Today’s news: An Israeli raid on Nablus left one dead and four Palestinians wounded. A shooting shocked New Zealand hours before the start of the women’s soccer world cup. UN: Increasingly harsh winters in Mongolia, nomadic herders at risk of socio-economic collapse. Mission in Washington of Card. Zuppi for peace in Ukraine.
Iraqi protesters who have been taking to the streets for days to protest against the burning in Sweden of a copy of the Koran The Swedish embassy was attacked last night in central Baghdad, they scaled the walls of the compound and set it on fire. The press office of the Swedish Foreign Ministry reported that all embassy staff were safe, condemned the attack and stressed the need for the Iraqi authorities to protect diplomatic missions.
ISRAEL – PALESTINE
This morning the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian and wounded at least four others -two of them seriously- in Nablus, the West Bank, according to reports by the Ministry of Health and the Red Crescent. The Palestinian battalion stated that its members were “fighting against the occupation forces and settlers who had broken into the area of Joseph’s Tomb,” the shrine in the city that has been the scene of repeated clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces. The Israeli army did not make any statement.
CHINA – TAIWAN
“One of China’s priorities is to prevent Taiwan’s vice president, William Lai -presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party in the 2024 elections-, visit USA next month”Beijing’s ambassador to Washington said today. Meanwhile, China is stepping up its military “warnings” against such travel with air and naval exercises around the island of Taipei, which it considers its own territory.
VATICAN – UKRAINE
The mission in the United States concludeds -from July 17 to 19- of Card. Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, sent by Pope Francis to Washington after having been in kyiv and Moscow in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. In a statement, the Holy See reported that Zuppi had a one-hour conversation with Biden and conveyed Pope Francis’s concern about the war. The Vatican also confirmed his availability to support humanitarian initiatives in conflict zones and promote peace.
A new rule of control and pressure on freedom of expression was presented in the Moscow Duma, with very severe penalties for “propaganda and justification of extremist ideology” -as explained by the president of the Security Commission, Vasily Piskarev- that could impose a sentence of up to 5 years in a concentration camp for those who comment on terrorist acts on social networks without clearly stating that they condemn the perpetrators.
The government of Japan decided to adopt new sanctions against Russia. As of August, it banned the export of gasoline or diesel cars – including used ones – whose engine has a displacement greater than 1.9 liters, therefore also all electric and hybrid vehicles, which the Russians have been buying in large quantities in the last months. The most powerful and luxurious cars were already banned in April 2022.
Two people died in a shootout in downtown Auckland hours before the start of the Women’s Soccer World Cup, and six other people, including some police officers who intervened, were injured. Apparently, the shooter took his own life after the massacre. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said it would not be a terrorist attack. The soccer tournament will be played as planned.
The effect of the global climate crisisl is causing increasingly harsh winters in Mongolia and threatens the survival of nomadic communities that make up a third of the country’s three million people. According to the United Nations, extreme weather conditions and the severity of climate change are also having a detrimental effect on Mongolians’ food security and income. For most nomads, wealth resides in cattle. Since January, more than 483,000 head have died of starvation, frostbite or disease, according to the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry. Pope Francis will visit the Christians of that country from August 31 to September 4.