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MSF Demands Probe, Zuckerberg Black Eye, World Ends

MSF Demands Probe, Zuckerberg Black Eye, World Ends


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said it will take the unprecedented step of calling on the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) to investigate Saturday's bombing by U.S. forces of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed 22 people, swissinfo reports.

  • The IHFFC was set up in 1991 under the Geneva Conventions and has never been used before.
  • "We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces," MSF chief Joanne Liu told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday. "We ask signatory states to activate the commission to establish the truth and to reassert the protected status of hospitals in conflicts."
  • Commander of the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan General John Campbell testified Tuesday to a Senate panel that the U.S. special operation forces called in the deadly airstrike. Joanne Liu called this an "admission of a war crime," The Guardian reports.


Russian and Syrian military forces carried out their first coordinated attack against insurgent positions in Syria on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports. Russian airstrikes are aimed at backing government forces and allied militia such as Hezbollah on the ground in the north of the Hama province and in areas of the Idlib province. This could mark a military escalation in the four-year war, although there has been no sign of government advances on the ground, a member of the Observatory says. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera is reporting the first civilian deaths caused from Russian airstrikes.


The Houthi rebels in Yemen have said they will commit to a United Nations peace plan aiming at ending the seven-month long conflict. The confirmation came in a letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which the BBC has obtained. Houthi representatives reportedly agree to a seven-point plan that includes a ceasefire, the removal of armed militias from the cities and the return of the government to the capital, Sanaa. Also on Wednesday, Amnesty International accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes against the Houthi rebels, citing evidence of "unlawful airstrikes."


Volkswagen will start recalling the cars affected by its fraudulent emissions system in January, the chief executive of the German firm and Europe's biggest carmaker Matthias Mueller told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He also said the affected cars should be fixed by the end of 2016. Some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide are thought to be affected.


The European Union launched Operation Sophia, which allows EU naval vessels to board, search, seize or divert ships suspected of being used for human smuggling in the southern Mediterranean, France 24 reports.


Photo: Remi Zoeringre/Xinhua/ZUMA

The leader of a short-lived coup in Burkina Faso last month, General Gilbert Diendere (pictured), and the former Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole were charged Tuesday evening with crimes including threatening state security, collusion with foreign forces, voluntary assault and willful destruction of property, and murder, Jeune Afrique reports. They will likely face a military tribunal. At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in the coup attempt. Burkina Faso is set to hold national elections Sunday.


The Nobel prize in chemistry has been awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar, respectively from Sweden, the U.S. and Turkey, for their research into the mechanisms that cells use to repair DNA, the daily Dagens Nyheter reports.



With the EU's ruling on Internet privacy sure to hurt Facebook, the famously tongue-in-cheek German daily Die Tageszeitung chose to illustrate the blow for Mark Zuckerberg's social media by giving the 31-year-old billionaire a nice shiner.


For 25 years, the Sri Lankan military waged war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, killing and displacing thousands of people. Though it ended in 2009, militarization remains and people haven't been able to reclaim lands, Julien Buissou reports for Le Monde: "Rather than withdrawing after the conflict ended, the army has settled in. Who would have thought that the tourist complex of Thalsevana, where families relax around a swimming pool, would be among the "high-security zones'? But to book one of the "luxury rooms," the phone number actually directs callers to the Ministry of Defense. The place is defined by strict rules, such as the obligation to remove sandals two meters from the swimming pool, no more no less. Those who go a bit too far away from the resort can see a man with a khaki uniform emerging, a crackling walkie-talkie fixed on his belt."

Read the full article, Lives Remain In Ruin Six Years After Sri Lanka Civil War.


One of the biggest mouths of TV history was born on Oct. 7. This, and more, in today's 57-second shot of history.


"It'll be gone forever. Annihilated." According to the eBible Fellowship, the world is supposed to end today. Something to do with last week's blood moon and the fact that God is about to obliterate the world with fire. Hope to see you back here at Worldcrunch tomorrow!

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Why The U.S. Lost Its Leverage In The Middle East — And May Never Get It Back

In the Israel-Hamas war, Qatar now plays the key role in negotiations, while the United States appears increasingly disengaged. Shifts in the region and beyond require that Washington move quickly or risk ceding influence to China and others for the long term.

Photograph of U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken  shaking hands with sraeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

November 30, 2023, Tel Aviv, Israel: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Chuck Kennedy/U.S State/ZUMA
Sébastien Boussois


PARIS — Upon assuming office in 2008, then-President Barack Obama declared that United States would gradually begin withdrawing from various conflict zones across the globe, initiating a complex process that has had a major impact on the international landscape ever since.

This started with the American departure from Iraq in 2010, and was followed by Donald Trump's presidency, during which the "Make America Great Again" policy redirected attention to America's domestic interests.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

The withdrawal trend resumed under Joe Biden, who ordered the exit of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021. To maintain a foothold in all intricate regions to the east, America requires secure and stable partnerships. The recent struggle in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict demonstrates that Washington increasingly relies on the allied Gulf states for any enduring influence.

Since the collapse of the Camp David Accords in 1999 during Bill Clinton's tenure, Washington has consistently supported Israel without pursuing renewed peace talks that could have led to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

While President Joe Biden's recent challenges in pushing for a Gaza ceasefire met with resistance from an unyielding Benjamin Netanyahu, they also stem from the United States' overall disengagement from the issue over the past two decades. Biden now is seeking to re-engage in the Israel-Palestine matter, yet it is Qatar that is the primary broker for significant negotiations such as the release of hostages in exchange for a ceasefire —a situation the United States lacks the leverage to enforce.

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