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Jerusalem Clashes, Hong Kong Mass Arrests, Lewinsky Speaks

A man distributes Iftar food to Muslim devotees waiting to break their fast during the sacred fasting month of Ramadan.
A man distributes Iftar food to Muslim devotees waiting to break their fast during the sacred fasting month of Ramadan.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A 16 year-old Palestinian who was allegedly kidnapped yesterday by Israelis, in an apparent retaliation for the death of the three abducted Israeli students, was found dead early this morning in a forest west of Jerusalem, AFP reports. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said “Israel bears full responsibility for this incident. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said an investigation had been launched and condemned the murder as “despicable,” urging all sides not to take the law into their own hands.

The news sparked unrest in East Jerusalem, where some 200 young Palestinians clashed with the police. Hours earlier, following the burial of the three Israeli teens, Haaretz reported that the police arrested 50 people after “several hundred right-wing extremists” demonstrated in Jerusalem, with some of them shouting “Death to Arabs” and attacking Arab civilians. Read Haaretz live blog for the latest updates.

The United Nations said in a report that more than 4,000 children around the world had been recruited by various different organizations to be used as soldiers in armed conflicts, and described the rise of jihadist group known as ISIS in Iraq and Syria as “creating extremely volatile and dangerous conditions for children,” AP reports. This comes as UNICEF and Human Rights Watch urged ISIS to release more than 100 young boys and girls kidnapped in Syria more than a month ago. In an audio message, ISIS self-declared “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Muslims to emigrate to help build his caliphate,.

Hong Kong police arrested 511 demonstrators early this morning as a massive rally that gathered tens of thousands of people yesterday continued into the night and turned into a sit-in, South China Morning Post reports. Organizers said that a total of 510,000 pro-democracy protesters marched in the city center with reports saying that this was the biggest demonstration in a decade, while the police put the number under 100,000. Protesters were also demanding a real choice in the election of the Chinese autonomous city’s next leader in 2017, amid fears that their freedoms are being eroded.

After he was detained for questioning yesterday, France’s former center-right president Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation over allegations of “active corruption,” “influence peddling” as well as “concealment of a violation of an investigation process,” Le Monde writes. He is suspected of having used his lawyer to obtain inside information on the investigation over his campaign financing in 2007 from a senior judge, in exchange for helping the magistrate obtain a top job in Monaco, French website Mediapart explains.

After the heartbreaking loss to host Brazil, a diehard Chile fan ponders the real meaning of the World Cup in a world with so much else to worry about: “The importance I give to soccer is ironically centered around its very simplicity. The value of soccer is in that abstract ability that allows all sorts of people to turn away from their problems for 90 minutes. More important still is its unifying potential, the attachment to the 23 players was felt by a great many Chileans, both for the initial victories and the defeat against Brazil. As seldom happens, millions of Chileans shared moments of joy and sadness together, and this is rare in our increasingly fragmented society. Soccer goes beyond the social and political distinctions that provoke so much hate in our country.”
Read the full article, courtesy of America Economia/Worldcrunch: Finding Soccer's Universal Light In Bitter Defeat.

A man distributes Iftar food to Muslim devotees waiting to break their fast during the sacred fasting month of Ramadan in Lahore, Pakistan.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France are due to meet today in Berlin in another attempt to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, as fights continue one day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ended a temporary ceasefire. A French diplomat told Reuters "there is not a precise objective...we do not want to raise expectations."

U.S. soccer goalkeeper Tim Howard delivered a record-setting performance during his team's game against Belgium Tuesday by making a total of 16 saves. Despite Howard’s efforts, Team USA lost 2-1, in overtime.

After 10 years of self-imposed exile, Monica Lewinsky has given her first TV interview.


A controversial scientist has sparked angry reactions from his colleagues after he deliberately modified the infamous H1N1 flu virus to create one that the human immune system can do nothing against. Read more fromThe Independent.

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First It Was Poland's Farmers — Now Truckers Are Protesting Ukraine's Special Status

For the past month, Poland has been blocking off its border checkpoints to Ukrainian trucks, leaving many in days-long lines. It's a commercial and economic showdown, but it's about much more.

Photogrqph of a line of trucks queued in the  Korczowa - border crossing​

November 27, 2023, Medyka: Trucks stand in a queue to cross the border in Korczowa as Polish farmers strike and block truck transport in Korczowa - border crossing

Dominika Zarzycka/ZUMA
Katarzyna Skiba

Since November 6, Polish truckers have blocked border crossing points with Ukraine, citing unfair advantages given to the Ukrainian market, and demanding greater support from the European Union.

With lines that now stretch for up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), thousands of Ukrainian truckers must now wait an average of about four days in ever colder weather to cross the border, sometimes with the help of the Polish police. At least two Ukrainian truck drivers have died while waiting for passage into Poland.

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The round-the-clock blockade is being manned by Polish trucking unions who claim that Ukrainian trucking companies, which offer a cheaper rate, have been transporting goods across Europe, rather than between Poland and Ukraine. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian truckers have been exempt from the permits once required to cross the border.

Now, Polish truckers are demanding that their government reintroduce entry permits for Ukrainian lorries, with exceptions for military and humanitarian aid from Europe. For the moment, those trucks are being let through the blockade, which currently affects four out of Ukraine’s eight border crossings with Poland.

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