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Yemen Crisis Worsens, Kenya Destroys Terror Camps, Duke Rebuke

A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN YEMEN

The fighting in Yemen is creating a humanitarian disaster, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said yesterday. Hundreds of people have been killed in ongoing clashes between Yemeni militias backed by a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels, Reuters reports.

  • At least two students were killed in a school today when coalition warplanes bombed a nearby military base controlled by Houthi fighters near the city of Ibb.
  • More than a 100,000 people have fled their homes after Saudi-led coalition airstrikes began in Yemen, according to UNICEF. UN spokesman Rajat Madhok told Al Jazeera “most displacements have taken place from and within al-Dhale, Abyan, Amran, Saada, Hajja.”
  • Clashes have also cut off water and electricity supplies in several parts of the country. The Red Cross and UNICEF were planning to fly planes carrying aid supplies into Yemen today, but the missions have been delayed awaiting clearance from Arab states waging the airstrikes.

ON THIS DAY


An eruption of Mount Vesuvius devastated Naples 109 years ago today. Time now for your 57-second shot of history.


KENYA DESTROYS AL SHABAAB CAMPS

Kenya’s air force said it destroyed two al-Shabaab terror camps in Somalia Tuesday, Al Jazeera reports. It’s the first major military response since the al-Qaeda-affiliated group targeted Christians and killed 148 students at the Garissa University Campus last Thursday.


EASTER EGG-CESS

The streets of Sacramento had to be cleaned up from hundreds of Easter eggs Monday Photo above: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/ZUMA after a giant egg hunt that failed to break a world record of 501,000 set in Florida in 2007.


TURKEY LIFTS SOCIAL MEDIA BAN

Turkish authorities have lifted a nationwide ban on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook that was imposed Monday to prevent the circulation of photographs of Mehmet Selim Kiraz, the prosecutor killed March 31 after being held hostage by members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, a far-left terrorist organization. According to the Turkish daily Hürriyet, the ban was lifted after all three platforms complied with a court order to remove the photographs and shut down the accounts that posted them.

Read more about it on our 4 Corners blog.


278.7 BILLION

Germany should pay 278.7 billion euros to Greece in World War II reparations for occupying the country between 1941 and 1944, deputy Greek Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said in Athens Monday. The figure is based on calculations by Greece’s General Accounting Office, Die Welt reports. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras created a parliamentary panel in Athens last week to work on the issue, as the country faces demands from the International Monetary Fund to execute more pension cuts and raise taxes to ease its debt burden.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

As Le Monde’s Clarisse Fabre writes, the French far right — most notably, the National Front — has appropriated Joan of Arc’s legacy and used her as an ideological symbol of the fight against “foreign invasion.” But the city of Rouen is raising its flags and is determined to reclaim the young heroine from the extreme-right party's grasp. “On March 20, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius inaugurated the Joan of Arc History Museum in the heart of the city's Archbishop's Palace, a medieval site with Norman crypts that was nicely renovated for the occasion,” the journalist writes. “The young girl's exceptional destiny, the incarnation of the free warrior as well as the tortured victim, has never ceased to inspire artists and politicians alike. In an area called ‘Mythothèque’ (the library of myths), the History Museum delves into the ‘historiographic’ and political debates around Joan of Arc and tries to shed light on how her representations were constructed.”

Read the full article, Exploited By France's Far Right, Joan Of Arc Reborn As Icon For All.


SYRIA REFUGEE CAMP “BEYOND INHUMANE”

The United Nations said Monday that the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus was “beyond inhumane,” and it renewed its demand to access the site. According to UN spokesperson Chris Gunness, it has been unable to provide humanitarian aid to the already starving 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees for several days. Clashes began in and around the camp last week when an estimated 300 ISIS terrorists entered the camp. Syrian rebels have been fighting ISIS from inside Yarmouk, while government forces are carrying out airstrikes from outside, The Guardian reports.


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



POLAND TO BUILD WATCHTOWERS AT RUSSIAN BORDER

Poland will build six 50-meter-high watchtowers along its 200-kilometer border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, the Polish PAP news agency reports. Three-quarters of the total 3.7 million-euro construction cost will be covered by the EU’s fund for external borders. This comes after reports that Russia has deployed missiles to Kaliningrad, according to the BBC.


VERBATIM

“Congrats to Duke, but I was rooting for team who had stars that are actually going to college and not just doing semester tryout for NBA.” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, tweeted this controversial response to last night’s NCAA Championship game, referring to the fact that the vaunted Duke might have multiple freshmen enter the NBA draft after one year instead of graduating.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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