Tuesday, June 25

Politics

Crisis in the Middle East: Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza City;  The victims are reported
Politics

Crisis in the Middle East: Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza City; The victims are reported

A UN-run school in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, in May. Most of these schools are now used as shelters.Credit…Haitham Imad/EPA, via Shutterstock Karim al-Masri was due to start his final exams on Saturday morning, a few weeks after graduating. Instead, he spent the morning filling bags of water to freeze into ice, which he sold to support his family.“I was supposed to study and prepare for final exams,” said al-Masri, 18. But, more than eight months into the war, “I spend my days working to provide for my family to cope with the situation.”Al-Masri was one of nearly 39,000 Gaza students who failed to take their final high school exams, scheduled for Saturday in the Palestinian territories and Jordan, and who would have failed to graduate, according to Palestine Education. Ministry. The...
During Eid al-Adha, Gazans find little to celebrate
Politics

During Eid al-Adha, Gazans find little to celebrate

Now, due to the lack of electricity and higher costs in the markets, Abdul Aziz has to buy food every day, depending on what is available and what he can afford. But the party isn't the only thing he'll miss this year, he said. “There are family visits and gatherings, money is given to children, new clothes are bought for everyone, sweets are baked, Eid prayers are said,” he said. “None of this is feasible this year. Everyone is sad and has lost someone or something." Aya Ali Adwan, 26, had become engaged before the war began. Her wedding, set for February, was postponed, another celebration interrupted by the conflict. Originally from northern Gaza, she and her family were forced to flee eight times during the war. They are now sheltering in a cramped tent in Deir al Balah, where th...
In North Macedonia, disputes over history extend to statues
Politics

In North Macedonia, disputes over history extend to statues

The center of Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, a Balkan country born just 33 years ago as an independent state, is flooded with history. A statue of Alexander the Great looms over the central square. One of his fathers, Philip II of Macedon, stands on a large pedestal above a nearby square. The city is also dotted with bronze, stone and plaster tributes to generations of other heroes from what the country sees as its glorious and very long history. The problem, however, is that most of the history exposed is claimed by other countries. Modern-day North Macedonia, born out of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, has no real connection to Alexander the Great, who lived 2,000 years ago down the road in what is now Greece, and many of the other historical figures honored with Sta...
Thai legislature passes same-sex marriage law
Politics

Thai legislature passes same-sex marriage law

Thai lawmakers voted to pass a marriage equality bill on Tuesday, a move that puts the country on track to become the first in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Thailand's Senate passed the bill on Tuesday afternoon, nearly three months after it passed the House of Representatives. The legislation would come into force after being considered by a Senate committee and the Constitutional Court and receiving royal assent from the king, a formality widely expected to be granted. The bill's passage highlights Thailand's status as a relative haven for gay couples in Asia. Only Taiwan and Nepal have legalized same-sex marriage. Last year, just as India neared the finish line, the Supreme Court sent the decision back to Parliament. In some Asian countries, gay sex is a criminal off...
BTS’s Jin completes military service
Politics

BTS’s Jin completes military service

K-pop juggernaut BTS is one step closer to a reunion. The first member of the boy band to enlist in South Korea's army, Jin, 31, was discharged Wednesday morning, BTS' label said. Over the next year, his bandmates are expected to complete their military service, which is required of nearly all South Korean men. BTS shocked their own army – as the seven-member group's fervent following is collectively known – in June 2022 when they said they would take time off to enlist. Jin, the group's oldest member, whose birth name is Kim Seok-jin, began his 18-month stint in the army that December. His enlistment came after a long public debate over whether BTS should get an exemption from the draft, as Olympic medalists and some classical musicians do. However, the group was given some leeway. M...
How the Israeli mission to save four hostages unfolded
Politics

How the Israeli mission to save four hostages unfolded

Israeli troops have overrun much of Gaza since their ground invasion began in late October. But they managed to save only seven living hostages in three separate military operations, with around 120 prisoners remaining in Gaza. Several proposed rescue missions did not go ahead for fear that hostages or law enforcement would die in the process, according to two Israeli defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation. In December, Israeli special forces attempted to rescue a hostage from Hamas captivity, according to the two defense officials. Sahar Baruch, an Israeli hostage, was killed during the firefight and two Israeli officers were seriously injured. According to one of the defense officials, Israeli intelligence first learned that Ms. Arga...
Christophe Deloire, who fought for threatened journalists, has died at the age of 53
Politics

Christophe Deloire, who fought for threatened journalists, has died at the age of 53

Christophe Deloire, whose nonpartisan organization to protect journalists saved dissidents from prison and championed a diversity of viewpoints in the profession around the world, died Saturday in Paris. He was 53 years old. The cause would be complications due to brain cancer, according to Reporters Without Borders, the media group of which he has been general secretary for 12 years. Deloire, who was himself a journalist and author, lobbied publicly and worked behind the scenes to promote a free press in countries that muzzled journalists. He helped negotiate freedom for those who had been threatened with arrest, imprisoned or held hostage. In 2023, Reporters Without Borders, known by its French initials RSF, coordinated the clandestine escape of Marina Ovsyannikova, a former Rus...
US expands sanctions against Russia during G7 leaders’ meeting
Politics

US expands sanctions against Russia during G7 leaders’ meeting

While the measures expand the scope of the U.S. sanctions program, the Biden administration has so far refrained from imposing sanctions on Chinese or European banks it believes are helping Russia. The new measures do not prevent banks from facilitating transactions related to Russia's energy exports, which the Biden administration has allowed to continue out of fear that restricting them could stoke inflation. Announcing the sanctions, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement that “Russia's war economy is deeply isolated from the international financial system, leaving the Kremlin's military desperate for access to the outside world.” At the heart of the measures is an expansion of “secondary” sanctions that give the United States the power to blacklist any bank in the wor...
In the European elections the center holds, but the far right still wreaks havoc
Politics

In the European elections the center holds, but the far right still wreaks havoc

The biggest losers of the election appear to be the Greens, who have seen their support plummet by a quarter compared to five years ago. However, the Greens, with their 53 seats, could play an important role by strengthening centrist majorities as an alternative to far-right parties. Final data from all 27 EU countries is expected to be made public early Monday morning. The results appear to have largely maintained the balance of power in the European Parliament, which approves legislation, the bloc's budget and its top leaders, including the president of the powerful European Commission, the EU's executive branch. The first test for the weak centrist majority will be the approval of the new president of the European Commission, expected in July. Von der Leyen, who was approved for her p...
In the rescue of the Israeli hostages, minutes made the difference
Politics

In the rescue of the Israeli hostages, minutes made the difference

In the footage, edited to blur the soldiers' faces and remove gory images, the hostages are then seen leaving the building and climbing through tree-lined terrain as gunfire erupts around them. “Hamas members shot at them,” said al-Tahrawi, the shop owner. Other militants joined the fight, according to Admiral Hagari, "running through the streets with RPGs," an acronym for rocket-propelled grenades. "There was a lot of fire around us," he said. As Ms. Argamani was approaching the beach in one vehicle, the other truck used for the rescue broke down, according to Israeli officials, who requested anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation. To provide cover for the stalled truck, officials said, the Air Force began bombing the nearby area, effectively creating a fire shield. “Suddenly I h...