Welcome to Thursday, where Israeli troops are massing at the Gaza border, Elon Musk undermines Bitcoin and a New Zealand politician performs a protest Hakka dance in Parliament. We also have a warning from Latin America about the environmental risks of trading with China.
• Israel gathers troops along Gaza border amid rocket fire and air strikes: Israeli troops massed along the Palestinian enclave of Gaza this morning, while Hamas continued to launch scores of rockets at Israel. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a civil war on Wednesday night as street clashes led to several attempted lynchings by mobs on both sides of the conflict. Meanwhile foreign leaders urged deescalation, as the overall death toll neared 100.
• China accused of jailing Uyghur religious leaders: A new report made by a Uyghur rights group accuses China of having jailed or detained at least 630 imams and other Muslim religious figures since 2014 in its repression in the Xinjiang region. The report also shows that 18 clerics had died in detention or shortly after release.
• Trump critic Liz Cheney ousted by Republicans: House Republicans voted on to evict top lawmaker Liz Cheney from a party leadership post after she spoke out against former President Donald Trump.
• Mixing COVID vaccines increases side effects: A study shows that chills, headaches and muscle pain were more common when different vaccines doses were mixed.
• Tesla suspends use of Bitcoin over climate concerns: Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet that the company will stop accepting Bitcoin payments due to climate change issues, provoking a 10% decrease for the cryptocurrency.
• Italy to appoint first female spy chief: Former ambassador Elisabeth Belloni becomes the first woman to lead Italy's Department of Information Security, overseeing the country's foreign and domestic intelligence services.
• Indigenous leader removed from NZ Parliament after hakka dance: Maori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was removed from New Zealand's parliament after denouncing racist rhetoric from the opposition and performing a hakka dance.
Newspapers around the world have been devoting ample coverage to the outbreak of deadly violence in the Middle East. In its Thursday edition, Turkish daily Sabah focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict's toll on children, including at least 10 killed since the latest outbreak of attacks.
sherehe ya kuapa
Swahili for "swearing-in ceremony." On Wednesday, Ugandan's President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in to his sixth-term, making him one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.
Latin America Needs New Deal With China, For The Planet's Sake
The coronavirus pandemic is not just a global health crisis, writes Diana Castro Salgado of Ecuador's Andina Simón Bolivar University, but the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And it's happening as the world faces the potentially far more devastating prospects of climate change.
Castro Salgado, writing in America Economia magazine notes that Latin American countries are not just seeing more poverty, unemployment, insecurity, economic slowdowns and public spending gaps, but also some dire effects of climate change such as floods, droughts and deforestation, among others.
Where does that leave the region in its ongoing economic relationship with a rising China? The Asian superpower's rapid growth over three decades has fueled demand for goods and services to meet its energy demands, provide food security and keep its industrial activity humming.
China only has 7% of all arable lands and 6% of the world's water resources (ECLAC, 2017). Latin America, in contrast, has 24% of all forests and arable land, more than 30% of the world's water resources and extensive oil and mining resources (Isabel Studer, 2019).
Little wonder that China has had an increasingly marked presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, hastening environmental degradation through increased pollution and overuse of water resources, deforestation and expansion of farming lands, exhaustion of non-renewable resources, threats to the survival of local communities, and the renewed dependence of Latin American economies on primary or raw materials.
So it's time that Latin America leaders in the public and private sectors renegotiate with their Chinese counterparts — for ecological, as much as economic, reasons.
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