Latest world news: Today’s Live Updates 03-Dec-2023
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As a pause in fighting begins, Husam Zomlot calls for a comprehensive ceasefire
The Palestinian ambassador to Britain, Husam Zomlot, has written an opinion piece in The Economist calling for a comprehensive ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Zomlot argues that a ceasefire would benefit peace, first and foremost by ending the suffering of Palestinian civilians who have endured unimaginable hardships in recent weeks. He also claims that a ceasefire would stop the spread of hostilities in the region and provide an opportunity to address the root causes of the conflict. Zomlot criticises Israel for its treatment of the Palestinian people, including the devastation of Gaza's infrastructure and the displacement of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. He also accuses Israel of committing war crimes and using genocidal language. Zomlot concludes by calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine on 1967 borders and an end to the occupation.
US warships and commercial vessels attacked by drones in Red Sea: Report
The Pentagon has confirmed that it is aware of reports of attacks on an American warship and commercial vessels in the Red Sea. The nature of the attacks has not been specified, but maritime security sources have said that a bulk carrier ship was hit by at least two drones while sailing in the Red Sea. The Pentagon has not yet provided any further information on the incidents.
Japan needs more sperm donors
The lack of regulation and limited access to assisted reproduction in Japan is leading many individuals and couples to seek sperm donors and surrogate mothers in other countries, particularly the US, where such practices are legal. The underground practice of seeking sperm donors online in Japan has grown, but it comes with risks, including potential health concerns and difficulties verifying donors' personal information. The shortage of sperm donors has also been driven by concerns around the discoverability of donors and the lack of information available to children conceived through artificial insemination. Experts are calling for regulation to encourage donations to sperm banks and clinics, but the government's conservative approach to families is hindering progress.
India agrees to withdraw soldiers from Maldives, says President Muizzu
The Indian government has agreed to withdraw its soldiers from the Maldives, according to President Mohamed Muizzu. Muizzu, who won the presidential election in September, campaigned on a promise to alter the Maldives' "India first" policy and remove the small Indian military presence in the country. The move comes as India and China compete for influence in the region, with Muizzu's coalition government seen as leaning towards China. The majority of Indian military personnel in the Maldives were operating and managing two helicopters and an aircraft provided by India. India also provides military equipment and assistance in disaster response to the Maldives.
Terror attack in Paris, German tourist dead and 2 others hurt near Eiffel Tower
A German tourist was killed and two others, including a British citizen, were injured in a knife and hammer attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The perpetrator, a 26-year-old French national, was quickly apprehended by police. The suspect had previously been sentenced to four years in prison for planning another attack and was on the French security services' watch list. He is also known to have psychiatric disorders. The suspect shouted "Allahu akbar" during the attack and expressed grievances about the situations in Afghanistan and Palestine. French anti-terrorism prosecutors are leading the investigation into the incident.
Pope Francis deplores end of Israel-Hamas truce, voices hope for new ceasefire
Pope Francis has expressed his concern over the breakdown of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, stating that it is "painful" to see the death, destruction, and misery caused by the conflict. He called for all parties involved to reach a new ceasefire as soon as possible and to find solutions other than weapons. The Pope's comments come as the death toll in the conflict continues to rise, with over 15,400 Palestinians killed according to Palestinian officials. Pope Francis has limited his public appearances recently due to his recovery from lung inflammation.
Israel bombs Gaza as pressure mounts to protect civilians amid war
Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza on Sunday as the death toll rose to over 15,200 people. The strikes hit Gaza's northern frontier with Israel, causing thick clouds of smoke and dust to rise into the sky. At least 160 Palestinian deaths were reported in two incidents on Saturday alone. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that there is no safe place in Gaza. The conflict began on October 7 when Hamas militants burst through Gaza's border into Israel and killed around 1,200 people. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, while the militant group has ruled out more hostage releases until a permanent ceasefire is agreed.
Indonesia's Mount Marapi volcano erupts, spews ash 3 km into sky
Mount Marapi, the most active volcano on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, erupted on Sunday, spewing a column of ash three kilometers into the sky. The ash was observed 3,000 meters above the volcano's peak. No damage or casualties have been reported so far. Mount Marapi is on the third-highest alert level in Indonesia's four-step system, and an exclusion zone has been imposed around the volcano's crater. The Indonesian archipelago is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for its high volcanic and seismic activity. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes.
Magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Philippine Islands region
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred in the Philippine Islands region on Sunday, according to the German Research Centre for Geosciences. The quake had a depth of 10 km below the Earth's surface.
3 killed, 9 injured in explosion in university gym in Philippines
An explosion occurred during a Catholic Mass at a university gymnasium in the southern Philippines, resulting in three deaths and several injuries. Mindanao State University, where the incident took place, expressed its sorrow and outrage over the act of violence and condemned it strongly. The university has suspended classes until further notice. The city of Marawi, where the university is located, was previously besieged by pro-Islamic State militants in 2017. The regional police office confirmed the three deaths, while the media agency Edge Davao also reported the same number of fatalities.
‘Joe Biden destroyer of American democracy’: Donald Trump's dig
Former President Donald Trump has accused President Joe Biden of being "the destroyer of American democracy" and using the federal justice system against his political opponents. Trump's allegations against Biden mirror the ones that Biden has made against him. Trump has repeatedly promised to prosecute Biden if he returns to the White House. He also criticized liberal organizations for filing lawsuits seeking to rule him ineligible for office, blaming Biden for their actions. Trump defended his relationships with authoritarian leaders, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean President Kim Jong Un, but acknowledged that Americans don't like fascists.
1 killed, 2 injured after man attacks tourists near Eiffel Tower in Paris
One person has died and two others have been injured after a man attacked tourists near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris. The 26-year-old attacker, a French national, was quickly arrested by police using a Taser stun gun. The suspect had a previous conviction for planning another attack and was on the French security services' watch list. He was known to have psychiatric disorders. The attack took place when the man assaulted a tourist couple with a knife before being chased by police and attacking two other people with a hammer. The suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and expressed anger about the situation in Afghanistan and Palestine. The incident raises questions about security ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.
Philippines lifts tsunami alert after 7.4 earthquake: 'Threat has largely passed'
The Philippines has lifted a tsunami alert after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the south of the country. The earthquake triggered coastal evacuations and caused some waves in the Philippines and Japan. There have been no reports of casualties or serious damage, although some residents have reported damage to buildings. More than 500 aftershocks have been recorded and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has urged caution as people resume normal activities. The Philippines is prone to earthquakes as it lies on the "Ring of Fire," a belt of volcanoes that is prone to seismic activity.
Powerful earthquake strikes Philippines, followed by major aftershocks
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Saturday, followed by four major aftershocks. The initial quake triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific region and sent residents in northeast Mindanao fleeing buildings. However, the warnings were later downgraded and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii stated that there was no longer a tsunami threat. There have been no reports of casualties or major property damage so far. Quakes are common in the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity.
Munich flights, trains cancelled as heavy snow blankets Bavaria
Heavy snowfall in Bavaria has led to the cancellation of flights and long-distance trains out of Munich, as well as the closure of Christmas markets and some ski lifts. A football match between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin was also postponed due to the heavy snow. Munich airport stated that flights would not depart or arrive until at least 6 a.m. on Sunday. The German Weather Service estimated that 30-40 cm of snow would fall by Saturday evening, leading to numerous transport accidents and traffic jams on icy roads. However, some residents enjoyed the wintry atmosphere, with parents pulling their children along on sleds.
Ukraine's security service alleges Russian plot involving ex-president
Ukraine's security service, the SBU, prevented former president Petro Poroshenko from leaving the country, citing concerns that Russia planned to exploit a meeting he had scheduled with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The SBU claimed that Russia was preparing "provocations" to discredit Ukraine among its foreign allies. Poroshenko's political party, European Solidarity, denied the allegations and warned the SBU against becoming involved in politics. Orban, who is known for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, opposes opening talks on European Union membership with Ukraine. The dispute between Poroshenko and the current administration of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reflects growing tensions in Ukraine's political landscape.
No prisoner exchange with Israel until there is ceasefire in Gaza, Hamas says
Deputy Hamas chief, Saleh Al-Arouri, has stated that no more prisoners will be exchanged with Israel until a ceasefire is reached in Gaza. Al-Arouri mentioned that the hostages still being held captive by Hamas are Israeli soldiers and civilian men who had previously served in the Israeli army. He stated that they would not be released unless there was a ceasefire and all Palestinian detainees were also freed. Al-Arouri added that this decision is final and that they will not compromise on it.