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Egypt

Israel Retaliates After 16 Killed in Egypt Border Attack

HAARETZ (Israel), BBC NEWS (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), ASSOCIATED PRESS (US)

Worldcrunch

JERUSALEM - Israel says it has found the bodies of eight gunmen who attacked a checkpoint on the border with Egypt on Sunday, killing sixteen Egyptian guards, reports BBC News.

The attack was launched at around 8pm on a security checkpoint in the Egyptian town of Rafah, where the borders of Israel, Egypt and Gaza converge.

Israeli intelligence services had reports of an impending attack from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and therefore were able to respond to the assault, reports the Associated Press.

According to BBC News, the heavily armed attackers had managed to capture a border post, commandeered cars and tried to smash their way over the border.

Israeli government spokesman Ofir Gendelman said seven militants were killed, four on the Israeli side and three in Egypt. Israeli soldiers are still combing the area for militants who might have crossed the border into Israel’s territory. Civilans were told to stay home.

Following the assault, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said that Sunday's attack by insurgents in Sinai would serve as a "wake-up call for the Egyptians to take matters into their own hands", reports Haaretz. He praised the quick responses of the Israel Defense Forces, Southern Command and Shin Bet security service.

According to Barak, the gunmen were identified as operatives of a global jihad network, reports the Israeli newspaper.

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi called for an emergency meeting with military and security officials after the attack and promised a strong response, reports Al Jazeera. Egypt has indefinitely shut down the Rafah crossing on the border with the Gaza Strip -- which is the only crossing into Gaza not controlled by Israel.

Hamas condemned the assault, calling it an "ugly crime."

It is the largest attack ever carried out in Sinai by global jihad operatives against both Egyptian and Israeli targets, adds Haaretz.

Earlier on Sunday, a meeting of Non-Aligned Movement countries in the West Bank to discuss Palestinian plans for upgraded membership of the UN was cancelled after Israel refused entry to several foreign envoys.

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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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