Welcome to Thursday, where aid trucks are waiting to enter Gaza from Egypt, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, and AI is about to make it easier to “skip that useless meeting”. Meanwhile, Francesca Paci for Italian daily
writes about how Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s perceived weakness ultimately benefits Hamas.
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• Al-Ahli Arab hospital blame game, aid heads to Gaza: Israeli and Palestinian officials keep accusing each other of causing the explosion at Gaza’s Al-Ahli Arab hospital and disputing the death toll. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, there were 471 deaths while the Israeli Army says this number has been “deliberately inflated.” Meanwhile, aid convoys are lining up near Egypt’s Rafah crossing, following a deal struck during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel to allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza. As debate rages over who's to blame for Gaza hospital bombing, here are the 8 key points to consider.
• New Russian airstrikes on Ukraine, Lavrov in North Korea: Kyiv officials said Russian forces carried out new airstrikes overnight on several targets in eastern, southern and northern Ukraine. No casualties have been reported so far. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thanked North Korea for its “unwavering and principled support” in Ukraine during an official visit in Pyongyang and called for deeper ties between the two countries. Read here why Poland’s recent election results are good news for Ukraine.
• U.S. relieves sanctions on Venezuelan oil after election deal: The Biden administration is easing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector after the South American country's government and opposition reached a deal for the 2024 election to be monitored by international observers. This marks the most extensive rollback of Trump-era restrictions on Caracas. Read in El Espectador how Lula’s victory in Brazil may be affecting policy toward Venezuela, translated from Spanish by Worldcrunch.
• U.S. House prepares for third Speaker vote: The U.S. House of Representatives will hold a third vote to elect a speaker on Thursday after Republican Rep. Jim Jordan failed twice to secure the necessary 217 votes. Without a speaker, the chamber has been effectively shut down for more than two weeks.
• Nicaragua releases 12 Catholic priests: Nicaragua’s government released a dozen Catholic priests on Wednesday and sent them to Rome, following “fruitful conversations” with Catholic leaders of the country and with the Vatican. The priests had been arrested on a variety of charges as part of a crack down on opposition by President Daniel Ortega, who has accused the Catholic church of aiding the 2018 mass anti government protests.
• Nokia to cut 14,000 jobs: Nokia said it will slash up to 14,000 jobs as part of a cost cutting plan as the Finnish telecom giant reported worse-than-expected results with a 20% decline in third-quarter sales due to weaker demand for 5G equipment.
• AI mutiny in the office: In a bid to eliminate “drudgery” for workers, Microsoft announced it will release on Nov. 1 a ChatGPT-style AI assistant that can summarize online meetings held in Teams for those who choose not to attend. Microsoft 365 Copilot is also able to draft emails, create word documents and spreadsheet graphs.
“Security worldwide is anchored in Israel”: Tel Aviv-based Hebrew-language daily Israel Hayom quotes Joe Biden on its Thursday front page, a day after the U.S. president’s half-day visit in a show of solidarity with Israel.
With each passing hour, Abbas is losing the West Bank to Hamas
In the capital of the Palestinian Authority, residents are outraged at Israel — but also their own leaders for not taking a harder line. The beneficiary is the militant group Hamas, which rules the other Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and is in an all-out war with Israel, reports Francesca Paci for Italian daily La Stampa .
✊ After crossing the Hizma checkpoint, between the endless Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev and the cement wall that runs all the way to the Qalandiya refugee camp, perspectives on the war begin to change. On Wednesday, following the bombing of a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds, AFP reports that protesters in nearby Nablus — some holding Hamas banners — chanted slogans against Israel and the United States. But also against Abbas.
🔇 More than a week after the bloody assault by Hamas and the beginning of the bombings in Gaza, the official political voice of the Palestinians has remained mostly silent. Abbas did release a statement early Wednesday calling the hospital bombing a "hideous war massacre," and saying negotiations with Israel were no longer possible. Still it took more than a week of relative silence, which his fellow countrymen label as "inaction," for the 87-year-old Abbas to take a hard line against Israel.
🇵🇸 So who represents the Palestinians today? "We are a united people, but unfortunately, the gradual division of our leadership has made us weak in the face of the threat of being once again driven from this land," reflects scholar Jamal Zacout, who grew up in Gaza within the ranks of Fatah and left after the civil war of 2007.
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Netflix announced it has gained some 8.76 million subscribers worldwide in the third quarter, and is expecting comparable figures for the end of the year. The uptick comes after the company’s first losses in recent quarters, and in spite of Hollywood strikes that shut down U.S. production significantly in recent months. The streaming giant credits several new series for this upward trend, such as manga-inspired One Piece , ever popular legal drama Suits and war series Band of Brothers . Here’s a recent article from Berlin-based daily Die Welt about the Netflix success of Germany-made thriller “Dear Child.”
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