Thursday, July 17, 2014
GAZA’S SHORT-LIVED CEASEFIRE
A temporary ceasefire that was planned to last at least five hours was broken less than three hours after it started, with the southern Israeli town of Eshkol targeted by what the Israeli military says were three mortars.The Guardiansays there are conflicting reports about the attack with the police saying that the weapons were two rockets. So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, Israel had said it would respond “immediately” if attacked.
Just before the ceasefire started, Israeli forces said they had foiled an attack by 13 Hamas militants who attempted to cross into Israel through a tunnel, while AFP reported that an Israeli tank killed 3 Palestinians, taking the death toll in Gaza to 230 in 10 days. This came after Israeli warships fired and killed four Palestinians on a Gaza beach yesterday. French broadcaster TF1 was in the area when it happened and shot this graphic video of the attack.
During the ceasefire, Gazans rushed to the markets to buy fresh food, as humanitarian aid, including medical supplies were temporarily brought into Gaza.
NEW U.S. SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA
The United States imposed new sanctions on Russia, this time targeting the banking and energy sectors as well as individuals, with President Barack Obama reiterating calls for Moscow to “halt the flow of fighters and weapons” into eastern Ukraine, The Washington Post reports. Vladimir Putin responded to the news saying that the sanctions “usually have a boomerang effect, and without a doubt will force US-Russian relations into a corner.” Meanwhile, Kiev accused Russia’s air force of shooting down a Ukrainian jet in the eastern region of Luhansk.
TRIPOLI AIRPORT ATTACKS
An anti-government militia soldier points out a shell stuck on the tarmac of Tripoli's International Airport, the scene of heavy fighting this week.
AUSTRALIA KILLS CARBON TAX
The Australian Parliament voted in favor of scrapping the country’s carbon tax, fulfilling a promise made by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his election campaign last year, Australian daily ABC reports. Abbott described the outgoing policy as a “useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs.”
Beijing-based Caixin reports on a new standoff in China between animal-rights activists and the dog butchering business. “According to reports, certain Yuling city dog vendors publicly mistreat and maim the dogs and use this as blackmail to force dog lovers to buy the animals at high prices. If proven true, this is a new kind of evil that ought to be condemned by a civilized society. But at the same time, we must face the fact that such cruelty on a dog is only one step away from eating it.
Read the full article, Animal Rights In China: Making The Case To Ban Dog Eating.
TIME WARNER REBUFFS MURDOCH BID
Time Warner rejected an $80 billion takeover offer from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, a move which “would be the biggest media deal in more than a decade,” writes The New York Times. But according to well-informed sources, Murdoch and his conglomerate 21st Century Fox are “determined and unlikely to walk away anytime soon,” while the newspaper predicts that if successful, the takeover is “likely to set off a wave of takeover battles elsewhere in the industry.” For British newspaper The Guardian, Murdoch’s pursuit of Time Warner “may be the last great deal of his career.”
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
The director of the U.N. AIDS program, Michel Sidibe, said in a report Wednesday that new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were decreasing, making it possible to control the epidemic by 2030 and eventually ending it everywhere.
IT’S OK TO USE BAD PASSWORDS, SAYS MICROSOFT
A research published by Microsoft suggests that instead of coming up with strong and different passwords for each website or service, we should focus our efforts only on sensitive websites, and just re-use the same, easy-to-remember password for all the others.
AWKWARD BIRTHDAY TO YOU ANGIE
A German reporter wished Angela Merkel a happy 60th birthday, in what has to be one of the most embarrassing rendition of the “happy birthday” song.