Connect with us

WORLD NEWS

VIDEO: Israel destroys Gaza tower housing AP and Al Jazeera offices

Published

on

Israel destroyed a 12-storey tower block in Gaza housing the offices of the U.S.-based Associated Press and other news media on Saturday, saying the building was also used by the Islamist militant group Hamas.

The al-Jalaa building in Gaza City, which also houses the offices of Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera as well as other offices and apartments, had been evacuated after the owner received advanced warning of the strike.

A Palestinian journalist was wounded in the strike, Palestinian media reported, and debris and shrapnel flew dozens of yards away.

The Israeli military said its fighter jets struck a multi-storey building “which contained military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of the Hamas terror organization”. It said it had provided advance warning to civilians in the building, allowing them to get out.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the strike “an incredibly disturbing development”. He said a dozen AP journalists and freelancers had been in the building and had been evacuated in time.

“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza,” he said in a statement.”The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”

The U.S. government said it had told Israel to ensure the safety of journalists.

“We have communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted.

The acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, Dr Mostefa Souag, called the strike “barbaric” and said Israel should be held accountable.

“The aim of this heinous crime is to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza,” he said in a statement.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus rejected the notion that Israel was seeking to silence the media. “That is totally false, the media is not the target,” he told Reuters.

1/7

A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Read More

Conricus called the building a legitimate military target, saying it contained Hamas military intelligence. He said Hamas might have calculated that by placing their “assets” inside a building with news media offices in it “they probably hoped that would keep them safe from Israeli attack”.

The Israeli military has said during nearly a week of intense conflict that its strikes on buildings in Gaza are aimed at hitting targets used by Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the enclave.

Hamas militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets at Israel during the latest violence. Palestinians medics say at least 140 people, including 39 children, have been killed in Gaza. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children. read more

NETANYAHU CALL WITH BIDEN

The destruction of the building came the day after U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy Hady Amr arrived in Israel amid diplomatic efforts to restore calm.

Asked why entire building was destroyed, Conricus said: “There was no way of taking down only the Hamas facilities that were in the building. They occupied several floors in the building and it was impossible only to take down those floors. It was deemed necessary to take down the whole building.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Joe Biden in a phone call that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming non-combatants in its fighting with Hamas and other groups in Gaza.

Netanyahu said proof of this was that during recent Israeli strikes on multi-storey towers “in which terrorist targets were attacked by the IDF (military), the non-combatants were evacuated”, a summary of the phone call released by Netanyahu’s office said.

The Washington-based National Press Club said Saturday’s strike on the Gaza tower had followed “bombing by Israeli warplanes of two other buildings housing more than a dozen media outlets” on May 11 and 12.

“This trend prompts the question of whether Israeli forces are attacking these facilities to impair independent and accurate coverage of the conflict,” the group said in a statement.

An Al Jazeera report on the strike on its English-language website quoted journalist Safwat al-Kahlout as saying: “I have been working here for 11 years. I have been covering many events from this building, we have lived personal professional experiences. Now everything, in two seconds, just vanished.”

Source: reuters.com

America

50 Cent Is Not Dead

Published

on

By

News of rapper 50 Cent’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the June 2021 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the rapper best known for hit songs like Candy Shop or In da Club is alive and well.

50 Cent death hoax spreads on Facebook

Rumors of the rapper’s alleged demise gained traction on Saturday after a ‘R.I.P. 50 Cent’ Facebook page attracted nearly one million of ‘likes’. Those who read the ‘About’ page were given a believable account of the American rapper’s passing:

At about 11 a.m. ET on Saturday (June 19, 2021), our beloved rapper 50 Cent passed away. 50 Cent was born on July 6, 1975 in New York. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.

Hundreds of fans immediately started writing their messages of condolence on the Facebook page, expressing their sadness that the talented 45-year-old rapper, actor and business man was dead. And as usual, Twittersphere was frenzied over the death hoax.

Where as some trusting fans believed the post, others were immediately skeptical of the report, perhaps learning their lesson from the huge amount of fake death reports emerging about celebrities over recent months. Some pointed out that the news had not been carried on any major American network, indicating that it was a fake report, as the death of a rapper of 50 Cent’s stature would be major news across networks.

A recent poll conducted for the Celebrity Post shows that a large majority (92%) of respondents think those 50 Cent death rumors are not funny anymore.

50 Cent Death Hoax Dismissed Since Rapper Is ‘Alive And Well’

On Sunday (June 20) the rapper’s reps officially confirmed that 50 Cent is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said.

Some fans have expressed anger at the fake report saying it was reckless, distressing and hurtful to fans of the much loved rapper. Others say this shows his extreme popularity across the globe.

Continue Reading

WORLD NEWS

France regional election: Macron and Le Pen fail to make ground – exit poll

Published

on

By

Composite picture of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le PenIMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA/REUTERS

Early results indicate both President Emmanuel Macron and his opponent Marine Le Pen will fail to make the gains they were hoping for in the first round of regional elections in France.

Mr Macron’s centrist party is projected to gain more than 10% of the vote – just enough to take part in the second round next weekend.

Ms Le Pen’s far-right National Rally has also fallen short of expectations.

Both are trailing the conservative party, Les Républicains.

One of Mr Macron’s MPs, Aurore Bergé, described her party’s poor performance as a “democratic slap in the face for all of us”.

Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party was expected to top Sunday’s first round of polling, and win at least one region for the first time. Instead it is now predicted to come second.

Mrs Le Pen is not running as a candidate but she has been leading the campaign.

She described the record-low voter turnout – a projected 66% abstention – as a “civic disaster”.

She blamed the results on the government’s inability to inspire faith in political institutions. “Let’s face it, the results were marked by a torrential and also historic abstention of nearly 70% due to the mistrust of an electoral system, which leaves voters with the feeling that nothing can change, that everything has been confiscated,” she said.

 

Voters are choosing new councils for France’s 13 mainland regions, plus one overseas, as well as 96 departments. There are more than 15,700 candidates standing for 4,100 seats.

This election is being watched particularly closely, because the next presidential elections are less than a year away. It is being used to get a taste of voters’ mood.

An Ipsos exit poll shows the conservative Les Républicains winning 27% of the vote, followed by National Rally with 19%. The Greens, the Socialist Party and Mr Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) are all on 11%.

This is the first time President Macron’s party has taken part in regional election – La République en Marche did not exist the last time they were held in 2015.

His party was not expected to do particularly well in this election. Last month a minister told AFP news agency: “These elections are never good for the party in power. You always get it in the neck.”

Yet LREM has still fared worse than expected. It will not win any region outright, having failed to gain enough support in local regions.

Mr Macron will now undoubtedly face a challenge ahead of the presidential vote in April 2022.

The regional election was delayed for three months because of the pandemic. There will be a second-round run-off on 27 June.

BBC.COM

Continue Reading

WORLD NEWS

Covid: Brazil hits 500,000 deaths amid ‘critical’ situation

Published

on

By

People visit a cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil, on 9 MayIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionThe virus continues to spread in Brazil amid a lack of co-ordinated measures

The number of deaths related to Covid-19 has passed 500,000 in Brazil, the second-highest in the world, as experts say the outbreak could worsen amid slow vaccination and the start of winter.

The virus continues to spread as President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to back measures like social distancing.

The health institute Fiocruz says the situation is “critical”. Only 15% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Congress is investigating the government’s handling of the pandemic.

President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for not implementing a co-ordinated national response and for his scepticism toward vaccines, lockdowns and mask-wearing requirements, which he has sought to loosen.

The opposition accuses the president of delaying the purchase of vaccines for political reasons, as he has consistently played down the severity of the pandemic.

 

The outbreak in Brazil has been fuelled by more transmissible variants of the virus, including the one first identified in the Amazon region and now known as Gamma. An average of 70,000 cases has been confirmed daily in the last week.

The rate of occupancy of intensive care unit beds remains at or above 80% in most states, and experts warn the start of winter in the southern hemisphere, next week, could result in more infections.

“Brazil faces a critical scenario of community transmission… with the possibility of worsening in the coming weeks due to the start of winter,” Fiocruz said.

On Twitter, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga expressed solidarity with the “fathers, mothers, friends and relatives” of those who had died, saying: “500,000 lives lost due to the pandemic that affects our Brazil and the whole world.”

Only the US has reported more deaths related to Covid-19.

The seven-day daily average of deaths in Brazil has been above 1,500 since March. Gonzalo Vecina, the former head of the health regulator Anvisa, said the slow progress of the vaccine programme had and would continue to cost lives.

“There are 500,000 deaths, and unfortunately, it will continue to increase because it will take some time to increase vaccination coverage. Maybe this year will also be difficult because we depend on the delivery of vaccines, which were purchased very late,” he said.

On Saturday, thousands of people protested across the country against the Bolsonaro government and to demand the acceleration of the vaccination programme. Many cities have struggled with insufficient number of doses.

President Bolsonaro has opposed lockdown measures, saying their impact on the economy would be worse than the virus. But he insists he has done all he can to buy vaccines from several countries.

BBC.COM

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021, The Press Radio Multimedia