Within a week of the 7 October atrocities, numerous Israeli Defence Force (IDF) units had converged on southern Israel close to Gaza. A major ground offensive was expected to start within days but the actual deployments into Gaza have not so far been substantial.
Possible factors in the delays included US president Joe Biden’s unexpected visit to Israel, negotiations with Hamas on hostage releases, and an announcement from the Pentagon that additional US air defence systems will be sent to the region. These are not specifically for Israel’s use but are primarily to offer additional protection to US personnel in bases in Iraq, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Drone and rocket attacks against some US bases have increased in the past two weeks, especially in Iraq, and many more are expected when the IDF starts a ground assault.
As Israel on Friday bombarded civilians in Gaza and prepared for a ground invasion in response to Hamas’ recent attack, U.S. State Department leadership reportedly instructed officials not to publicly use some terms that would advocate for less violence.
According to HuffPost, which reviewed official emails, “State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: ‘de-escalation/cease-fire,’ ‘end to violence/bloodshed,’ and ‘restoring calm.'”
NATO really is on a roll thanks to Vladimir Putin, but even as its immediate prospects look good, the whole future of the alliance should be open to question.
For now, as Finland and Sweden join, Putin finds an enlarged alliance ranged against him. NATO’s reputation is so bound up with the fate of Ukraine that, in the unlikely event that Russia makes substantial military gains in the conflict, Kyiv cannot be allowed to lose. From Putin’s perspective, his warning early last year of the threat posed to Russia from NATO has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This does at least mean he can claim ‘I told you so’ – which is helping maintain some domestic support.
Southern Europe faced dangerously high temperatures on Sunday amid a continent-wide heatwave that’s expected to get worse in the coming days, potentially shattering longstanding records as the climate crisis rages.
Reutersreported that a “new anticyclone dubbed Charon, who in Greek mythology was the ferryman of the dead, pushed into the region from north Africa on Sunday and could lift temperatures above 45°C (113°F) in parts of Italy early this week,” prompting Italian officials to issue heat advisories for more than a dozen cities on Sunday.
As supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at home and abroad celebrated his win of Sunday’s runoff election, human rights defenders and marginalized people including Kurds and LGBTQ+ activists voiced deep fears about how their lives will be adversely affected during the increasingly authoritarian leader’s third term.
Turkey’s Supreme Election Council confirmed Erdoğan’s victory over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Sunday evening. Erdoğan, the 69-year-old leader of the right-wing Justice and Development Party who has ruled the nation of 85 million people since 2014 and dominated its politics for two decades, won 52.18% of the vote. Kılıçdaroğlu, a 74-year-old social democrat who leads the left-of-center Republican People’s Party, received 47.82%.
Whether Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, maintains power remains an open question as officials continue to count votes following Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Tens of millions of people cast ballots in the pivotal election before polls closed at 5:00 pm local time. Preliminary results indicate that Erdoğan of the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds a dwindling lead over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who heads the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the joint candidate of a six-party opposition coalition.
“It will be like the Taliban regime,” says Melek Önder, asked what will happen to women’s rights if Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is re-elected as president of Turkey in the election on Sunday.
Önder is a spokesperson for We Will Stop Femicides (Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz), one of the most active groups in Turkey’s women’s movement. The platform was founded in 2010 after Cem Garipoğlu, 17, murdered his girlfriend Münevver Karabulut, also 17. It collects data on femicides and campaigns against violence against women.
“The vote will test whether voters in Turkey can rely on social media for independent news and to express their views on the election and its outcome, despite government efforts to put companies under its heel.”
As Turks prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections, a pair of human rights groups warned Wednesday that the right-wing government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “will exert considerable control over the digital ecosystem in an effort to undermine the outcome.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Article 19, an international group promoting freedom of expression, published a question-and-answer report examining “potential threats to Turkey’s online environment in the parliamentary and presidential elections in which President Erdoğan—who has been in power for over 20 years—and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) face a significant electoral challenge.”
“If the image is indeed from a nuclear weapons accident, it would constitute the first publicly known case of a recent nuclear weapons accident at an air base in Europe,” according to the Federation of American Scientists.
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory student briefing from April 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb. (Photo: Federation of American Scientists)
Was a U.S. nuclear bomb damaged in a recent accident at a European air base?
This question is being asked Monday after the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) discovered and published a photo—used in an April 2022 student briefing at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico—that shows four people inspecting what looks like a damaged B61 atomic bomb. The U.S. is set to soon deliver a new generation of this so-called “tactical” nuclear weapon to Europe.
The disaster also has major implications for the country’s economy – the financial loss from the damage is estimated to be US$84 billion – and its politics.
Analyzing this human tragedy and its long-term implications for Turkey is difficult for me. I am a scholar of Turkish politics. But I also grew up in the affected region and lost relatives and friends in the cities of Antakya and Iskenderun. Nevertheless, I believe it is important to examine the implications of the earthquake on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – not for reasons of political intrigue, but because it is crucial in determining how Turkey recovers from the disaster and better prepares itself in the future. Continue reading →