Welcome to Thursday, where Kyiv is facing a new barrage of Russian missiles, Israel troops kill nine Palestinians in Jenin, and Donald Trump is allowed back on Facebook and Instagram. Meanwhile, Niccolò Zancan and Giuseppe Legato in Italian daily La Stampa take us to Campobello di Mazara, the quiet Sicilian village where Italy's most-wanted fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro was hiding in plain sight.
[*Ayubōvan - Sinhala, Sri Lanka]
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• Russia fires missiles at Ukraine after Western tank deal: Russia has launched missiles towards Ukraine on Thursday, killing at least one person. This comes a day after Germany and the U.S. have agreed to supply Kyiv with modern battlefield tanks. The Ukrainian military said it had shot down all 24 drones sent overnight by Russia and no damage has been reported.
• Israeli army kills nine Palestinians: Israeli troops have killed nine Palestinians including an elderly woman in a raid on the occupied West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp. Israel has also been accused of using tear gas inside a children’s hospital ward.
• EU to send people back to home countries: The European Union migration ministers met on Thursday to discuss visa restrictions and better coordination inside the bloc to be able to send back to their home countries those people with no right to asylum in Europe.
• Machete attack at Spanish church: A man killed a church official and severely injured a priest with a machete at two Catholic churches in the Spanish city of Algeciras. The man has been arrested and prosecutors have opened a “terrorism” investigation into the attacks.
• Trump allowed back on Facebook and Instagram: Meta-run platforms Facebook and Instagram announced that they will reinstate the accounts of former U.S. President Donald Trump following a two year suspension after the Capitol riots in 2021.
• Odessa added to UNESCO endangered sites list: The United Nations’ cultural agency has added Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa to its list of World Heritage sites and to recognize “the outstanding universal value of the site and the duty of all humanity to protect it,'' as the city continues to face the threat of destruction under Russian shelling. Landmarks of an ancient Yemeni kingdom and a modernist concrete fair park in Lebanon have been added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.
• Paris Hilton announces first baby: Paris Hilton announced the birth of her first child with husband Carter Reum via a post on instagram. The name has yet to be revealed.
Spanish daily ABC devotes its front page to the “possible Jihadist attack” that saw a machete-wielding man kill a church official and severely injure a priest at two Catholic churches in Algeciras, in the south of the country.
Tens of thousands of people marked Australia’s national day by attending “Invasion Day” rallies in cities across the country, in support of Indigenous people. Australia Day on Jan. 26, which commemorates the anniversary of the landing of the first British fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, has grown increasingly divisive as the country is facing a rising political and social reckoning of its colonial history and the oppression suffered by Indigenous Australians.
"Here, he wasn't hiding" — How mob boss Messina Denaro defied his fugitive status
Italy's most-wanted fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro lived in the open in a small town in Sicily, near his birthplace, thanks to widespread silence and complicity from his neighbors. It was essential to evading police for more than 30 years, report Niccolò Zancan and Giuseppe Legato in Italian daily La Stampa.
🇮🇹🏙️ People saw Matteo Messina Denaro buying beauty products, or shopping at the supermarket. They saw him sometimes with a driver who picked him up at home when he had to go to Palermo for cancer treatment. He didn’t hide: he ate at restaurants. For at least a year, Italy’s most-wanted fugitive had been moving through the streets of Campobello di Mazara, 10 km from Castelvetrano, the town where he was born, the center of his criminal power.
✊ On the evening of his arrest, the mayor wrote on Facebook, inviting his fellow citizens to an impromptu demonstration in front of the Pirandello Institute, the only school in town. But the appeal fell on deaf ears. Some students with colorful banners showed up, but no parents. “That hurts too,” says the mayor. “Nobody saw and nobody knew?” wondered headmaster Giulia Flavio. “I am bewildered by the news that is coming in.”
🤐 Here is the map: it is a map of complicity. Sometimes it’s silence; other times, concrete support. The fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro was not hiding. Here in Campobello di Mazara, he felt safe. “I fear that this is only the beginning of the investigation into the network of Matteo Messina Denaro’s backers,” said Castiglione, the mayor. “But it is right. Every complicity must be uncovered. Every doubt must be clarified. This country must rebel. We are not all mafiosi here.”
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Opium production in Myanmar surged to a nine-year high, having produced +33% more in 2022 than in 2021, the year of the military coup. Faced with the ensuing economic, security and governance disruptions, many in Myanmar were left with little option but to move back to opium.
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