Global Review – 16th June

Israel pounds Gaza Strip

Haretz reports that Israeli Air Force launched air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after several incendiary balloons were sent from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday. In a statement, the Israeli Defense Forces said its fighter jets had hit military compounds operated by Hamas in Khan Yunis and Gaza City. It said “terrorist activity” took place in the compound, and that it was “prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terror acts from the Gaza Strip”.

East Jerusalem march condemned

Meanwhile, the man who built Israel’s new coalition government, has condemned the flag march by hundreds of Israeli nationalists through East Jerusalem. Centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid told The Jerusalem Post that the march was shameful. Palestinian protesters, who saw the march as “a provocation”, clashed with Israeli police and at least 33 Palestinians were injured in the clashes. Another 17 were arrested.

Beijing accuses NATO of exaggerating China threat

Xinhua reports China has accused NATO of slandering its peaceful development after alliance leaders warned about “systemic challenges” coming from Beijing. It was the first time NATO had placed China at the centre of its agenda. In its response, China said its defence policy was “defensive in nature” and urged NATO to “devote more of its energy to promoting dialogue”. Nato’s statement came at the end of a one-day summit in Brussels on Monday. It marked Joe Biden’s first NATO meeting as US President. The powerful political and military alliance of 30 European and North American countries sees Russia as a main threat. Mr Biden is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva later today.

US-EU agreement welcomed

The World Trade Organisation, Airbus and Boeing have welcomed the resolution of a 17-year-old trade dispute between the US and the EU over aircraft subsidies. Under the agreement, both sides will remove taxes on €9.5 billion of goods, including wine, cheese and tractors, for five years. The tariffs, imposed by both sides as punishment in the escalating dispute, had already been suspended in March while they tried to resolve matters.

‘Roundup not carcinogenic’ report

The glyphosate herbicide, known commercially as “Roundup”, is neither carcinogenic, nor mutagenic, nor toxic. Ansa reports these were the conclusions of an initial report, prepared by France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary, on the safety of the substance. However, the 11,000-page-long document recommends further analyses of its impact on biodiversity. It is used to kill weeds and was discovered to be a herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970. Monsanto brought it to market for agricultural use in 1974 under the trade name “Roundup”.

Euro 2020: Own goal sinks Germany

L’Equipe reports world champions France started their Euro 2020 campaign with a win over Germany thanks to a Mats Hummels’ own goal in a high-quality heavyweight Group F match. France’s win means they and Portugal, who beat Hungary 3-0 in Budapest earlier on Tuesday, take the early initiative in a highly competitive group. Meanwhile, today sees the start of Match 2 of the tournament when Finland play Russia (3 pm), Turkey meet Wales (6 pm) and Italy take on Switzerland.

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