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Uncertainty in the Middle East and the pursuit of legal actions against Israel

Along with the ongoing bloodshed of war that has killed more than 36,000 people in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, came a wave of events and responses to the ongoing death and destruction. Unprecedented legal actions against Israel included applications to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,...

Senegalese PM blasts French military presence, raises possibility of closing bases

Senegal’s prime minister has vehemently denounced the French military presence in his country and raised the possibility of closing its bases amid a growing move by the neighboring states to expel foreign occupation troops from the Sahel region. Ousmane Sonko, who is a vociferous critic of France’s meddling in its former colony, said in a wide-ranging speech that the French...

Australia, New Zealand evacuating nationals from New Caledonia amid protests

Australia and New Zealand are sending planes to New Caledonia to evacuate nationals stranded in the French-ruled territory which has experienced deadly protests calling for independence. Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong on May 21 confirmed that his country had received clearance from French officials for two flights. The government would “continue to work on further flights,” Wong wrote on the social media...

Surge in child migrants crossing the dangerous Darién Gap: UNICEF

The number of child migrants crossing the perilous Darién Gap has surged by 40 percent so far this year, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on May 15, putting the route on track for a fifth consecutive year of record child migration levels. In the first four months of 2024, more than 30,000 children traversed the dense jungle region separating...

Thailand welcomes home trafficked 1,000-year-old statues returned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum

BANGKOK—Thailand’s National Museum hosted a welcome-home ceremony May 21 for two ancient statues that were illegally trafficked from Thailand by a British collector of antiquities and were returned from the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The objects—a tall bronze figure called the Standing Shiva or Golden Boy and a smaller sculpture called Kneeling Female—are thought to be...

Japan: Safeguarding a mother tongue and mother nature

When asked what might be the most beautiful word in Shimamuni, the Indigenous language variety spoken on Okinoerabu Island in Kagoshima prefecture of southwestern Japan, Nami Sao pondered for a moment before replying “mihedirodoo.” Her husband, Tomoyuki Sao, is quick to elaborate that its utterance is always enlivened with a smile and tends to make fellow Shimamuni speakers noticeably more...

Increased Egyptian-Israeli tensions brewing from Gaza war

In a shocking development, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Egyptian officials said they are considering downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel by possibly pulling their country’s ambassador in Tel Aviv. One report said this action is more like an increasing domino effect, resulting from Israel’s invasion of Rafah. “As we stand, there are no plans to suspend ties or...

Niger cut military ties with U.S. over Washington threats, Iran partnership: PM

Niger’s prime minister says the termination of military cooperation and bilateral relations between his country and the United States was due to American threats and Washington’s opposition to the African nation’s partnership with Iran and Russia. Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine told The Washington Post in an interview published on May 14 that the U.S. had tried to dictate what countries Niamey can have...

Neocolonialism: Venezuela says sanctions and war central axis of U.S. foreign policy

Venezuela’s Vice President has stated that sanctions, along with war, are the central axis of the foreign policy of the United States. Delcy Rodriguez highlighted on May 14 that the United States’ unilateral coercive actions aim to pressure Venezuela into altering its path of independence and self-determination and that the sanctions are new mechanisms of neocolonialism. She said through such unilateral coercive measures...

‘Time is running out’ to address crisis in Sudan

The international community must give greater attention and resources to war-ravaged Sudan, where millions are “trapped in an inferno of brutal violence,” the top UN aid official in the country said on May 15.  UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, warned that “time is running out” as famine, disease and fighting close in on the population “and...