowed to happen. His concerns stem from a recent visit to the Palestinian enclave, where he witnessed the urgent humanitarian needs at the densely populated Rafah crossing. Lockyear urges diplomatic solutions to prevent further conflict escalation, emphasising the importance of stability. MSF stands prepared to offer aid amidst ongoing tensions in the region. *) Israel blocks UNRWA chief from entering besieged Gaza UN's relief agency for Palestinians or UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini expressed frustration as Israel barred his entry into Gaza, a territory facing a looming famine. During a press conference in Cairo, Lazzarini disclosed the denial, which disrupted his planned visit to Rafah. He accused Israeli authorities of the denial on social media and underlined that Palestinian children are dying of dehydration and hunger. *) US' Blinken travels to Saudi Arabia, Egypt for potential Gaza truce Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarks on a crucial trip this week, aiming to secure a ceasefire and boost humanitarian aid in Israel's Gaza war. His journey begins in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, where talks with Saudi leaders in Jeddah are pivotal for regional stability. Following Saudi Arabia, Blinken will fly to Cairo on Thursday for talks with Egyptian authorities. *) 50 allies to meet as US funds for Ukraine's defence cease US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin aims to reassure European allies of President Joe Biden's commitment to support Ukraine amid concerns over funding challenges. Austin leads discussions at the Ukraine Defence Contact Group summit at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where approximately 50 allies convene to provide military assistance, emphasising collective efforts to bolster defence capabilities. Despite obstacles, Austin reaffirms US commitment to Ukraine's security, aiming to galvanise collective action and solidarity to address evolving challenges. *) Nvidia unveils powerful 'superchip' for AI Nvidia has unveiled its latest chip for powering artificial intelligence, known as Blackwell, as it seeks to consolidate its position as the major supplier to the AI frenzy. The new chip has 208 billion transistors, more than double the 80 billion on the company's previous chip. All of those transistors can access the memory attached to the chip at nearly the same time, improving productivity.

Mar 19
March 18, 2024

This is TRT World’s Daily News Brief for Monday, March 18th. *) Aid arrives in north Gaza’s Jabalia for 1st time in four months The Israeli army has allowed nine trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter northern Gaza including Jabalia, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya. The aid, which consisted of flour, rice, canned food and sugar, arrived at the Jabalia refugee camp under the auspices of the security services of the Gaza government in cooperation with Palestinian tribes. It was placed in warehouses belonging to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees or UNRWA which carried out its first regular aid distribution on Sunday. *) International institutions ‘failed once again’ amid Gaza crisis: Erdogan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised international institutions and organisations over Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, saying that they have “failed once again”. He labelled it as “hypocrisy” that Western countries, which provide ammunition support to Israel, have turned Gaza into the world’s largest graveyard for children and women. Erdogan said that Türkiye stands by Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza with all its capabilities. *) Vladimir Putin wins Russian presidential elections again Russian President Vladimir Putin has cemented his grip on power in a landslide election victory. Putin said his imminent victory in the Russian presidential elections showed Russians trusted his leadership. Early Monday morning in a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Moscow, Putin expressed his gratitude to every citizen of the nation for their support and trust. *) Haiti situation nears chaos of ‘Mad Max’ The UN children’s agency UNICEF has painted a grim picture of Haiti, calling the situation “horrific.” Executive Director Catherine Russell compared it to the violent, lawless world of the “Mad Max” films. Gang control of major areas in the capital, Port-au-Prince and key roads is hindering vital aid deliveries. The lack of access to food is causing widespread hunger and malnutrition, with Russell stating it’s the worst the country has seen in decades. And finally… *) Thousand evacuated as wildfire rages on China’s southern province A wildfire burning in Sichuan Province, China continues to spread. Nearly 3,400 people have been evacuated to safety as of Sunday. The fire ignited last Friday in a rural area and remains uncontained due to strong winds hampering firefighting efforts. According to Chinese media reports, the blaze spread to mountainsides on Saturday afternoon. And that’s your daily news brief from TRT World. For more, head to trtworld.com

Mar 18
March 15, 2024

*) Abbas names adviser Mohammed Mustafa as Palestine's PM Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Mohammed Mustafa as the new prime minister following Mohammed Shtayyeh's resignation. Mustafa, a trusted economic adviser, faces the task of forming a new government amid Israel's war on Gaza. At 69 years old, he is tasked with governing the occupied West Bank, while Hamas controls Gaza. Mustafa's extensive experience in economic affairs and governance, including roles at the World Bank and advisory positions for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, is seen to shape his approach to addressing Palestinian Authority challenges. *) Twin Israeli attacks kill 29 besieged Palestinians awaiting aid in Gaza At least 29 Palestinians were killed in two separate attacks in Gaza while awaiting aid, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. In the first incident, eight Palestinians were killed in an airstrike on an aid distribution centre in Al Nuseirat camp. Later, at least 21 people were killed and over 155 wounded by Israeli gunfire at a northern Gaza roundabout. The Israeli military denied attacking aid centres, but residents reported ongoing aerial and ground bombardments, including in Rafah, where over a million displaced people are sheltering. *) Chuck Schumer seeks Netanyahu's ouster US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the removal of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, labelling him an "obstacle" to Middle East peace. Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in the US, criticised Netanyahu's alignment with far-right extremists and tolerance of civilian casualties in Gaza. He urged Israel to hold new elections amid a growing humanitarian crisis. The move reflects that the Biden administration is running out of patience with Netanyahu's government. *) Azerbaijan is closer to ‘peace’ with Armenia than ever before Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has declared the nation's triumph of "historical justice" through the liberation of the Karabakh region from decades-long occupation, stressing significant progress towards peace with Armenia. Speaking at a forum in Baku, Aliyev hailed the successes of the fall 2020 Karabakh war, asserting that the region is now closer to peace than ever before. He highlighted the conflict's impact, including counter-terrorism operations and the seizure of $6 billion worth of weapons supplied to Armenia. *) New climate commitments essential for global safety, prosperity: UN UN climate chief Simon Stiell has issued a critical call for action, urging countries to produce ambitious new emissions-cutting pledges within a year. Stressing the urgency, Stiell labelled these plans as crucial for ensuring global safety and prosperity, emphasising the need to prevent surpassing the 1.5°C warming limit. In an open letter to nearly 200 nations in UN climate negotiations, Stiell highlighted the pivotal role of these pledges in safeguarding economies, national budgets and population well-being from worsening climate impacts.

Mar 15
March 14, 2024

*) Netanyahu prolonging Gaza war to stay in power Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of prolonging the Gaza conflict to maintain power. Al Maliki criticised Israel's use of starvation as a weapon of war, citing nearly 600,000 Palestinians on the brink of famine, and expressed disappointment with the international community's lack of action. Al Maliki emphasised the need for the international community to address the Palestinian cause, urging pressure on Netanyahu for a ceasefire. *) Israel 'lost the war' in Gaza even if it invades Rafah — Hezbollah Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared Israel's defeat in Gaza, stating that even an invasion of the southern city of Rafah would not change the outcome. Nasrallah emphasised Israel's failure to achieve any victories or objectives after six months of fighting, asserting that the Israeli army is exhausted on all fronts. According to Nasrallah, Israel's casualties are much higher than officially reported, and the army lacks sufficient troops to sustain the conflict. Official figures show Israel has killed over 31,270 Palestinians and wounded more than 73,020. *) UN to send aid to Haiti via 'airbridge' as 'Barbecue' vows to fight on United Nations aims to establish an "airbridge" between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to bolster aid delivery and facilitate personnel movement amid Haiti's ongoing crisis, according to the UN's Haiti mission. The initiative seeks to ensure seamless assistance and anticipates the arrival of additional crisis management personnel to address the dire situation. Efforts are underway to form a transitional governing body to replace the outgoing prime minister Ariel Henry. Meanwhile, Jimmy Cherizier, a prominent Haitian gang leader known as "Barbecue," has declared his coalition's intent to continue the fight for Haiti's liberation, despite the prime minister's resignation. *) Islamophobia 'an unacceptable form of racism' — Russia Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said Islamophobia is "an unacceptable form of racism" during a news conference in Moscow. She emphasised Russia's solidarity with the stances of Muslim nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on this matter. Zakharova stressed the importance of combating discrimination and harassment against Muslims based on religious affiliation, advocating for religious freedoms that respect both the individual and collective rights of believers. Moreover, Zakharova announced Russia's support for a draft resolution proposed by Muslim countries at the UN General Assembly titled "Measures to Combat Islamophobia." This resolution is dedicated to the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, observed annually on March 15. And finally… *) Adidas reports first loss in over three decades Adidas faced its first loss in over three decades due to the fallout from ending its collaboration with Kanye West, now known as Ye. The German sportswear giant terminated its contract with the US rapper in late 2022 after he sparked controversy with anti-Semitic social media posts. The end of their partnership disrupted Adidas' revenue flow and left the company burdened with a surplus of unsold Yeezy trainers. The company reported a loss of $82 million in 2023, a sharp decline from the previous year's profit of $670 million.

Mar 14
March 13, 2024

*) Israel is using starvation as 'war arm' European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell addressed the UN Security Council, condemning Israel's use of starvation as a weapon of war. He emphasised that the humanitarian crisis in the region is entirely man-made, with essential routes for aid being deliberately blocked. Borrell stressed the urgency of the situation and called on Israeli authorities to cease obstructing humanitarian access. Meanwhile, the EU is stepping up its humanitarian assistance efforts to address the escalating crisis. *) Israeli leaders must answer for the babies killed in Gaza Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emphasised the need for an independent Palestinian state as the only means to honour the memory of slain Palestinian children. President Erdogan condemned the violence against Palestinian children, saying in quotes, "They cannot stop us from referring to the murderer as a murderer." He called on Israeli leaders to acknowledge the truth of the situation in Gaza and be held accountable for the lives lost. *) Four US ships depart for mission to build temporary Gaza pier Four US Army vessels have set sail from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, bound for the Eastern Mediterranean to aid in humanitarian efforts in Gaza. According to Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder, the mission aims to construct a temporary port on Gaza's coast to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. The temporary pier is anticipated to be operational within 60 days, with the capacity to distribute up to 2 million meals daily. *) 230,000 children, new mothers in Sudan at risk of starvation deaths Sudan is facing a devastating hunger crisis, with Save the Children warning nearly 230,000 children and new mothers could die without urgent action. The charity blames the war for causing widespread malnutrition, with over 2.9 million children acutely malnourished and 729,000 suffering from the most severe form. This dire situation puts Sudan among the countries with the worst nutrition in the world. And finally… *) Google limits chatbot Gemini's election comments Tech giant Google is expanding restrictions on its AI chatbot Gemini. Previously limited within the US, Gemini will no longer answer election-related questions globally due to concerns over misinformation. This decision comes as advancements in AI raise fears of "fake news" impacting elections. When asked about elections, Gemini now directs users to Google Search for information.

Mar 13
March 12, 2024

*) Children starving in Gaza, ceasefire needed to get aid in: CIA chief CIA Director William Burns has called for an urgent ceasefire in Gaza to facilitate humanitarian aid distribution, particularly for starving children amid Israeli attacks. Speaking at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Burns highlighted the challenge of effective humanitarian assistance without a ceasefire. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has reported that one in six children under two years old faces acute malnourishment in northern Gaza. *) Civilians in Israel, Palestine ‘cannot be abandoned’: UN official In a recent mission to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the UN’s top official on sexual violence in conflict Pramila Patten emphasised the imperative of not abandoning civilians. Her visit aimed to gather, analyse and verify reports on sexual violence, providing a snapshot of her findings in a report to the UN Security Council. *) Haiti PM Ariel Henry resigns after Jamaica summit seeks transition Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned amidst a worsening civil war in the capital, driven by intensified activities of gang groups. Henry took office following the 2021 assassination of the previous president. Urgent discussions involving Caribbean leaders and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jamaica preceded the resignation, focusing on finding a solution to Haiti’s escalating crisis. *) India moves ahead to enforce anti-Muslim citizenship law ahead of election India has announced rules to implement a 2019 citizenship law that critics call anti-Muslim, weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a rare third term. The Citizenship Amendment Act grants Indian nationality to certain people such as Hindus, Christians and Buddhists who fled to India from Muslim-majority countries before 2015. Muslim groups say the law, combined with a proposed national register of citizens, can discriminate against India's 200 million Muslims. They fear the government might remove the citizenship of Muslims without documents in some border states. And finally… *) Xiaomi schedules late March start for EV deliveries — company China's Xiaomi will start deliveries of its first electric vehicle model SU7 this month, venturing into the world's largest auto market amid a brutal price war. The smartphone maker, China's fifth-largest, said in a post on social media it has 59 stores in 29 cities nationwide that will take orders. A launch event is scheduled for March 28 when the new EV's sticker tag is expected to be announced.

Mar 12
March 11, 2024

*) Ramadan's first night at Al Aqsa Mosque Muslims globally observed the Tarawih prayer on the first night of Ramadan, yet celebrations are overshadowed by sadness as Israel’s brutal war on Palestinians in Gaza persists.  In occupied East Jerusalem, at Al Aqsa Mosque Compound, the world's third-holiest site for Muslims, there were fewer worshipers amid access restrictions imposed by the Israeli police. Some Palestinians prayed outside in the streets of the Old City, as Israel's war on besieged Gaza has killed at least 31,045 people, mostly children and women. *)  Sudan army general rules out Ramadan truce unless RSF leaves civilian sites Meanwhile, in Sudan, the government says there would be no truce in the holy month of Ramadan unless the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group leaves the homes and sites of civilians. The statement follows an appeal by the United Nations Security Council for a truce during Ramadan.  For its part, the paramilitary RSF said it welcomed the ceasefire call but senior Sudanese armed forces General Yasser al Atta called for the withdrawal of RSF first. The fighting between Sudan's army and the RSF erupted in mid-April 2023 amid tensions over a plan for transition to civilian rule.  *) Pakistan's Zardari sworn in for second term as president Pakistan's newly-elected President Asif Ali Zardari has taken the oath of office, becoming the first-ever civilian to serve a second term in the country's highest office. Zardari served as president from 2008 to 2013 under his own party's government. He took the oath of office during a ceremony at the Presidency in the capital Islamabad, attended by officials such as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the three armed services chiefs. *) Portugal shifts right in election amidst populist surge Also in election news, Portugal's main centre-right party has narrowly defeated the incumbent Socialists but fell well short of a majority in a general election.  Near-complete official results have shown that the centre-right Democratic Alliance captured 29.49 percent of the vote, just ahead of the Socialists, with 28.66 percent. The result marks another advance for the populist far right in Europe, where they already govern in countries such as Italy, Hungary and Slovakia, or are steadily gaining, as in France and Germany. And finally… *) Oppenheimer dominates 96th Academy Awards, winning 7 Oscars Oppenheimer has blown up the 2024 Academy Awards in Hollywood, taking home seven Oscars, including the grand prize for Best Picture. The film's star, Cillian Murphy, won Best Actor and Robert Downey Jr. claimed the award for Best Supporting Actor.  Christopher Nolan won the Oscar for Best Director and the movie also took home the hardware for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.

Mar 11
March 8, 2024

*) Biden acknowledges 30,000+ Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza US President Joe Biden has acknowledged that Israel's war in Gaza has inflicted a severe toll on innocent civilians, surpassing the impact of all previous conflicts. Over the last 153 days, more than 30,000 Palestinians, including thousands of women and children, lost their lives. In response, Biden announced the establishment of a temporary US military port off Gaza to enhance humanitarian aid efforts. Despite ongoing aid airdrops, reports indicate that Washington has approved 100 military sales to Tel Aviv since October 7, adding complexity to the situation. *) Hamas delegation leaves Cairo but will continue ceasefire talks Hamas delegation has left Cairo but will persist with Gaza ceasefire talks until an agreement with Israel is reached. This is according to a statement from the Palestinian resistance group. The delegation is set to consult with the movement's leadership. Despite ongoing efforts, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri blames Israel for the lack of progress, accusing them of "thwarting" the four-day ceasefire deal negotiations mediated by Qatar and Egypt. Israel has rejected key Hamas demands, including ending the offensive, troop withdrawal, and ensuring freedom of entry for aid and the return of displaced individuals. *) UK draft pushes ceasefire in conflict-torn Sudan ceasefire during Ramadan Britain has presented a UN draft resolution, calling for an urgent end to hostilities in conflict-stricken Sudan, especially in Darfur, ahead of the approaching holy month of Ramadan. The draft voices grave concern over escalating violence and the worsening humanitarian crisis. As Ramadan nears, the council anticipates swift voting on the resolution, with a likely decision today. *) Massive protests target Colombian president, urging Petro to resign Thousands rallied across Colombian cities, expressing dissatisfaction with President Gustavo Petro's administration and the persisting violence in the country, despite his peace negotiation efforts with armed groups. The demonstrations occurred in Bogota, Cali, Medellin, and various other cities. Protesters voiced concerns not only about the ongoing violence but also criticised Petro's proposed reforms to pension and healthcare systems, aiming to reduce dependence on private funds. *) World marks International Women’s Day Today, the world observes International Women’s Day, a celebration rooted in the early 1909 US movement and officially recognised by the UN in 1977. Demonstrations are set to take place worldwide, from Tokyo to Mexico City, reflecting the ongoing global commitment to women's rights. The day serves as a collective call to action, urging societies to recognise and address the challenges women face while celebrating their achievements and contributions.

Mar 08
March 7, 2024

*) South Africa urges ICJ for new emergency measures against Israel South Africa has urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to implement additional provisional measures against Israel and to amend the ICJ's interim ruling in the ongoing genocide case. The ICJ acknowledged South Africa's urgent request, citing in quotes "new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza, particularly the situation of widespread starvation." According to the statement issued by the ICJ, South Africa alleges that Israel's actions in Gaza constitute breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well as violations of the provisional measures issued by the court in January. *) China supports 'full' UN membership of Palestinian state China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, has declared Beijing's support for granting full United Nations membership to the Palestinian state. He said in quotes, "The long-cherished wish of the Palestinian people to establish an independent country can no longer be evaded." Addressing the recent events in Gaza, Yi emphasised that the prolonged occupation of Palestinian territories can no longer be overlooked, pointing to the urgent need for international attention. *) US authorised more than 100 weapons sales to Israel, including thousands of bombs: report A new report has exposed that the US has discreetly approved more than 100 weapons sales to Israel since the beginning of Israel's war on Gaza in October. US officials confirmed that the sales encompassed a range of weaponry, including thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms, and other lethal aid. Notably, some transfers remained under the radar, escaping public scrutiny due to falling below specific dollar amounts that necessitate individual notifications to Congress. *) Senegal's Sall dissolves govt, announces new date for presidential election The Senegalese President Macky Sall has dissolved the government and appointed the previous Interior Minister as the new prime minister. The presidential election, originally slated for June 2, 2024, has now been rescheduled to March 24 of the same year. The government spokesman confirmed these developments in an official statement. The decision follows the rejection by Senegal's top constitutional body of a proposal to hold the presidential vote on June 2, emphasising the necessity of conducting the elections before President Sall's mandate expires on April 2. *) First Arab woman to graduate NASA training has her sights set on Moon Nora al Matrooshi, a 30-year-old Emirati woman, has etched her name in history as the first Arab woman to successfully complete NASA's demanding astronaut training program. Hailing from a mechanical engineering background and having worked in the oil industry, Al Matrooshi was selected by the United Arab Emirates Space Agency in 2021 as one of two astronaut candidates. It granted her access to NASA's comprehensive training programme, affirming her commitment to the exploration of outer space.

Mar 07
March 6, 2024

*) Hamas shows 'flexibility' for truce amid Israeli reluctance The Palestinian group Hamas has declared its commitment to ongoing negotiations through intermediaries until a ceasefire agreement is reached with Israel. Despite Hamas displaying flexibility for a comprehensive halt to aggression, the group accuses Israel of avoiding the terms of the proposed agreement. Currently, negotiators from Hamas, Qatar, and Egypt are in Cairo, aiming to secure a 40-day ceasefire before the start of Ramadan next week. US pushes UN to back temporary Gaza truce to free captives The United States has modified a draft UN Security Council resolution, supporting an immediate six-week ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all hostages. The revised text, proposed by the US two weeks ago, aligns with Vice President Kamala Harris's candid statements. The US emphasised that the Security Council’s backing of a ceasefire should be contingent upon the liberation of hostages in Gaza. *) Actions of Israeli 'settlers' biggest obstacles to solution — Erdogan During a press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdogan condemned Israel's actions in Gaza, labelling them "barbarity of the last century." Accusing Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government of "blatant genocide," Erdogan emphasised the Western powers' unwavering support for Tel Aviv. He underlined that those responsible for the bloodshed would face accountability within the bounds of the law and public conscience. *) Biden, Trump dominate Super Tuesday, cruise toward nomination and rematch In a decisive sweep across coast-to-coast contests on Super Tuesday, US President Joe Biden of the Democratic party and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump solidified their positions for a November rematch. Both candidates secured victories in similar states, including Texas, Alabama, Colorado and Oklahoma. Additionally, Trump claimed states like Virginia and Maine, which were expected to be favourable to his major rival, Nikki Haley, due to their substantial moderate voter populations, reminiscent of her previous primary support. *) Tesla's factory in Germany halts production after far-right arson attack The Tesla factory in Germany faces a production halt after an act of “sabotage” targeted high-voltage lines, set ablaze by a far-left group, according to authorities. Emergency services responded to the burning electricity pylon near Berlin, causing damage to the lines and a power outage for the Tesla plant and neighbouring villages. The situation is still under investigation, impacting the electric vehicle manufacturer's operations.

Mar 06
March 5, 2024

*) Israel killed 13,430 Palestinian children since October 7 — Gaza Israeli air strikes and ground invasion have killed 13,430 children since the start of Tel Aviv's carnage in the besieged Palestinian enclave, Gaza's Media Office said. It added that 8,900 women were killed over 150 days, and 7,000 people, 70 percent of whom are women and children, are still under the rubble or missing. The media office said that 364 health personnel and 132 journalists also were killed during the period. *) Dismantling UNRWA would sacrifice 'generation of children' The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, is calling out threats to shut down the organisation. Philippe Lazzarini said cutting UNRWA loose would leave a generation of Palestinian children in the lurch, breeding anger and violence. He told the UN General Assembly that stopping UNRWA's work is a bad idea because it would hurt millions who depend on their help, especially at a time when things are already tough. UNRWA is facing funding freezes and pressure from Israel to close up. *) Thousands flee as attack blamed on M23 rebels claims 15 lives in DRC’s east The M23 militia fighters have launched sweeping attacks in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 15 people and leading thousands to flee, witnesses and government officials said. Testimony from locals, health workers and government officials on Monday pointed to attacks in the Rutshuru region of the eastern province of North Kivu. Access to the North Kivu capital Goma has been virtually severed. *) US top court reverses Colorado move to disqualify Trump from state ballot The US Supreme Court has handed Donald Trump a major victory as he campaigns to regain the presidency, barring states from disqualifying candidates for federal office under a constitutional provision involving insurrection and reversing a judicial decision that had excluded him from Colorado's ballot. The justices on Monday unanimously reversed a December 19 decision by Colorado's top court to kick Trump off the state's Republican primary ballot on Tuesday after finding that the US Constitution's 14th Amendment disqualified him from again holding public office. The Colorado court had found that Trump took part in an insurrection for inciting and supporting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. *) EU hits Apple with record $2B antitrust fine in Spotify case Brussels has fined Apple $2B for thwarting competition from music streaming rivals via restrictions on its App Store, the iPhone maker's first-ever penalty for breaching EU rules. A huge lump sum inflated a basic penalty of $43M included as a deterrent - a first for the European Union's antitrust authorities on Monday. The European Commission charged Apple last year with preventing Swedish streaming service Spotify and others from informing users of payment options outside its App Store, following a 2019 complaint by Spotify.

Mar 05
March 4, 2024

*) US Vice President Harris calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza The United States Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and has described the situation there as “devastating.” She noted the necessity of an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, saying that it is "currently on the table." During her visit to Alabama, Harris said that the ceasefire would facilitate the release of hostages and the delivery of much-needed aid to Gaza. 150 days into Israel's war on Gaza, the human cost is staggering. At least 30,410 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed, while another 71,700 were injured. *) Six children among 14 killed in Israeli bombing of Rafah At least 14 Palestinians, including six children, were killed in an Israeli bombing that targeted a house in Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that an Israeli air strike targeted a three-story house "resulting in the killing of dozens of civilians, including six children". According to the agency, many civilians remain trapped under the rubble. The attack inflicted extensive damage on the surrounding area. *) Gaza truce talks set to resume in Cairo as heavy fighting rages Egypt is set to host the latest talks for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, amidst Israel’s ongoing bombardment on Gaza that has spanned nearly five months. According to a senior Hamas official, the Palestinian group's delegation will engage with mediators to discuss a proposed six-week truce. It comes after a US official suggested that Israel had "more or less accepted" the terms of the ceasefire. Envoys from the United States, Qatar, and Hamas have arrived in Cairo, as all sides have been scrambling to lock in a truce before Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that will begin on March 10 or 11. *) Gang attack triggers massive prison break in Haiti Gang members in Haiti's capital launched a violent assault on the main prison, resulting in the deaths of at least a dozen people. Following the gang assault on Saturday night, only approximately 100 of the National Penitentiary's estimated 3,800 inmates remained inside the facility. The government declared a state of emergency and a nighttime curfew that would be effective from Sunday, March 3, to Wednesday, March 6. *) Officials call for UN reform, global peace at Antalya Diplomacy Forum 2024 The Antalya Diplomacy Forum 2024 has convened, drawing together prominent diplomats and officials to tackle pressing global issues. The Forum concluded with a consensus on the urgent need for reform within the United Nations to address the evolving challenges to global peace. Participants emphasised the significance of embracing innovative diplomatic approaches and redoubling efforts towards nuclear disarmament to foster a more peaceful world.

Mar 04
March 1, 2024

*) Israel forces shoot over a hundred Palestinians waiting in aid queue Israeli forces fatally shot 112 Palestinians as they surged towards aid trucks, marking one of the deadliest episodes in the nearly five-month war. The Health Ministry in Gaza reported over 750 individuals were injured during the incident. The tragedy unfolded amidst heightened concerns from aid agencies regarding Gaza's deteriorating humanitarian crisis, with famine looming, especially in the northern regions. *) Dozens of 112 Palestinians killed by Israel 'shot in head' Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour accused Israel of intentionally targeting a humanitarian convoy in northern Gaza. Trucks, carrying essential supplies such as flour and sugar for needy Palestinians, regularly travelled to the region, Mansour said, where many Palestinians were waiting in line. Mansour said, based on his information, among the 112 Palestinians killed, many were shot in the head. *) World reacts to Israel's carnage at Gaza aid site Israel's assault on an aid convoy killing 112 Palestinians and leaving 760 others wounded, drew widespread international condemnation. Türkiye labelled the attack as "another crime against humanity," joined by Iran, Qatar, and the OIC, who denounced it as a "heinous massacre." UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed profound dismay, with his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, conveying his condemnation of the tragic toll. European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell echoed sentiments, branding the killings as "totally unacceptable." *) US falls short of condemning Israel's attack on Gaza aid queue Separately, the United States, the main supporter of Israel, has refrained from explicitly condemning Tel Aviv's attack on Palestinians. The White House acknowledged the severity of the incident, expressing concern and stating that they are investigating the reports of Israeli fire on Palestinians. A spokesperson from the White House National Security Council conveyed condolences for the lives lost, emphasising the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent civilians are struggling to provide for their families. *) US defence chief admits Israel killed 25K Gaza women, children US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has acknowledged that Israeli forces have killed over 25,000 Palestinian women and children since October 7. Responding to a query by a lawmaker regarding potential military sales to Israel, Austin emphasised the importance of responsible use of munitions by allies. Later, a Pentagon spokesperson, clarified that the mentioned figure was an estimate from the Gaza Health Ministry, and while acknowledging thousands of casualties.

Mar 01
February 29, 2024

*) Six children die of malnutrition as Gaza death toll nears 30,000 Six children have succumbed to malnutrition in Israeli-blockaded Gaza, Palestinian officials have reported. The overall toll for Palestinians in the nearly five-month Israeli war has exceeded 30,000. Officials revealed that two children died at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City due to "dehydration and malnutrition," prompting urgent calls for international intervention. Separately, Kamal Adwan Hospital reported four infant deaths, with seven others in critical condition. *) Israeli police warn curbing access to Al Aqsa Mosque in Ramadan may fuel tensions Israeli police have issued a warning regarding potential tensions in occupied East Jerusalem if restrictions on Palestinian entry to Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan are imposed. The caution comes as Benjamin Netanyahu's extremist minister Itamar Ben-Gvir advocated limiting access to Islam’s third-holiest site, proposing a ban on occupied West Bank residents and allowing only Palestinian citizens of Israel aged 70 and above. Unnamed senior police officials, as reported by Israeli media, stated that the decision is anticipated in the upcoming weekend. *) Fuel shortage shuts down last functioning hospital in northern Gaza The only functioning hospital in northern Gaza has been forced to cease operations due to a critical shortage of fuel. The Gaza-based Health Ministry issued a statement, underscoring the gravity of the situation as the Kamal Adwan Hospital grapples with an inability to secure the necessary fuel to run its generators. This abrupt halt in services leaves the local population without access to essential healthcare, posing significant challenges to the well-being of the community in the affected region. *) Australia spy chief drops 'traitor' bombshell on unnamed politician Australia's spy chief Mike Burgess has made a sensational public accusation. Burgess alleged that a former Australian politician was recruited by a foreign spy agency and "sold out" the country to a foreign power. While Burgess did not disclose the identity of the politician or the foreign power involved, citing national security concerns, his statement has sparked outrage and demands for transparency from the government. However, the Australian government has so far remained tight-lipped on the matter. *) Apple drops electric car plans while Tesla aims to ship Roadsters next year Apple has reportedly abandoned its plans to build its own car. The decision comes after nearly a decade of work on the project, codenamed "Project Titan," which involved a team of nearly 2,000 employees. Project Titan initially aimed to develop a fully autonomous vehicle, highlighting Apple's ambitions in the self-driving car space. However, the project faced challenges and setbacks, and the company ultimately decided to shift its focus to other areas. While Apple exits the scene, Tesla remains a major player, with CEO Elon Musk recently announcing plans to begin deliveries of the company's Roadster electric sports car next year.

Feb 29
February 28, 2024

*) UN warns 576,000 people in Gaza are 'one step away' from famine A senior United Nations aid official revealed to the Security Council that approximately 576,000 people in Gaza, constituting a quarter of the population, are on the brink of famine. The World Food Programme (WFP) heightened concerns by declaring that famine is "imminent" in northern Gaza amidst Israel’s ongoing war on the besieged enclave. WFP's deputy executive director urgently addressed the UN Security Council, emphasising the critical need for intervention, while an official from the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, warned of the "almost inevitable" prospect of widespread starvation if the current conditions persist. *) No UN aid convoys reached northern Gaza since Jan 23 The United Nations (UN) highlighted that no humanitarian aid convoys have reached northern Gaza since January 23 as the humanitarian situation in the enclave worsens due to Israel's blockade. Spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres revealed that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) currently has food supplies positioned at the Gaza border, capable of catering to the needs of up to 2.2 million people throughout the region. The spokesperson stated that approximately 1,000 trucks, loaded with 15,000 metric tonnes of food, are stationed in Egypt and ready for deployment. *) US says Israel has not presented plan to protect civilians in case of Rafah invasion The White House has confirmed that the United States has not received any Israeli proposal outlining plans to ensure the safety of civilians in Gaza in the event of a potential military invasion of Rafah. Speaking at a press briefing, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated that he "can't speak for the Israelis and to what degree their planning has progressed and what that looks like.” *) Ukraine intel committee warns of bid to overthrow Zelenskyy Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's legitimacy may be questioned and a coup may be attempted in the spring, according to a high-ranking committee. The Intelligence Committee under the President of Ukraine said in a statement published on the Telegram channel of the Main Directorate of Intelligence under the Ukranian Ministry of Defense that Russia's "Maidan-3 special operation will reach its climax in March-May 2024.” According to the committee, in the coming weeks, there will be "attempts to foment conflicts both inside Ukraine and in other parts of the world," and Zelenskyy's legitimacy may be questioned after May 20. *) Texas wildfires force evacuations and shut down nuclear facility Wildfires spreading rapidly across the Texas Panhandle have triggered evacuations in small towns and forced the closure of a key US nuclear facility. Fueled by strong winds, dry conditions, and unseasonably warm temperatures, the blazes have become a major concern for the state. Governor Greg Abbott declared the wildfires a disaster for 60 counties, as the largest fire grew to nearly 1,040 square kilometres. The critical Pantex Plant, responsible for assembling and disassembling US nuclear weapons, also shut down its operations Tuesday night due to the proximity of the fires.

Feb 28
February 27, 2024

*) Red Cross warns of looming famine in Gaza The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has issued a stark warning about the dire situation in besieged Gaza. He emphasised the looming threat of severe food insecurity, with approximately 80 percent of the population facing critical food shortages. He further highlighted the plight of over a million children and elderly who are particularly vulnerable to health issues like dehydration, respiratory and skin diseases and anaemia due to the harsh conditions in shelters. *) Biden says Gaza truce imminent while Israel plans Rafah invasion US President Joe Biden said he hoped that a ceasefire in besieged Gaza could start by next Monday. When asked about the possibility, he stated that his national security adviser informed him that a deal was close but not yet finalised. *) Putin vows to boost Russian special forces' ability to strike Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to increase the mobility and striking potential of Russia's special operations forces, saying this is a key priority to making the country's army stronger. Putin said in a congratulatory video message issued ahead of the February 27 Special Operations Forces Day in Russia that Moscow "will continue to strengthen the Special Operations Forces, increase their mobility and striking potential, and arm them with new-generation weapons and equipment." Putin then added that "this is one of the key priorities for the long-term development of the army and navy." *) Hungarian parliament approves Sweden's NATO accession Hungary's parliament has approved a bill to allow Sweden to join NATO, finally clearing the way for the Nordic country to join the Western defence alliance as war rages in Ukraine. Hungary was the last among the 31 members of the alliance to ratify Sweden's membership after months of delay by the ruling party. *) Istanbul hosts 9th International Publishing Meetings The 9th International Istanbul Publishing Professional Meetings will be held at the Rami Library from the 5th to the 7th of March, aiming to establish Istanbul as a major copyright market. Organised by Türkiye's Press Publishing Profession Association, the event will bring together national and international publishers. Since 2021, the programme has offered participants a hybrid model for conducting business, allowing both physical and online B2B meetings.

Feb 27
February 26, 2024

*) Israel presents Rafah invasion plan to War Cabinet amid fears of civilian casualties Israel's military has proposed a plan for the invasion of Gaza's Rafah city, aligning with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's assertion of the necessity of a ground invasion in Rafah for what he calls a "total victory." Concerns persist about potential civilian casualties in Rafah, where 1.4 million forcibly displaced Palestinians are concentrated. The city is also a crucial entry point for aid brought in through neighbouring Egypt as the enclave faces famine. Talks in Doha involving Egyptian, Qatari, and US representatives, along with Israeli and Hamas officials, aim to secure a truce before the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan. *) Jordan warns of conflict spread in region due to Israel's Gaza war Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has cautioned against the continuation of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza during Ramadan, stating that it poses a risk of escalating the conflict in the region. Speaking at a press conference in Amman with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel, Safadi emphasised the potential for an explosive situation if the aggression persists during the Muslim fasting month. He urged a halt to the ongoing war, expressing concerns about the increasing risks and casualties associated with the prolonged conflict. *) Israeli vows continued attacks on Hezbollah despite Gaza Ceasefire Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has pledged to intensify strikes against Lebanon's Hezbollah, even if a ceasefire is achieved with Hamas in Gaza. While Hezbollah indicated a willingness to cease daily attacks on Israel with a Gaza ceasefire, Gallant dismissed the idea that the temporary truce would extend to the northern front. Emphasising an independent approach, he affirmed the goal of pushing Hezbollah away from the Israeli border, either through diplomatic means or by force. *) Demonstrations across Spain call for arms embargo on Israel Hundreds of thousands rally across Spain, denouncing Israel's actions in solidarity with Palestine. Protesters demand an immediate arms trade halt with Israel, led by Podemos leader Ione Belarra, who plans to present a parliamentary motion for an arms embargo, questioning the government's sincerity in its support for Palestine. *) Algeria unveils Africa's largest mosque with world's tallest minaret Algeria unveiled Africa's largest mosque on its Mediterranean coast, overcoming political delays and cost overruns. Constructed by a Chinese firm, the Great Mosque of Algiers boasts the world's tallest minaret at 869 feet. The third-largest mosque globally and the largest outside Islam's holiest cities, it can accommodate 120,000 worshippers with modernist features honouring Algerian tradition.

Feb 26
February 23, 2024

*) Gaza in ‘extreme peril’ as NGOs call on Israel to execute humanitarian law The leaders of a number of UN agencies and humanitarian organisations urged Israel to provide food and medical supplies to Gaza, warning that civilians there are in “extreme peril.” The Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the highest-level humanitarian coordination forum of the UN system, called on Israel to fulfil its legal obligation, under international humanitarian and human rights law. The health system continues to be “systematically degraded with catastrophic consequences,” it said. *) Netanyahu proposes Gaza’s demilitarisation, UNRWA’s exit in post-war plan Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled a written plan aimed at demilitarising and reconstruction of Gaza. Netanyahu’s so-called “Post-Hamas Plan” was unveiled to his political and security cabinet in the dead of Thursday night, as reported by Israeli media. At the heart of the proposal lies a pivotal strategy: the establishment of a civilian entity tasked with overseeing Gaza’s demilitarisation while safeguarding the Israeli army’s operational autonomy in the blockaded enclave. *) Over 95 percent of Sudan’s population cannot afford a meal per day: WFP Ten months into the war has sent Sudan to the “verge of collapse,” with the vast majority of its people going hungry, the UN’s World Food Programme said. Eddie Rowe, the WFP’s Sudan country director, told reporters in Brussels that “at this point, less than five percent of Sudanese can afford a square meal a day.” Since last April, Sudan has been gripped by fighting between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which has killed thousands and created what the UN calls “the world’s largest displacement crisis.” *) US to sanction over 500 targets involved in Russia’s ‘war machine’ The US has planned to impose sanctions on more than 500 targets involved in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. The action to be rolled out on Friday will hit “Russia, its enablers and its war machine,” a Treasury spokesperson said. The official added that the sanctions will be imposed by both the Treasury and State Department. And finally… *) US achieves first Moon landing in 50 years with private spacecraft A private lander has touched down on the Moon but managed just a weak signal back, as flight controllers scrambled to gain better contact with the first US spacecraft to reach the lunar surface in more than 50 years. Despite the spotty communication, Intuitive Machines, the company that built and managed the craft, confirmed that it had landed. There was no immediate word from the company on the condition — or even the exact location — of the lander.

Feb 23
February 22, 2024

*) Israel’s war could kill nearly 86,000 more Palestinians in Gaza — study At least 85,750 more Palestinians could die from physical trauma and disease if Israel’s ongoing war against besieged Gaza further escalates in the next six months, according to a joint US-UK study. “The Crisis in Gaza: Scenario-Based Health Impact Projections”, a joint project from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Humanitarian Health tracks multiple scenarios, including a worst-case possibility in which the hostilities in Gaza raise the number of casualties to more than 115,000 Palestinians. *) LA protesters welcome Biden with ‘genocide supporter’ chants A group of pro-Palestine demonstrators welcomed US President Joe Biden to America’s second most populous city with chants ridiculing his hitherto unwavering support for Israel’s ongoing carnage in besieged Gaza. “Genocide supporter!” protesters yelled as Biden’s motorcade pulled up to the Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Los Angeles, where he delivered remarks touting his efforts to reduce US student debt. Protesters sought to interrupt the president as he concluded his remarks, but their words were not immediately discernible amid applause from the crowd. *) NZ mosque attacker radicalised ‘earlier than thought’, new research reveals Researchers have theorised that the white supremacist who murdered 51 people in the 2019 New Zealand mosque shootings was radicalised “earlier than previously thought,” based on violent posts written years before the atrocity. Brenton Tarrant had shot and killed 51 Muslim worshippers across two Christchurch mosques in March 2019, carrying out New Zealand’s deadliest modern-day mass shooting. New Zealand researchers have been pouring through Tarrant’s posts on notorious online message boards to understand what sparked the atrocity — and if it could have been prevented. *) Ukraine humanitarian appeal only 10% funded for 2024 — UN envoy The UN’s humanitarian appeal to meet needs in Ukraine is only 10 percent funded for 2024, out of $3.1 billion needed, according to the country’s resident coordinator. Denise Brown, the UN’s top representative in Ukraine, said an estimated 8.5 million Ukrainians living in dire conditions near combat zones risk going without basic humanitarian deliveries, including food and water. *) Türkiye’s first fighter jet KAAN conducts its maiden test flight Türkiye’s first domestic fighter jet KAAN, designed and manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries, has successfully conducted its maiden test flight. Temel Kotil, the head of Turkish Aerospace Industries, said on X that KAAN stayed in the air for 13 minutes and reached a speed of 230 knots at an altitude of 8,000 feet during the flight. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Türkiye has left behind another critical stage to produce its own fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

Feb 22
February 21, 2024

*) Gaza's Nasser Hospital ‘has become a place of death’ — UN An official from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, expressed concern over the state of the Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Younis in the south of besieged Gaza. Jonathan Whittall, senior humanitarian affairs officer at OCHA in the occupied Palestinian territory, said: “The conditions are appalling. There are dead bodies in the corridors. Patients are in a desperate situation.” He also added that the hospital “has become a place of death, not a place of healing.” *) UN official says ‘there needs to be an explanation on how the veto is used’ Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the five countries that hold the veto power at the UN Security Council “have a great amount of responsibility, and there needs to be an explanation on how the veto is used.” The spokesperson’s comments came after the Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire in besieged Gaza for the third time. *) Russia rejects US claims of nuclear space threat Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that Moscow has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in space and that his country has only developed space capabilities similar to those of the US. Putin’s statement followed the White House confirmation last week that Russia obtained a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, although such a weapon is not operational yet. *) Pakistan parties reach power-sharing agreement, Khan loyalists left out Two Pakistan parties have reached a power-sharing agreement that will return Shehbaz Sharif to the premiership, leaving out politicians loyal to jailed former leader Imran Khan despite winning the most seats in this month’s vote. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party said they had settled days of negotiations on securing a majority to form a coalition government that will also include several smaller parties. Under the deal, the PML-N and PPP will put forward former leader Sharif as prime minister and Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, as president. And finally… *) Eagles’ iconic ‘Hotel California’ lyrics at centre of rare manuscript trial In the mid-1970s, the Eagles were working on a spooky, cryptic new song. On a lined yellow pad, Don Henley, with input from band co-founder Glenn Frey, jotted thoughts about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxurious surface and ominous undertones. The song, “Hotel California”, became one of rock’s most indelible singles. And nearly a half-century later, those handwritten pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the centre of an unusual criminal trial set to open on Wednesday.

Feb 21
February 20, 2024

*) Arab Group calls on UNSC to take action on besieged Gaza The Arab Group in New York has urged the UN Security Council to take immediate action on besieged Gaza. It said in a statement that “regrettably, the UN Security Council remains inert, unable to denounce the daily atrocities perpetrated by the occupying authorities.” The group, which is a coalition of Arab states promoting common interests at the UN, called on the Security Council to take immediate action. *) Israel declares Brazil’s Lula ‘persona non grata’ as Gaza row escalates Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s comparison of Israel’s war in besieged Gaza to the Holocaust has unleashed a diplomatic firestorm. Israel declared Lula “persona non grata” and Brazil recalled its ambassador in Tel Aviv. The row erupted the day before when Lula said the ongoing war on the blockaded enclave “isn’t a war, it’s a genocide,” and compared it to “when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.” *) Ukraine faces ‘extremely difficult’ frontline battles: Zelenskyy Ukrainian troops, reeling from losing a key town, now faced “extremely difficult” conditions all along the frontline with Russia because of delayed foreign aid, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. The Ukrainian military said it was critically short of ammunition and shells, worsened by the holdup of a $60 billion US aid package. After visiting frontline troops in the Kharkiv region, Zelenskyy said the situation was extremely difficult in several parts of the frontline, where “Russian troops have concentrated maximum reserves.” *) Julian Assange begins last-ditch effort to block US extradition WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange began what could be his last chance to stop his extradition from Britain to the United States. Assange has been battling the authorities in British courts for more than 13 years. US prosecutors seek to put Assange on trial on 18 counts relating to WikiLeaks’ high-profile release of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables. And finally… *) India’s centuries-old heritage hit by Delhi ‘development’ demolitions For nine centuries, Indians prayed at the forest shrine of Baba Haji Rozbih, a revered Sufi master whose grave is one of the capital Delhi’s oldest Muslim sites. Then, in early February, the Delhi Development Authority reduced the site to rubble, the latest victim of a “demolition programme” it says has cleared “illegal religious structures” including a mosque, tombs, shrines and Hindu temples. The demolitions come at a sensitive time, as Hindu nationalists have been emboldened to claim ancient Muslim monuments for the country’s majority faith.

Feb 20