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Israel’s Netanyahu Basically Tells UN to Pound Salt Over West Bank



Israel's Netanyahu Tells the UN to Pond Salt Over West Bank

Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has basically told the United Nations General Assembly to pound salt over Israel’s occupation of the alleged Palestinian territories in the weat bank.

Palestinians welcomed a vote by the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday to request an opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal implications of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The UN vote poses a challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office this week as head of a government that prioritizes settlement expansion and includes parties that want to annex the West Bank land on which they are built.

“The Jewish people are not occupiers in their own land, nor are they occupiers in our eternal capital Jerusalem, and no United Nations resolution can distort that historical truth,” Netanyahu said in a video message, adding that the “despicable decision would not bind Israel.”

The Palestinians seek a state in the occupied West Bank, along with Gaza and East Jerusalem. Most countries consider Israel’s settlements there to be illegal, but Israel disputes this, citing historical and Biblical ties to the land.
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague and also known as the World Court, is the highest United Nations court dealing with international disputes. Its decisions are binding, but the ICJ has no authority to enforce them.

Israel west bank

Netanyahu promised to bolster settlements

The United Nations General Assembly requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal implications of Israel’s “occupation, settlement, and annexation… including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem.”

Members of Netanyahu’s new government have promised to bolster settlements with development plans, budgets, and the approval of dozens of illegal outposts.

The cabinet includes newly created posts and restructured roles that give some of those powers to pro-settler coalition partners, with the ultimate goal of extending Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, has made no indication of any imminent plans to annex the settlements, a move that would likely sour relations with both Western and Arab allies.

The Palestinians welcomed the United Nations vote, in which 87 members voted in favor of adopting the request, while Israel, the United States, and 24 other members voted against it, and 53 abstained.

“The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to the rule of law and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank.

According to Basem Naim, a Hamas official, it is “an important step toward confining and isolating the state of occupation (Israel).”

VOR News

Top Biden aide set to visit Israel

On Friday that US President Joe Biden said he intends to send National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Jerusalem next month for meetings with senior members of the new Israeli government.

The new Israeli government, which took office on Thursday, is the most right-wing in Israeli history, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party signing coalition agreements that included pledges to expand Israeli settlements in the West Bank, legalize dozens of wildcat outposts, and pass legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to certain customers based on their religious conscience.

In its agreement with the far-right Religious Zionism party, Likud also agreed in principle to annex large parts of the West Bank, but the agreement includes a clause giving Netanyahu an effective veto, which he is likely to maintain as he seeks a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.

The coalition’s plans have caused concern in Washington,with the Biden administration being most concerned with preserving the prospects for a two-state solution by preventing further Israeli expansion in the West Bank.

The official stated that no dates have been set for Sullivan’s visit and that other details are still being worked out, but that he is expected to meet with Netanyahu, his National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi, and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, whom the premier has reportedly appointed as his point man for relations with the Biden administration.

According to the Times of Isreal, Sullivan’s visit could pave the way for Netanyahu to visit Washington in February.

Biden fears Israel's far right cabinet

Biden fears Israel’s far right cabinet

Meanwhile, Biden congratulated Netanyahu on the formation of a government on Thursday, saying he looks forward to working with him to advance Israel’s regional integration, promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and address the threat posed by Iran.

“The United States will continue to support the two-state solution and oppose policies that jeopardize its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values,” Biden added, expressing a policy that will likely clash with the new West Bank government’s plans.

The Biden administration has not stated whether it will collaborate with some of Netanyahu’s most far-right cabinet members, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and Deputy Minister Avi Maoz.

Blinken warned Israel earlier this month against annexation, settlement expansion, and evictions of Palestinians, but added that Washington was willing to work with the new government and would judge it based on its policies, not its personalities.

Israel has cited several reasons for keeping the West Bank within its borders: a claim based on historic rights to this as a homeland as claimed in the Balfour Declaration of 1917; internal and external security concerns; and the area’s deep symbolic value for Jews.

Source: Reuters, Times of Isreal, VOR News


Seychelles Declares An Emergency After Deadly Flooding And A Huge Blast At An Explosives Depot




VICTORIA, Seychelles – The tiny Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles announced a state of emergency on Thursday after flooding killed three people and injured hundreds more in an explosion at an explosives storage near the capital.

According to the health ministry, the explosion injured 178 persons, the majority of whom suffered minor injuries. It happened around 2 a.m. Thursday, following hours of severe rain and floods that began Wednesday evening, especially in the north of the main island of Mahe, however, police made no connection between the blast and the weather.

Rainwater swamped homes, washed out sections of roadways, and created landslides in some regions. Authorities say two of those killed in the floodwaters were trapped in their home.

According to the president, the incident occurred in Providence’s industrial district, around 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) southeast of the country’s capital, Victoria.


Seychelles Declares An Emergency After Deadly Flooding And A Huge Blast At An Explosives Depot

The explosion leveled buildings, flattened trees, and created a massive crater. People in hospitals and clinics were bleeding and injured after the bomb, according to national television. The explosion did not result in any fatalities.

President Wavel Ramkalawan mentioned the flooding and the explosion when declaring a state of emergency. In the nation of just over 100,000 people, his message ordered schools to close and citizens to stay home to allow emergency services and other important workers to do their jobs.

The blast caused “massive damage,” while the flooding inflicted “major destruction,” according to the president’s statement.

According to the health ministry, those injured in the Providence bomb were taken to hospital facilities for treatment. According to the Seychelles national news agency, a police officer was treated in an acute care unit.

“The damages are huge and many families have moved out of their homes for security reasons,” he said. The aftermath of the explosion in Providence and the surrounding towns astounded him. “It was as if we went through a war,” he said.


Seychelles Declares An Emergency After Deadly Flooding And A Huge Blast At An Explosives Depot

He said four explosives containers caused the incident and that an investigation would be conducted to determine whether the construction company that housed the explosives had taken sufficient care with their storage.

“At the moment, we don’t really know what happened,” said Jean-Francois Ferrari, a government minister who visited the bomb site. “There was this huge explosion in the commercial zone.”

“The explosion was so big, so loud,” he said. “There have been no fatalities as a result of this explosion.” Overall, the situation is a disaster, but everything is under control.”

According to authorities, the international airport and ferry services connecting islands were still operational to let residents travel if necessary amid the state of emergency.


Seychelles Declares An Emergency After Deadly Flooding And A Huge Blast At An Explosives Depot

Seychelles is an archipelago off Africa’s east coast and a popular tourist destination. It is the smallest country in terms of area and population on the continent, with the most populous island of Mahe measuring only around 26 kilometers (16 miles) long and 17 kilometers (10 miles) wide.

Much of East Africa has recently experienced tremendous rainfall and devastating flooding. Since the rains began in late October, hundreds of people have died, and millions have been displaced across the region.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan have all seen flash floods exacerbated by the El Nio weather phenomena. In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, more than 130 people have died.

According to an international team of scientists, the disastrous rains in East Africa were amplified by human-caused climate change, making them more intense.


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‘The Dead Can’t Hear Your Apologies:’ Boris Johnson Heckled As He Attempts To Say Sorry For Covid Deaths




Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to apologize for the thousands of lives lost to Covid-19 while he was in office but was cut off by demonstrators.

Johnson testified on Wednesday morning before the United Kingdom’s public Covid probe, which he established in May 2021.

Johnson was bullied during his opening statement by activists believed to be from a group of families who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

When Johnson began apologizing, four individuals stood up, holding banners that read, “The dead can’t hear your apologies,” according to the UK’s PA Media news agency. Heather Hallet, the investigation chair, immediately expelled the demonstrators from the hearing.

“We didn’t want his apology,” 59-year-old Kathryn Butcher later told the agency. We stood up when he tried to apologize. We did not block anyone. We were advised to take a seat.”


‘The Dead Can’t Hear Your Apologies:’ Boris Johnson Heckled As He Attempts To Say Sorry For Covid Deaths

Butcher, who is from London, told PA Media that her 56-year-old sister-in-law, Myrna Saunders, died from Covid-19 in March 2020 and that Johnson noticed the protesters’ banners.

During the epidemic, the coronavirus killed over 200,000 individuals in the United Kingdom, one of the greatest death tolls in Europe, and Johnson’s government was heavily chastised for its reaction.

“I understand the feelings of these victims and their families, and I am deeply sorry for the pain and the loss and suffering of those victims and their families,” Johnson said in a statement.

“I do hope that this inquiry will help to get answers to the very difficult questions that those victims and families are rightly asking,” the former prime minister said in his opening remarks.

Despite beginning with an apology, Johnson would not be drawn on particular errors he or his government believed they had committed.

He defended his conduct during the pandemic, saying, “I think we were doing our best at the time, given what we knew, given the information I had available to me at the time.” “Were there things we should have done differently?” he continued. Unquestionably.”


‘The Dead Can’t Hear Your Apologies:’ Boris Johnson Heckled As He Attempts To Say Sorry For Covid Deaths

Johnson’s behavior during this period has come under significant examination due to evidence provided to the investigation by others, implying that his government tolerated a culture that prevented the appropriate judgments from being taken.

The investigation examines how Johnson and his senior staff made decisions like establishing lockdowns and why specific judgments were made at specific times. Johnson’s testimony at the panel has already made news because WhatsApp texts requested from his phone could not be provided to the inquiry owing to what he claims is a technical issue.

Some of Johnson’s most senior former aides have stated that the science presented to him “bamboozled” him, while his former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has been loudly critical of Johnson’s management style, comparing him to an out-of-control shopping trolley.


‘The Dead Can’t Hear Your Apologies:’ Boris Johnson Heckled As He Attempts To Say Sorry For Covid Deaths

When asked if it was unusual for advisers and officials to be as critical of a leader as they were of Johnson during the pandemic, including questions about his competency, the former prime minister said, “No, I think this is entirely to be expected.”

Johnson became the first sitting prime minister to be fined by the police for violating his Covid lockdown restrictions while still in office. The “Partygate” controversy, in which members of his team – and the then-prime minister – attended gatherings that violated national Covid laws, played a significant role in Johnson losing the support of his governing Conservative Party and leaving government.


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U.K News

Indonesia’s Marapi Volcano Erupts For The Second Day As 12 Climbers Remain Missing




PADANG, Indonesia – Officials in Indonesia paused the search for 12 climbers on Monday when Mount Merapi volcano erupted again, sending a huge burst of scorching ash as high as 800 meters (2,620 feet) into the air.

The deaths of 11 climbers were discovered earlier in the day while searching for the missing, but efforts to locate them were hampered by the resumed activity, according to West Sumatra’s Search and Rescue Agency head Abdul Malik. He stated that the search would restart whenever conditions improved.

The agency shared a video of rescuers escorting an injured climber on a stretcher off the mountain and into a waiting ambulance to be brought to the hospital.


On Sunday, Marapi erupted, unleashing clouds of burning ash.

Since 2011, the volcano has remained at the third highest of four alert levels, indicating above-normal volcanic activity, prohibiting climbers and villagers from approaching the peak within 3 kilometers (1.8 miles), according to Hendra Gunawan, the head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation.

“This means there should be no climbing to the peak,” Gunawan explained, adding that climbers were only permitted below the danger zone, “but sometimes many of them broke the rules to fulfill their satisfaction to climb further.”

On Saturday, over 75 climbers began their ascent of the nearly 2,900-meter (9,480-foot) mountain and became stranded. Rescuers saved 52 people, including three on Monday. According to Hari Agustian, an official with the local Search and Rescue Agency in Padang, the West Sumatra provincial capital, eight of those rescued Sunday were transported to hospital with burns, and one suffered a fractured leg.

Before beginning their ascent, all climbers registered at two command stations or online with West Sumatra’s conservation office, according to Agustian. When asked how many individuals may be stranded, he claimed it couldn’t be confirmed because some may have taken unauthorized routes up the mountain, and residents may have also been present.

During Sunday’s eruption, Marapi erupted thick ash columns as high as 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), and heated ash clouds extended for miles. Tons of volcanic debris buried nearby villages and cities. According to a social media video, volcanic dust and rain covered the faces and hair of evacuated climbers.

Authorities provided masks and urged inhabitants to wear eyeglasses to protect themselves from volcanic ash as falling ash blanketed several communities and obstructed sunlight.


Rubai and Gobah Cumantiang, the nearest villages about 5 to 6 kilometers (3.1 to 3.7 miles) from the peak, are home to approximately 1,400 people.

According to Gunawan, the Sunday eruption was not preceded by a large rise in volcanic earthquakes. Deep volcanic earthquakes were only detected three times between November 16 and Sunday, while the peak’s deformation equipment or tiltmeter revealed a horizontal pattern on the radial axis and a small inflation on the tangential axis.

“This shows that the eruption process is taking place quickly and the center of pressure is very shallow, around the peak,” the scientist stated.


According to Gunawan, Marapi has erupted on average every 2 to 4 years since 2004.

Gunawan added that this eruption was not the result of magma movement and that marapi eruptions are typically sudden and challenging to detect using equipment because the source is close to the surface.

Marapi has been active since a January eruption that left no one dead. It is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is vulnerable to seismic activity due to its placement on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircles the Pacific Basin.


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