Monday, May 20, 2024

BIG Wrap

Death toll rises to six in New Caledonia riots

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Another person has been killed in France’s Pacific Islands territory of New Caledonia as security personnel try to restore order, taking the death toll from nearly a week of unrest and looting to six. French security forces reported the sixth fatality on Saturday following armed clashes over France’s plan to impose new voting rules that could give tens of thousands of non-Indigenous residents voting rights. The territory is “on a destructive path,” warned...

Hell on Earth’ as violence escalates in Sudan’s el-Fasher

(Al Jazeera Media Network) The United Nations human rights chief has expressed horror over the escalating violence in Sudan’s North Darfur region as one official described the worsening situation on the ground as “hell of Earth”. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are sheltering in el-Fasher without basic supplies amid fears that nearby fighting will turn into an all-out battle for the city, the last stronghold of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in the western...

Suspect charged with attempted murder of Slovak PM Fico

(BBC News) A man has been charged with the attempted murder of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico after the politician was seriously hurt in a shooting attack. The alleged assailant has not been formally named, but Slovak reports have widely identified him as a 71-year-old from the town of Levice. Fico, 59, is in a serious but stable condition after being shot several times in what colleagues described as a politically motivated attack. Interior Minister Matus Sutaj...

EU investigates Meta over Facebook and Instagram child safety

(Al Jazeera Media Network) European Union regulators have opened a formal investigation into Meta for potential breaches of online content rules relating to child safety in its Facebook and Instagram platforms. The European Commission said on Thursday it was concerned the algorithmic systems used by the popular social media platforms to recommend videos and posts could “exploit the weaknesses and inexperience” of children and stimulate “addictive behaviour.” Its investigators will also examine whether these systems are...

Slovakia PM shot four times in abdomen

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is battling life-threatening wounds after officials said he was shot multiple times in an assassination attempt. “Today, after the government meeting in Handlova, there was an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Robert Fico,” the government said in a post on social media. Fico, whose Smer-SD party won the general election last September, is a four-time prime minister and a political veteran. “He is currently being...

African countries call for sanctions as UN nears treaty on ‘biopiracy’

(Al Jazeera Media Group) A group of African nations has called for a sanctions regime as talks have opened on a landmark treaty aimed at putting an end to “biopiracy”. The United Nations opened the debate on Monday in Geneva with a view to finalizing the treaty, which aims to prevent the plundering of genetic resources and traditional knowledge surrounding them. After more than 20 years of negotiations, the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hopes...

Russia says troops enter border town near Kharkiv

(BBC News) Russia has said its forces have entered the northeastern border town of Vovchansk, near Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv. Ukraine's military said it had "pushed the enemy back" from the northern outskirts of the town, adding it had "tactical successes" in several areas. Russia has intensified its attacks on the region following Friday's surprise incursions across the border, seizing at least nine villages and settlements in one of the most significant ground attacks since...

At least 60 killed in Afghanistan flash flooding

(BBC News) At least 60 people have died and more than 100 have been injured after flash flooding in northern Afghanistan, according to Taliban officials. Dozens of people remain missing after heavy rainfall hit five districts in Baghlan province, with warnings the death toll could rise ahead of a further two storms forecast to spread across the region on Friday night. Pictures on social media showed torrents of water sweeping through houses in several villages, leaving...

Ukraine parliament passes bill allowing prisoners to join army

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Ukraine’s parliament has passed a bill that would enable prisoners to fight in the armed forces as the military faces a critical personnel shortage and Russian forces continue to advance on the battlefield. The move on Wednesday marks a U-turn in Ukraine’s approach on the matter. Kyiv had long opposed the measure and had repeatedly criticized Moscow for mobilizing prisoners to fill its ranks. The legislation would need to be signed by...

U.S. bomb shipment delay biggest warning yet for Israel

(BBC News) The United States is the one country that has real leverage over Israel. And yet, throughout the war in Gaza, Israel has chosen to ignore much of the advice of its closest ally. The US government says its support for the war against Hamas is "ironclad", but it has repeatedly raised concerns about the failure of the Israeli army to protect civilians and the lack of humanitarian access afforded to the people of...