Welcome to Thursday, where a top Palestinian commander is killed in pre-dawn Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, Donald Trump faces off with the truth, and Oklahoma police get called in for a live(stock) situation. Meanwhile, Mridula Chari for independent digital magazine Undark suggests that elephants could teach us a thing or two about living together.
[*Palauan, Republic of Palau]
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• Palestinian commander killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza: Pre-dawn airstrikes on Khan Younis, southern Gaza, have killed the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launch unit Ali Ghali, as well as two other people. The attack, according to Al Jazeera, “further complicated any chance of a ceasefire”. Since Tuesday morning, at least 25 people have been killed as violence flares again in the region.
• Donald Trump live on CNN: Former President Donald Trump continued to deny allegations of sexual assault and mock his victim, just a day after he was found liable for defamation and sexual abuse. In his first primetime appearance on CNN since 2016, which he branded as “fake news,” he repeated lies about abortion, election and the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
• Zelensky needs more time for counteroffensive: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has emphasized the “need to wait” before launching the much anticipated Spring counteroffensive. Ukraine’s military “needs a bit more time” to wait for further aid and avoid unnecessary losses, but Zelensky is confident that Ukraine could “go forward and be successful” with the resources they have now.
• Pakistan army called in to quell protests: At least three of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party leaders have been arrested as troops arrive in the capital to quell the protests that have killed at least five people, after he was accused of corruption.
• Gunfire along Armenia-Azerbaijan border: Fighting broke out as each country blamed the other for breaking the ceasefire, only days before EU-hosted talks to address the territorial dispute. The three decade old tensions are over the western Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is part of Azerbaijan but populated mainly by Armenians.
• Outgoing Finnish leader announces divorce: Finland's outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her husband Markus Raikkonen have announced they are jointly filing for divorce. Marin, 37 (the world's youngest prime minister when she took office in 2019) resigned from office last month, although she continues to lead until a new government is formed.• You’ve goat to be kidding: After responding to a call about a man shouting “help” that turned out to be a lonely goat, police officers in Oklahoma, U.S. told Facebook that it was not “that baaad of a call.”
Belgium daily De Morgen dedicates its front page to Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Ukraine is claiming a major reconquest inside the city of Bakhmut, which the Kremlin has been trying to capture for the past nine months. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to confirm the Russian retreat.
Poland’s development minister Waldemar Buda has announced that Kaliningrad, a Russian city located in the exclave sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, will be now called Królewiec in its official documents — the city’s name when it was ruled by the Kingdom of Poland in the 15th and 16th centuries. “We do not want Russification in Poland,” Buda said. The Kremlin has criticized the decision, calling it a “hostile act.”
What elephant intelligence can teach humans about getting along
Experts say that understanding how the giant mammals weigh risk and reward could help prevent clashes with people, reports Mridula Chari for independent digital magazine Undark.
🐘 Each year, elephants kill around 400 people in India, according to a 2020 study. Around 150 elephants die due to conflict with humans as well, with many more electrocuted by fences or struck by trains. Now, many people — from farmers to forest service employees to elephant scientists — are working to understand the movements and behaviors of a species that’s been subject to decades of intensive conservation work.
🔍 As farmers try to come to terms with their new neighbors, many researchers are developing a nuanced view of elephant life — one which focuses on them less as pests out to eat people’s hard-earned crops, and more as members of complex communities, with distinctive traditions and cultures, undergoing a series of pressures that can have tragic consequences.
🧠 “We’ve not really taken behavior as a core or the basis for our decisions,” said Nishant Srinivasaiah, an elephant behavior ecologist based in south India. While group data is also important, he and his colleagues believe researchers should pay more attention to how individual elephants make decisions, understanding them as highly intelligent animals attempting to navigate a changing environmental and social landscape.
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U.S. streaming platform Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers in the first three months of 2023, after already losing 2.6 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2022. The streaming platform suffered from the loss of streaming rights to Indian Premier League cricket matches for its India and Southeast Asia low cost service Disney+ Hotstar and has been struggling with company-wide layoffs and the recent writers strikes. CEO Bob Iger announced the creation of a "one app experience" that will include Hulu content in the hopes to attract new advertisers and subscribers.
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