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Morning Briefing: April 20, 2024

20.04.2024 09:27

Anadolu's recap of top stories from around the globe.

Here is a rundown of all the news that you need to start your Saturday, including the EU's adopting sanctions against 'extremist' Israeli settlers over rights abuses against Palestinians, UNICEF reiterating call for cease-fire as number of children killed in Gaza surpasses 14,000, and the Israel's alleged attack on Iran, which Iran says caused no damage.

TOP STORIES

  • EU adopts sanctions against 'extremist' Israeli settlers over rights abuses against Palestinians
The EU adopted sanctions against "extremist" Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, holding them responsible for "serious human rights abuses against Palestinians."


A total of four individuals and two entities have been listed, a European Council statement said.

"The listed individuals and entities are responsible for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians, including torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and for the violation of right to property and to private and family life of Palestinians in the West Bank," the statement said.

  • UNICEF reiterates call for cease-fire as number of children killed in Gaza surpasses 14,000
The number of children killed in Gaza has surpassed the grim mark of 14,000 since Oct. 7, 2023, the UNICEF said on Friday, reiterating its call for a cease-fire.

"Reports are now that more than 14,000 girls and boys have been killed in Gaza," spokesperson James Elder said on X.

"Perhaps we should say that slowly. Fourteen thousand," he said, adding: "Perhaps we should do something. And surely that 'something' is not a military offensive in Rafah."

  • Iran says no damage caused after alleged Israeli attack
Sounds of heavy explosions were heard in at least two Iranian cities in the wee hours of Friday morning amid an alleged Israeli attack inside Iran.

Iranian authorities, however, downplayed the incidents and said the sound of explosions in the central Iranian city of Isfahan and the northwestern city of Tabriz was the result of Iranian air defense systems firing at "suspicious objects", as reported by state media.

Officials insisted that all military and nuclear facilities located in and around the city of Isfahan were safe and no damage had been caused.

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • An airstrike targeted headquarters belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi militia group in Iraq's Babil province early Saturday, according to media reports.

  • The Palestinian Hamas group strongly denounced a statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accusing the group of rejecting Israel's "generous" cease-fire proposal.

  • - The death toll for Palestinians killed in the Israeli incursion into Tulkarm and its refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank rose to seven Friday, according to medical sources and media reports.

  • At least two Pakistani citizens were killed in a suicide bombing in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi while five Japanese nationals escaped unharmed, and two of the attackers were also killed.

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday reiterated US position on Israel's planned military offensive in Rafah, saying they cannot support "a major operation" in the southern Gaza city.

  • North Korea conducted a power test for a "super-large warhead" in a strategic cruise missile and test-fired a new anti-aircraft missile this week, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Saturday.

  • Armenia agreed on Friday to return to Azerbaijan four villages it occupied during the First Karabakh War some three decades ago.

  • Volcanic eruptions in Indonesia's North Sulawesi left dozens of flights canceled, affecting thousands of passengers, the state-run media reported on Friday.

  • A man set himself ablaze on Friday in a park near the Manhattan courthouse where former President Donald Trump was standing trial over falsifying business records to cover up "hush money" payments around the time of the 2016 presidential election.

  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said he consolidated support in the US Congress ahead of aid package voting.


SPORTS

  • Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick dies at 84
Arsenal confirmed the death of former club chairman Sir Chips Keswick. He was 84.

"A lifelong Arsenal supporter, he was a regular at Highbury after first standing in the boys' enclosure in 1949 and listed his early heroes as the Compton brothers and Jimmy Logie but, above all, goalkeeper – and later manager – George Swindin, as young Chips was a budding schoolboy keeper himself," Arsenal said in a statement.

Keswick succeeded Peter Hill-Wood as chairman in the summer of 2013 and helped The Gunners claim two FA Cups in 2017 and 2020.

  • Formula 1 returns to China for Round 5
Formula 1 is returning to China on Sunday, for the first time since 2019 for Round 5 of the championship.

The Chinese Grand Prix will be held over 56 laps on 5.4-kilometer-long Shanghai International Circuit.

Red Bull's Dutch driver and defending champion Max Verstappen, who has won the Grand Prix in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Japan this season, leads the drivers' standings with 77 points, while his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari's driver from Monaco Charles Leclerc follow him with 64 and 59 points, respectively.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  • IMF sounds alarm over growing US national debt
The huge rise in the US national debt poses "significant risks" to the global economy and threatens to continue fueling high inflation, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The Washington-based institution expects the US to record a fiscal deficit of 7.1% in 2025 – more than triple the level in other advanced economies, according to its latest Fiscal Monitor.

"Loose fiscal policy in the United States exerts upward pressure on global interest rates and the dollar," Fox Business "ed Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department, as saying. -



 
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