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Qatar Says Gaza Cease-Fire Will Begin 1st Thing Friday Morning, With Aid To Follow ‘As Soon As Possible’

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DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip – A four-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was slated to begin Friday morning, Qatar said, after a daylong delay prolonged the pain for those expecting for relief from the accord, which is expected to result in the release of scores of hostages held by terrorists and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

The diplomatic breakthrough offered some relief to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who have been subjected to weeks of Israeli shelling, as well as relatives in Israel who are concerned about the fate of loved ones kidnapped during Hamas’ Oct. 7 onslaught, which began the war.

The cease-fire was supposed to start Thursday morning, but it appeared to encounter a hitch the night before when Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, announced a one-day delay with no explanation.

Israeli airstrikes resumed on Thursday. A strike in the afternoon destroyed a residential building in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. According to officials from adjacent Al-Aqsa Hospital, at least 12 individuals were murdered.

According to one neighbor, Hosni Moharib, his wife and numerous children were slain, and other relatives were buried beneath the wreckage.

“It exploded on the house, injuring babies and small children.” “Everyone in the house is dead,” he added, breaking down in sobs.

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Qatar Says Gaza Cease-Fire Will Begin Friday Morning, With Aid To Follow ‘As Soon As Possible’

According to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which has restarted its precise count of victims from the war, the Israeli shelling has killed almost 13,300 Palestinians. The ministry had stopped reporting casualty statistics since November 11, claiming that it had lost the ability to do so due to the health system’s collapse in the north.

The new figures were not thoroughly broken down, but women and kids have regularly accounted for roughly two-thirds of those killed. The figures do not contain the most recent data from northern hospitals. According to the ministry, 6,000 people have gone missing and are believed to be buried under rubble.

In its death statistics, the ministry makes no distinction between civilians and terrorists. Israel claims to have killed thousands of Hamas fighters without providing evidence.

The Israeli military stated it was targeting the launchers. Since the outbreak of the Gaza war, Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a month-long battle in 2006, have routinely exchanged fire across the border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to prolong the war until the truce ends to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities, terminate its 16-year control in Gaza, and return all 240 detainees held by Hamas and other factions in Gaza.

“We will continue it until we achieve all of our goals,” Netanyahu said, adding that he had communicated the same warning to US President Joe Biden over the phone. Since the beginning of the war, Washington has offered substantial military and political support to Israel.

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Qatar Says Gaza Cease-Fire Will Begin Friday Morning, With Aid To Follow ‘As Soon As Possible’

Palestinians in Gaza’s Khan Younis welcomed the imminent cease-fire but warned four days would do little to alleviate the humanitarian calamity caused by the war.

“God willing, it becomes a total cease-fire,” Jihan Qanan stated. “People have had their houses thrown down on their heads, and they have been banished… There are no homes, money, or goods. “The entire world has been destroyed.”

The military claimed Thursday that it had detained Mohammed Abu Selmia, the director of Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, for questioning about his involvement in “extensive” Hamas activities at the hospital. The Gaza Health Ministry decried Abu Selmia’s arrest and urged foreign organizations to help.

A day before, Israel revealed a tunnel and rooms beneath Shifa that military sources claimed were a key Hamas stronghold. Shifa was used as a militant command center, according to Hamas and medical staff. According to Hagari, Israel has mapped Shifa Hospital and intends to eliminate every “terror infrastructure” discovered.

The truce agreement calls for the release of 50 hostages in phases in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian detainees, according to Hamas. Women and children will be released first, and Israel announced the cease-fire would be extended by one day for every ten hostages released.

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Qatar Says Gaza Cease-Fire Will Begin Friday Morning, With Aid To Follow ‘As Soon As Possible’

The release of captives could raise spirits in Israel, where their misery has gripped the country. Families of the hostages have launched massive protests to put pressure on the government to release them. Netanyahu’s administration announced Friday that it had alerted the relatives of the hostages slated for release.

According to Hamas, 200 trucks bringing aid will enter Gaza each day. Qatar has stated that the aid will include fuel but has not specified how much.

At the commencement of the conflict, Israel cut off all imports save for a trickle of food, water, and medical supplies permitted by Egypt. Fuel shortages have resulted in a territory-wide blackout, leaving families and hospitals relying on failing generators.

The Israeli Justice Ministry announced a list of 300 convicts eligible for release; the majority of them were jailed in the previous year for rock-throwing and other minor offenses.

The conflict erupted when thousands of Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel, killing at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping scores of hostages, including babies, women, and elderly people, as well as soldiers, from whom Hamas is expected to demand a large number of high-profile prisoners.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

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AP News - VOR News Image

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The Webb Space Telescope discovered the earliest known merger of black holes.

These two massive holes and their galaxies formed only 740 million years after the universe-creating Big Bang. Scientists claimed Thursday that they have made the furthest distant detection of merging holes ever.

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New Atlas – VOR News Image

Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

A black hole is 50 million times bigger than our sun. The other is estimated to be similar in size but buried in dense gas, making it difficult to measure.

Until today, astronomers didn’t know how supermassive black holes got so huge.

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Daily Sabah – VOR News Image

Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

The current findings, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, imply that mergers explain how holes can expand quickly — “even at cosmic dawn,” according to lead author Hannah Ubler of the University of Cambridge.

“Massive holes have been shaping the evolution of galaxies from the very beginning,” Ubler stated.

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AP – VOR News Image

Webb Telescope Uncovers Merger Of Two Massive Black Holes From Early Universe

Webb, the largest and most powerful observatory ever launched into space, will be the successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope when it launches in 2021. The infrared observatory, a joint US-European initiative, scans the universe from one million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth.

SOURCE – (AP)

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China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

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BEIJING — On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated their “no-limits” friendship, which has expanded as both countries face mounting tensions with the West, and blasted US military deployments in Asia and the Pacific.

At their summit in Beijing, Putin hailed Xi for China’s recommendations to settle the conflict in Ukraine, which Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected as mostly adopting the Kremlin’s line.

Putin’s two-day state visit to one of his biggest allies and commercial partners comes as Russian forces launch an operation in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, marking the most serious border incursion since the full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022.

China claims to be impartial in the crisis, but it has supported the Kremlin’s accusations that the West led Russia into attacking Ukraine, and it continues to supply vital components required by Moscow for weapons manufacture.

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AP – VOR News Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

China, which has not condemned the invasion, suggested a broad-based peace plan in 2023, calling for a cease-fire and direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv. Both Ukraine and the West rejected the idea because it did not call on Russia to vacate Ukraine’s occupied territories.

China also lent a verbal nod to Russia’s narrative about Nazism in Ukraine, with a joint statement issued Thursday saying Moscow and Beijing should protect the post-World War II order and “severely condemn the glorification of or even attempts to revive Nazism and militarism.”

Putin has claimed the “denazification” of Ukraine as a primary purpose of the military action, falsely referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government as neo-Nazis.

The mostly symbolic and ceremonial visit emphasized cooperation between two countries facing challenges in their relations with the United States and Europe.

“Both sides want to show that despite what is happening globally, despite the pressure that both sides are facing from the U.S., both sides are not about to turn their backs on each other anytime soon,” said Hoo Tiang Boon, a Chinese foreign policy researcher at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

While Putin and Xi stated they wanted to stop the war, they made no new ideas in their public remarks.

“China hopes for the early return of Europe to peace and stability and will continue to play a constructive role toward this,” Xi said in prepared remarks to the media in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. His statements echoed China’s overarching peace initiative.

Earlier in the day, Putin was greeted in Tiananmen Square with military fanfare and cannon fire.

On the eve of his visit, Putin stated that China’s proposal may “lay the groundwork for a political and diplomatic process that would take Russia’s security concerns into account and contribute to achieving long-term and sustainable peace.”

Zelenskyy has stated that any negotiations must entail the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the departure of Russian soldiers, the release of all captives, a tribunal for those responsible for the assault, and security assurances for Ukraine.

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AP – VOR news Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

Putin said he would brief Xi on the situation in Ukraine, adding, “We appreciate the initiative of our Chinese colleagues and friends to regulate the situation.”

Following Russia’s latest attack in Ukraine last week, the war has reached a crucial point as Ukraine’s depleted military awaits new supplies of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery rounds from the United States, which have been delayed for months.

China and Russia’s joint statement also harshly slammed US foreign policy, citing US-formed alliances as having a “Cold War mentality.”

“Both sides expressed serious concern about the consequences caused to the strategic stability of the Asia-Pacific region by AUKUS,” according to the statement, referring to the acronym for Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

China and Russia have accused the United States of installing land-based intermediate-range missile systems in the Asia-Pacific region under the guise of joint drills with allies. They claimed that the United States’ operations in Asia were “changing the balance of power” and “endangering the security of all countries in the region.”

The united declaration underscored China’s support for Russia.

“There’s so much Chinese falling over themselves to give Russia face and respect without saying anything specific, or committing to anything,” said Susan Thornton, a former diplomat and senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

The meeting was another endorsement of China and Russia’s amicable “no limits” friendship, which they signed in 2022, just before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has been increasingly economically dependent on China since Western sanctions have limited its access to most of the global commercial system. China’s expanding commerce with Russia, which reached $240 billion last year, has helped the country buffer some of the worst effects of sanctions.

Moscow has transferred most of its energy exports to China and relied on Chinese enterprises to purchase high-tech components for Russian defense sectors to avoid Western sanctions.

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AP – VOR News Image

China And Russia Reaffirm Their Close Ties As Moscow Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine

“I and President Putin agree we should actively look for convergence points of the interests of both countries, to develop each’s advantages, and deepen integration of interests, realizing each others’ achievements,” added Xi.

Xi congratulated Putin on the start of his fifth term in office and commemorated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, which were formed after a civil war in 1949. In the March election, Putin eliminated all significant political opponents and faced no serious threat. He, like Xi, has not spelled out a succession strategy.

“In a famous song of that time, 75 years ago — it is still performed today — there is a phrase that has become a catchphrase: ‘Russians and Chinese are brothers forever,'” Putin stated.

During the war, Russia and China expanded their military ties. In recent years, they have conducted several cooperative war simulations, including naval drills and long-range bomber patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Russian and Chinese ground forces have also moved to the other country’s territory to conduct joint training.

China continues to be a major market for Russian military hardware, while the country’s defense industry is rapidly developing, including the production of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

Putin has already stated that Russia has shared highly sensitive military technologies with China, considerably improving its defense strength.

SOURCE -(AP)

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Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico Recovering Attempt on His Life

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Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico Recovering
Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico is no longer in critical condition: Image CTN

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico is no longer in critical condition after being wounded in an assassination attempt while leaving a government meeting on Wednesday, a government minister said.

The gunman shot Fico, 59, five times, leaving the prime minister in critical condition and requiring surgery hours later on Wednesday evening.

“I was very shocked… fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well – and I guess in the end, he will survive… he’s not in a life-threatening situation right now,” Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC’s News.

Taraba stated that one bullet passed through Robert Fico’s stomach and another struck a joint. News outlet According to an unidentified source, Fico has recovered from surgery and is in stable condition.

Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told a press conference hours earlier that Fico had suffered “serious polytrauma” as a result of many gunshot wounds. Slovakia’s Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok previously stated that Robert Fico was in a life-threatening condition while still in the surgery room.

“This assassination (attempt) was politically motivated, and the perpetrator’s decision came soon after the presidential election,” Sutaj Estok added, referring to the April election won by a Fico ally, Peter Pellegrini.

The shooting in the central Slovak town of Handlova, which Slovak media reported was carried out by a 71-year-old man, shocked the small central European country and prompted international criticism.

Robert Fico's shooting

The moments after Slovak PM shot: Screen Capture

Prime Minister Robert Fico’s shooting condemned

Slovakia, a NATO and EU member, has a relatively short history of political violence. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden joined Slovakia’s EU partners in voicing shock and condemnation over the shooting.

The country of 5.4 million has seen polarized political discourse in recent years, including the hard-fought presidential election last month, which helped Fico tighten his grip on power.

Fico has made rapid policy changes since taking office as Prime Minister in October of last year. Opposition critics describe it as a power grab.

His government has reduced its support for Ukraine while engaging in discussions with Russia, attempted to lower corruption punishments and dissolved a special prosecutor’s office, and is overhauling the RTVS public broadcaster amid appeals for media freedom protections.

Fico has long been skeptical of Slovakia’s major media, refusing to talk with certain outlets. Members of his party have recently criticized media and opposition actions. Following the attack, Robert Fico was brought to the hospital in Handlova, where he had been chairing a government meeting.

He was subsequently flown by helicopter to the provincial capital Banska Bystrica for emergency treatment, according to the report, adding that his condition was too bad to be sent to Bratislava.

Shooter a Former Slovakia Security Guard

A witness told Reuters they heard bullets as Fico exited a building to shake hands with a mob of people who had gathered to welcome him. Officers then wrestled a man to the ground.

According to Slovak media, the gunman was a former shopping mall security guard, author of three poetry books, and member of the Slovak Society of Writers. According to Aktuality.sk, his son stated that his father was the lawful bearer of a weapons licence.

“I have absolutely no idea what my father intended, what he planned, or what happened,” the son stated.

According to TA3, the attack hit the Marxist prime minister in the midsection. Fico, Slovakia’s dominant force for two decades, has faced criticism for embracing a more pro-Russian posture in the Ukraine conflict.

In a telegraph to Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova, Putin described the shooting as a “monstrous” crime, saying, “I know Robert Fico as a courageous and strong-minded man.” I sincerely believe that these qualities would help him endure this terrible scenario.”

Biden offered US assistance to Slovakia, stating in a statement: “We condemn this horrific act of violence.”

Progressive Slovakia, Slovakia’s largest opposition party, called off a planned rally and urged caution to avoid increasing tensions. Following the attack, parliament suspended debate indefinitely.

Fico’s career has spanned the pro-European mainstream and nationalistic viewpoints opposed to EU and US policies. He has also demonstrated a readiness to modify course based on public sentiment or changing political realities.

Fico, an admirer of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has become increasingly critical of Western support for Ukraine’s struggle against invading Russian forces.

Fico was forced to quit as prime minister in 2018 following huge protests sparked by the contract killing of Jan Kuciak, a journalist who was exposing high-level corruption. These protests exacerbated long-standing social tensions in Slovakia.

Source: CTN News

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