Saturday, July 13

Politics

France Discovers a New Word: Ungovernable
Politics

France Discovers a New Word: Ungovernable

Instead of waking up on Monday in a country governed by the far right, France found itself in a situation similar to Italy's, where only patient parliamentary negotiation could lead to the formation of a viable coalition government. France rejected Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration Rassemblement National in its legislative elections, once again demonstrating its deep-seated resistance to nationalist initiatives. The country voted for a resurgent left that, while it has not achieved absolute power, has shifted the political heart of the nation from an all-powerful presidency to Parliament. With the Paris Olympics less than three weeks away and the August exodus to the beaches or mountains a sacred feature of French life, talks to form a government could drag on into the fall, when France wi...
Middle East Crisis: Cigarette Smuggling in Gaza and Its Impact on Aid Convoys
Politics

Middle East Crisis: Cigarette Smuggling in Gaza and Its Impact on Aid Convoys

A significant problem is now affecting humanitarian aid convoys trying to deliver essential goods to the starving population of Gaza: attacks by organized groups looking not for flour or medicine, but for cigarettes hidden in the cargo. In the tightly controlled Gaza Strip, where Israel meticulously inspects every incoming truck, cigarettes have become extremely rare, often selling for $25 to $30 apiece. Smugglers in Egypt have hidden them in sacks of flour, diapers and even watermelons donated by the United Nations, according to aid agencies and Israeli officials who shared information with The New York Times. Aid trucks headed to Gaza have been attacked by groups of Palestinians, some armed, searching for hidden cigarettes, UN and Israeli officials said. Despite Israeli authorities’ tig...
WHO data indicates rising number of deaths in Ukrainian medical facilities during ongoing conflict
Politics

WHO data indicates rising number of deaths in Ukrainian medical facilities during ongoing conflict

A Russian missile attack on Ukraine's largest children's hospital on Monday underscored the escalation of attacks on medical facilities, vehicles and workers in the country. The incident is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) data indicating a potential increase in Ukrainian casualties from such attacks in 2024 compared to the previous year. Before the attack on Ohmatdyt Children's Hospital in Kyiv, WHO had reported 18 deaths and 81 injuries from more than 175 attacks on health infrastructure in Ukraine during the first half of 2024. In addition, 44 attacks on medical vehicles were recorded. In 2023, WHO documented 22 deaths and 117 injuries from 350 attacks on health facilities and 45 attacks on medical vehicles. Some organizations estimate even higher casualty numbers. Monday's...
Viktor Orban visits Xi Jinping in China after meeting with Putin in Moscow
Politics

Viktor Orban visits Xi Jinping in China after meeting with Putin in Moscow

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, following his recent talks with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow. China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, announced Orban's visit, saying Xi would engage in "in-depth discussions on issues of mutual concern" with him. The two leaders last met two months ago, when Xi visited Budapest to boost Chinese influence in Europe. Chinese state television reported that the meeting took place at the Diaooyutai State Guesthouse, but gave no further details. The meeting offers Xi and Orban, who often diverges from the European Union on Ukraine and other issues, a platform to encourage the EU to distance itself from Washington. Hungary recently began its six-month rotating presidency of the Council ...
Live coverage: Labour poised for historic victory in UK election
Politics

Live coverage: Labour poised for historic victory in UK election

Voters in Portsmouth, a city famous for its naval base on England’s south coast, streamed into a polling station on Thursday morning. Warmly greeted by poll workers, they arrived in a steady stream: elderly couples holding hands, parents with babies in strollers, and young professionals rushing to work. According to the latest polls, every vote cast has added weight to what could be the decisive conclusion to 14 years of Conservative government. “I just want to see change,” said Sam Argha, 36, after voting for Labour. “We need to try something different.” This sentiment reverberated across the city, where many, regardless of their political leanings, yearned for a fresh start amid national uncertainty. The center-left Labour Party was widely expected to unseat the right-wing Cons...
Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian Reaches Runoff in Iranian Presidential Election
Politics

Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian Reaches Runoff in Iranian Presidential Election

A reformist candidate critical of Iranian government policies, including the mandatory headscarf law, will face a hardline conservative in a presidential runoff next week, Iran’s Interior Ministry announced Saturday. It follows a special vote called after the previous leader, Ebrahim Raisi, died in a helicopter crash last month. The second round of voting, scheduled for July 5, will pit reformist Masoud Pezeshkian against Saeed Jalili, an ultraconservative former nuclear negotiator. The need for a runoff was prompted by low voter turnout and a field of three leading candidates, with Iranian law requiring a winner to win more than 50 percent of all votes cast. According to the Interior Ministry, 60 percent of Iranians did not vote on Friday; analysts and candidates' aides attribute the dec...