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Thai Parliament Dissolved, Brazilian Brawl, More

Thai Parliament Dissolved, Brazilian Brawl, More

While U Slept

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced this morning the dissolution of the country’s parliament, a move that paves the way for new elections on Feb. 2, The Bangkok Post reports. Shinawatra will remain PM until a new cabinet is formed. Anti-government protests have resumed after last week’s truce for th king’s birthday. According to local media, an estimated 200,000 people were marching in the streets this morning.
For more on Thailand, we offer this Le Monde/Worldcrunch piece: Unrest In Bangkok Reveals Thailand's Deep Social Divide.

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are closing in on a “historic” agreement to distribute desalinated water from the Red Sea via pipeline to the Dead Sea, whose water level has been dropping, The Jerusalem Post reports. Environmental activists have denounced the project, which will cost around $9.97 billion, as destructive.

In a bid to preserve the public’s “trust in the Internet,” tech giants Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and AOL are demanding that President Obama and Congress profoundly reform surveillance laws. Read more fromThe Guardian.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party won yesterday’s election with 49.2% of the vote, news agency EFE reports.

The death of a migrant worker from India in an accident with a Singapore bus ignited the most violent riots there in over 40 years. Four hundred South Asian migrant workers clashed with police and set vehicles on fire. According to Al Jazeera, 27 were arrested after the fights, which left 15 people injured, including 10 policemen.


One man plays piano for Ukranian riot police during the Kiev protests. For more on Ukraine, we offer this Kommersant/Worldcrunch article.

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar was awarded a honorary prize in Berlin and seized the opportunity to criticize austerity policies in his country … and explain in which movie he would picture Angela Merkel.

The current French President François Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy are both attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela, but they’re taking separate state-financed planes.

Fans started a violent brawl at a Brazilian soccer match as helpless players could only look on. One fan was seriously injured, and players and coaches spoke out against the violence.

Ever wondered what a Star Wars version of Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” would sound like? Here’s one possibility in a expand=1] video clip that pushes the boundaries of the Star Wars universe far far away.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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