Global Review – 8th August

Gaza ceasefire holds after uncertain start

The ceasefire in Gaza seems to hold up after an uncertain start, while the tensions of the last few days are subsiding, according to reports from the ‘Times of Israel’. A rocket was shot down by the Iron Dome a few minutes after the truce began, but now the parties are keeping calm. The Israeli military maintains restrictions on border towns, but may reconsider them in the morning, adds the Israeli newspaper’s website.

Missile launch continues despite truce

Earlier, rocket launches from the Gaza Strip and Israeli response raids continued even after a ceasefire agreement went into effect Sunday night, according to reports by the Israeli army. Warning sirens wereactivated in southern Israel, notwithstanding the Israel-Islamic Jihad truce reached with the mediation of Egypt. The situation was unblocked on the third, increasingly intense, day of war. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the objectives of Operation ‘Breaking Dawn’ had been achieved.

Second top Islamic Jihad commander killed

Israel said Sunday it killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in a crowded Gaza refugee camp, the second such targeted attack since launching its high-stakes military offensive against the militant group just before the weekend. Khaled Mansour was killed in an airstrike on an apartment building in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza late Saturday, which also killed two other militants and five civilians. Gaza’s ruling Hamas group appeared to stay on the sidelines, possibly because it fears Israeli reprisals and undoing economic understandings with Israel, including Israeli work permits for thousands of Gaza residents, that bolster its control. Another seven people were killed Sunday, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 36 since the start of the Israeli offensive Friday. Among the dead were 11 children and four women. The Palestinian Health Ministry said more than 311 people were wounded since Friday. Israel says some of the deaths were caused by errant rocket fire, including one in which six Palestinians were killed Saturday in an incident in the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza.

‘Enough suicide attacks on nuclear power plants’ – Guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for the suspension of all “suicidal” military operations at nuclear power plants and in particular around that of Zaporizhia, Ukraine. “Any attack on nuclear power plants is suicidal,” he said and called for international inspectors to be given access to the plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of Europe’s largest atomic plant at the weekend.

China, Taiwan prepares two artillery exercises

Taiwan will organise two large-scale live-fire artillery exercises in the south of the island this week to test its combat readiness in the face of growing military threats from Beijing, the armed forces of Taipei announced Sunday. The operation follows the exercises launched by China in response to the visit of US House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Italy’s Calenda breaks with PD

The leader of Italy’s Action Part,y Carlo Calenda, has broken the electoral pact with the Democratic Party. “It is one of the most painful decisions – he says – but I do not intend to go ahead with this alliance: for the PD is made to lose”. PD leader Enrico Letta’s answer was succinct: “From everything he has said, it seems to me that the only possible ally for Calenda is Calenda. If he accepts it. We go ahead in the interest of Italy.” The announcement of the breakup arrives on Rai3. Calenda will race alone, unless he finds agreement with Matteo Renzi, who immediately tweeted: “We have an extraordinary opportunity #TerzoPolo”. A hypothetical pact between Action and Italia Viva could be worth 10% of the electorate. Renzi ventures talking to him on the wave of this new path that could be opened on the moderate front. The Democratic Party will go on with Verdi-Si and Di Maio and Tabacci’s civic commitment. There will also be Più Europa: “We have signed an electoral and government pact with Enrico Letta to continue the policies of the Draghi government – declares the secretary Benedetto Della Vedova. Letta is respecting that pact, we must respect it too”.

Set budget before financial timebomb, says Brown

Former UK Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has called for an emergency budget before the UK hits a “financial timebomb” this autumn, satying millions would be pushed “over the edge” if the government does not address the cost of living crisis. Conservative leadership rivals Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have clashed over how they will address high inflation. A new report found that 35 million people in 13 million households across the UK are under threat of fuel poverty in October. This is “an unprecedented 49.6% of the population of the United Kingdom”, he said.

US Senate approves bill to fight climate change, cut drug costs

The US Senate has passed a sweeping $430 billion (€423bn) Bill intended to fight climate change, lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes – a major victory for President Joe Biden that Democrats hope will help their chances of keeping control of Congress in this year’s elections. After a marathon, 27-hour weekend session of debate and Republican efforts to derail the package, the Senate approved the legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act by a 51-50 party line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking ballot. The action sends the measure to the House of Representatives for a vote, expected on Friday, that could forward it, in turn, to the White House for Biden’s signature. In a statement, Biden urged the House to act as soon as possible and said he looked forward to signing the Bill into law.

Gustavo Petro sworn in as Colombia’s first leftist president

Gustavo Petro, a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, was inaugurated the country’s first leftist president on Sunday at a ceremony in the capital, Bogota. Some 100,000 people, including Spanish King Felipe VI and at least nine Latin American presidents, looked on as he was sworn in as head of state and government by Senate chief Roy Barreras. “I do not want two countries, just as I do not want two societies. I want a strong, just and united Colombia,” Petro said in his inauguration speech. “The challenges and tests that we have as a nation demand a period of unity and basic consensus.” Petro, whose government should enjoy backing from a left-leaning majority in Congress, called on Colombian armed groups to “lay down their arms” and accept legal benefits “in exchange for peace.” He also took aim at decades of counter-narcotics efforts. “It is time for a new international convention recognising that the war on drugs has failed,” he said.

Trump calls for law and order ‘to save America’

Former US president Donald Trump has lashed out at everyone at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas and proposed a “fiercely populist” campaign for the next presidential elections, without announcing his candidacy. Law and order are the watchwords of the speech that Trump, delivered at the conference, one of the most important political appointments for the American and international right. Trump has pointed the finger at democratic administrations, which would have made the cities they govern places out of control and prey to crime, describing an America “on the edge of the abyss” that can only be saved by his return to power. He was critical of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and called Biden’s presidency “a breathtaking failure,” citing inflation and rising fuel prices. An informal poll of conference attendees saw 69% of respondents argue for a new Trump run in the presidential election, while only 24% said they preferred Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as Republican candidate.

Hitler’s watch sold at auction for $1.1 million

A Maryland auction house, Alexander Historical Auctions, sold a wristwatch that belonged to Adolf Hitler for $1.1 million. As reported by ABC, the watch is characterised by the initials AH and a swastika. It would have been purchased by a European Jew.

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