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InterNations
Ukraine

Obama Approves Iraq Strikes, Ebola Emergency, Happy Headline

Kiev clashes
Kiev clashes
Worldcrunch

Friday, August 8, 2014

OBAMA AUTHORIZES IRAQ AIRSTRIKES
Marking the most significant intervention in Iraq since American troops were withdrawn in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against Islamist extremists there and aid to desperate civilians a day after the country’s largest Christian town was seized, forcing thousands to flee.

“Earlier this week, one Iraqi cried that no one is coming to help,” the president said from the White House Thursday night. “Well, today America is coming to help.”

Obama added that the U.S. will not send troops back to the country but that it had already made humanitarian air drops for the Iraqis under threat, including the 50,000 Yazidi people trapped on Mount Sinjar, The Washington Post reports.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has been gaining ground in the region for the past several months. According to UN figures, around 200,000 Christians are thought to have fled their homes in fear of the terrorist group, and most of them are thought to have gone to the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Read more fromThe New York Times.

SNAPSHOT
Fresh clashes erupted Thursday in Kiev’s Maidan Square, as police tried and failed to dismantle protester camps.

EBOLA DECLARED INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Friday that the Ebola epidemic that has killed almost 1,000 people in West Africa now constitutes an international health risk and appealed for global aid to help the afflicted countries, Reuters reports. "The outbreak is moving faster than we can control it,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said after a two-day emergency session in Geneva.

GAZA FIGHTING RESUMES
Israel has resumed airstrikes in Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire aimed at southern Israel, AP reports. This comes after a three-day truce between Israel and Hamas expired this morning, and signals the failure of talks to extend the ceasefire.

Israel Defense Forces told the BBC that more than 35 rockets had been fired at Israel this morning. The country’s anti-missile defense system Iron Dome reportedly intercepted three rockets, while the others landed in open fields.

An Israeli air strike killed a 10-year-old Gaza City boy, Al Jazeera reports, and at least six others were wounded. Witnesses also reported that thousands of Palestinians are fleeing their homes in eastern Gaza City amid the renewed Israeli attacks.

At least 1,890 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed a month into the conflict. Three civilians in Israel have been killed by Hamas rockets, and at least 64 soldiers died in the fighting.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD


TAKEOVER OF MALAYSIAN AIRLINES
The Malaysian state investment firm Khazanah Nasional plans to take over Malaysia Airlines in what it characterizes as a “complete overhaul,” The Guardian reports. In recent months, the airline has been hit by two devastating tragedies — the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine and the disappearance of flight MH370.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
As Le Monde’s Martine Picouët writes, the Aeolian Islands — a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily — are not a destination for the average vacationer. “Over the course of just a few years, all of these islands, long ignored by tourists, have become prized little gems, best discovered in the spring or fall,” Picouët writes, describing stunning views of volcanoes that continue to rumble, smoke and spit fire as they have for hundreds of years. Of one of the islands, the journalist writes, “In winter, the blinds are closed and only a couple of hundred inhabitants remain on the island, with no more than a few boats still bringing fresh water and food from the mainland. Houses reopen in April, when the first visitors and sailboats arrive.”
Read the full article, Far Off The Beaten Path, The Aeolian Islands' Stunning Volcanoes.

HAPPY HEADLINE FOR A CHANGE
Ten years after a 4-year-old Indonesian girl was swept to sea in a tsunami and feared dead, she has been found alive and reunited with her family. Read more from The Guardian.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

For decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been left unresolved. Hamas's recent attack has forced politicians to confront facts: the conflict needs a definitive solution. Here's a primer on the two possible scenarios on the table.

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

At a art event in Gaziantep, Turkey, aimed at expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Elias Kassem

CAIRO — The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has once again focused the world’s full attention on the Palestinian cause.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Beyond the outrage and anger over the toll of Israel’s war in Gaza and the Hamas attack of October 7, there is a quieter international consensus that has been revived about forging a lasting settlement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli one.

Naturally, there are the eternal (though largely resolvable) details of how that settlement could be achieved. Yet the so-called two-state solution is very much back in the conversation of international diplomacy.

At the same time, there is another scenario for the Palestinians to have a homeland: to share in a single state with Israelis — the one-state solution. There are supporters and opponents of the two solutions on both sides.

Here’s a look at what’s on the table:

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