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Human rights lawyer Kenneth Roth on Xitter:

"The United Arab Emirates government is so contemptuous of human rights that it is holding military exercises with China in Xinjiang of all places, the site of Beijing's mass detention and persecution of Uyghur Muslims."

China and the United Arab Emirates are holding military training exercises this week in Xinjiang, as Emirati-Chinese defense ties see a boost despite US concerns.

The joint air force training exercise, dubbed Falcon Shield, began on Wednesday in the northwest Xinjiang province of China. Officers and soldiers from both countries attended the opening ceremony, including the UAE’s deputy military attache in China.

Xinjiang province, where the exercise took place, is home to China’s Uyghur Muslim community. China has been widely criticized for its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities there. According to observers such as Human Rights Watch, China has detained up to a million Muslims in Xinjiang in recent years as part of its anti-terror campaign. The United Nations’ Human Rights Office released a report in 2022 detailing human rights issues in the region.

“The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law and policy, in context of restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” said the UN.


An interview with with reporter Oren Ziv of +972 Magazine, whose latest investigation details how Israeli forces in Gaza have been authorized to open fire on Palestinians virtually at will. Six soldiers who fought in Gaza describe a near-total absence of firing regulations, with soldiers shooting as they please, setting homes ablaze, leaving corpses to rot on the streets and more.

“It seems soldiers were shooting not from a tactical reason or a real military reason, but just out of being bored, to pass the time or just because they could,” says Ziv.

“Soldiers felt they can do whatever they want, that they won’t be accountable. And all this is done also with the awareness of the commanders.”

[...] several soldiers told us, that the army was not dealing with dead people, dead Palestinians, and it was very common to see them on the side of the road when they’re moving to one place to another [...] Israeli soldiers were deployed inside Palestinian homes and houses, and when they had to move to a new position, the official policy, as we understand, was to burn the house down. The soldiers would gather the mattresses and the furniture and light the house on fire and move on. The official explanation by the commanders [...] was the fact that they don’t want anything sensitive to be left there, military equipment or maps or anything like that, but also that Hamas will not use the houses. But between the lines, you can understand that this was also an act of revenge to punish Palestinian civilians and also to make sure they cannot go back to those areas, areas that at least some people in the army believed would stay in Israeli control.


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The manufacturing sector's woes have left Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who took power last year, struggling to fulfil his promise of bringing average annual GDP growth to 5% over his four-year term, up from 1.73% in the past decade.

"The industrial sector has slumped and capacity utilisation has fallen below 60%," Srettha told parliament last week. "It is clear that the industry needs to adapt."

Supavud Saicheua, chairman of the state planning agency National Economic and Social Development Council, said Thailand's decades-long manufacturing-driven economic model is broken.

"The Chinese are now trying to export left, right and centre. Those cheap imports are really causing trouble," Supavud told Reuters.

"You have to change," Supavud said, arguing that Thailand should refocus on making products that China wasn't exporting while strengthening its agriculture sector. "No ifs or buts."

The factory closures between July 2023 and June 2024 increased 40% from the preceding 12 months, according to the latest Department of Industrial Works data that has not been previously reported.

As a result, job losses jumped by 80% during the same period, with more than 51,500 workers left without work, the data shows.


Archived version

China says it has graduated 320 more monks and nuns this year from the Xizang Buddhism University in Lhasa with the mandate, among others, to promote the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism, bringing the total since its establishment in 2011 to more than 1,700. “Xizang” is China’s term for Tibet truncated to the territory of Tibet (Xizang) Autonomous Region.

The graduates “should learn to use the national language and script, infuse Tibetan Buddhism with excellent traditional Chinese culture, actively engage in doctrinal interpretation, promote positive thoughts in Tibetan Buddhist doctrine such as promoting equality and tolerance, poverty alleviation, and helping the needy, and jointly promote the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism,” China’s official Jul 12 quoted Drubkhang Thubtan Khaidrub, the head of the university, as saying.


The university was established by China outside the rigorous traditional Geshe degree programme to educate Tibetan monks and nuns to promote the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism and culture with focus on teaching Mandarin Chinese and the ideology of patriotic loyalty to the communist Party of China-state as the basis for learning Buddhism.


Archived version

Last week the Economist (“A short history of Taiwan and China, in maps,” July 10) and Al Jazeera both sent around short explainers of the Taiwan-China issue.

The Al Jazeera explainer [...] was fairly standard, and it works because it appeals to the well-understood convention that Taiwan enters history in 1949 when the KMT retreats to it.

Very different, and far more pernicious, was the biased, error-studded production by the Economist. Centering Taiwan against Chinese history, it claimed that “After Japan’s defeat in 1945 Taiwan was ceded to the nationalist government of the ROC [Republic of China]” and that Taiwan became a province of the Qing empire in 1885. Neither is correct: Taiwan was not made a province by the Manchus until 1887, and it was never ceded to the ROC. Moreover, in the best pro-China fashion, Japanese rule in Taiwan simply disappears from the discussion.


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Archived version

Canada has done a detailed mapping of what it says are covert Chinese police operations within its borders and wants to explore a response with Group of Seven allies to a challenge faced by several nations.

The issue of Beijing allegedly setting up unofficial “police stations” in Western democracies — to monitor and intimidate members of the Chinese diaspora — has become a growing concern. Canada, the US, Italy, Germany and the UK have all grappled with the problem.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has said it’s investigating allegations of clandestine Chinese police operations, including “credible” information in the second-largest province of Quebec. The Madrid-based human-rights group Safeguard Defenders said in a 2022 report that China operates at least 54 such stations across five continents.

The UK government reacted with alarm last year to reports of alleged Chinese police stations in the country, calling it “egregious.” In June 2023, it said China had closed the centers, and that an investigation hadn’t revealed illegal activity by the Chinese state at the sites — citing the “suppressive impact” of police and public scrutiny.

US authorities charged two people in New York last year on allegations of operating an illegal police operation in lower Manhattan for a branch of China’s Ministry of Public Security, with the goal to “monitor and intimidate dissidents and those critical” of the government in Beijing.

Italy began probing China’s alleged operations after Safeguard Defenders reported it was home to the largest number of the so-called stations. Germany’s government has said there are two such sites in the country.

RCMP is launching awareness campaign and seeking public assistance in connection with Chinese foreign interference in Quebec.



Here is the video of the arrest if you're blocking TikTok:

Notice how many gendarmes (military police) officers are escorting him. For one joint!


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The head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, Andriy Kostin, said that the Ukrainian side is ready to provide all physical evidence.

On July 8, Russian troops launched a missile attack on several Ukrainian cities. In Kyiv, children’s hospital “Okhmatdit”, another hospital and a residential building came under fire. As a result of the attack, 33 people died, including 5 children. Another 121 people were injured, including 10 children aged 2 to 17.

As reported by a social media user on Mastodon, a Russian propagandist wrote an article on Russian state-TV website, claiming that "the children's hospital in Kyiv is not an accident". "Such enemies [Ukraine] cannot be considered human. We must acknowledge—simply and fearfully—that there are no humans on the other side. Not a single person. Our missiles do not kill humans. Not a single person. They are not human," the Russian propagandist is cited in an English translation.

Earlier this week, Osint group Molfar identified 95 war criminals involved in the shelling, and provided a detailed analysis of the attack.


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US intelligence discovered earlier this year that the Russian government planned to assassinate the chief executive of a powerful German arms manufacturer that has been producing artillery shells and military vehicles for Ukraine, according to five US and western officials familiar with the episode.

The plot was one of a series of Russian plans to assassinate defense industry executives across Europe who were supporting Ukraine’s war effort, these sources said. The plan to kill Armin Papperger, a white-haired goliath who has led the German manufacturing charge in support of Kyiv, was the most mature.

When the Americans learned of the effort, they informed Germany, whose security services were then able to protect Papperger and foil the plot. A high-level German government official confirmed that Berlin was warned about the plot by the US.

For more than six months, Russia has been carrying out a sabotage campaign across Europe, largely by proxy. It has recruited local amateurs for everything from arson attacks on warehouses linked to arms for Ukraine to petty acts of vandalism — all designed to stymie the flow of weapons from the West to Ukraine and blunt public support for Kyiv.

But the intelligence suggesting that Russia was willing to assassinate private citizens underlined to Western officials just how far Moscow was willing to go in a parallel shadow war it is waging across the west.


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During a deadly Russian missile barrage on Kyiv on July 8, Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital suffered a direct hit. More than 600 patients and at least that many medical staff were inside the Okhmatdyt Hospital at the time of the strike, which killed two adults and injured more than 50 people, including seven children. Another child who was evacuated from the hospital later died.

Anna Brudna was working in an on-call room when she heard the first explosion. A colleague suggested that everyone move to the corridor in case the windows got blown out. But Brudna didn’t listen; as a doctor in the bone marrow transplant division at Kyiv’s Okhmatydyt children’s hospital, she had too much work to do.

“The patients we prep for transplants are hooked up to machines and kept on IVs in sterile isolation rooms — if we ran off somewhere every time there’s an air raid alert, we simply wouldn’t be able to treat anyone,” she says.


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Chinese authorities have recently announced legal changes that could impose harsh sanctions, including the death penalty, on individuals working "at separating Taiwan from China." Beijing sees the self-ruled island as part of its own territory and has hinted at the possibility of using violence to subdue any attempts at pursuing indepedence.

Former Taiwanese legislator Chen Jiau-hua, already blacklisted by Beijing as one of the "stubborn separatists," told DW she was not intimidated by the new measures. Instead, the set of guidelines revealed last month simply made her grow "even more resentful" towards China.

"I think Taiwanese people shouldn't be afraid and threatened by these guidelines. Nor should they surrender to an authoritarian regime," Chen said.

Some of the legal changes, however, are not easily dismissed. Beijing courts can now pass sentences, including life imprisonment or the death penalty, to "Taiwan independence" supporters who are convicted of conducting or inciting secession.

China says its new guidelines are targeting a "very small number of diehard 'Taiwan independence' separatists."


The dataset from Our World in Data provides comprehensive information on Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) for various health conditions. The data is sourced from the IHME’s Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study and spans from 1990 to 2021. It was last updated on May 20, 2024. Detailed data can be retrieved from the Global Burden of Disease’s results tool here.

The radar chart reveals distinct health burden patterns among the USA, China, India, and the world in 2021. Infections remain a significant health issue in India, comparable to or exceeding global trends. China faces a higher burden from lifestyle disorders and cancers, reflecting its unique health challenges. In contrast, mental conditions are notably more impactful in the USA, causing more DALYs than in China, India, or globally. This visualization highlights the varying predominant health concerns across different regions.


A panel of United Nations independent experts has accused Israel of engaging in a campaign of starvation and genocide in Gaza as the effects of the famine are being felt across Gaza. Palestinian physician and activist Mustafa Barghouti says “what we see today is a purposeful act of starvation” and that the real intention of the Israeli government has never changed. “Their main goal is the total ethnic cleansing of all of Gaza people and all of the Gaza Strip.”


In its daily update on Chinese military activity over the past 24 hours, released on Thursday morning, Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had detected 66 Chinese military aircraft around the island.

Of those, 39 passed to the south and southeast of Taiwan, the ministry said. On Wednesday the ministry said it had detected 36 aircraft heading to the Western Pacific to carry out drills with the Shandong.

Taiwan’s defense ministry released two pictures, a grainy black-and-white image of a Chinese J-16 fighter and a colour image of a nuclear-capable H-6 bomber, which it said were taken recently, but did not say exactly where or when.


Many middle-class Chinese trekking to the US are college-educated, have an established career or business in China and know how to use a VPN to avoid official censorship and access the free internet.

Mostly in their 30s and 40s, they grew up when China had impressive economic growth and became more connected with the rest of the world. But now they feel increasingly suffocated by the country’s lacklustre economy and the government’s tightening political grip. Many find the US attractive because they see it as an economic powerhouse where there is also political freedom.

For Chinese middle class people, their options for migrating to the US are limited. While more affluent Chinese opt for investor visas, those who are less wealthy struggle to obtain a US visa. The refusal rate for Chinese nationals applying for US tourist and business visas was 27 percent last year, higher than before the pandemic. And due to a huge backlog of applications, the wait time for US visa appointments in China is now more than two months.


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Latvian authorities were able to track down a network of saboteurs recruited by the Russian special services. Relying on Latvian citizens, the network consists of operatives who have been dispatched to several countries on paid missions of subversion and provocation, all aimed at undermining Western support for Ukraine. Remarkably, this team was even assigned to burn down a military facility in Kyiv in January 2022, just a month before Russia’s full-scale invasion.

“The goal already then was to instill fear among Ukrainian residents,” Normunds Mežviets, head of the Laatvia's State Security Service (VDD), says. “Just as Russia is now trying to do in Europe with acts of sabotage.”

Indeed, such acts have grown exponentially throughout NATO countries in the last two years, coinciding with Russia’s faltering campaign on the battlefield. The efforts are part of what Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has dubbed the Kremlin’s “shadow war” against the West, whose resolve and determination in arming and supporting Kyiv has further contributed to Russian military setbacks.

The sabotage operations are so numerous and widespread that a new one is uncovered and reported on every week or two. Plots have included arson attacks on a large-scale shopping mall in Warsaw, an IKEA warehouse in Vilnius, a museum in Riga, a bus depot in Prague, an industrial estate in east London, and a metals factory in Berlin where air defense systems are manufactured. In the last two instances, the sites have been linked to military aid bound for Ukraine.


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The Osaka prefectural police arrested Andrey Sova, 38, from Suita in Osaka Prefecture. Sova is president of the Osaka-based trading company Astrade Co. in Chuo Ward, and was arrested on suspicion of violating the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law.

According to a police announcement, Sova is suspected of exporting a total of 27 items worth about ¥43 million overall, including four watercraft, a marine engine, a trailer truck and a used motorcycle, from Osaka Nanko Port to Russia via South Korea in January 2023 without obtaining the Japanese government’s permission.

The suspect has not confirmed or denied the allegations, saying he will speak after consulting with his lawyer.

[Edit typo.]


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On Tuesday, the United States government added aluminum to its list of priority sectors for the enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The law aims to block any good made in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region tainted by state-imposed forced labor from entering the US market.

The US decision aligns with the findings of Human Rights Watch’s 2024 report “Asleep at the Wheel,” which documented the forced labor risks associated with sourcing aluminum from Xinjiang and informed the US Senate inquiry this May. Aluminum is key in dozens of automotive parts and the decision will have a huge impact on car companies’ human rights due diligence.

In recent years the European Union has shied away from meaningfully addressing human rights violations in China, notably forced labor in Xinjiang. Instead it has focused on economic security measures, such as imposing tariffs on imported Chinese electric vehicles. But the EU’s upcoming adoption of its Forced Labor Regulation (FLR) presents the EU an opportunity to set up an encompassing and rights-based approach to its relations with Chinese authorities.

The proposed FLR seeks to prevent EU consumers from buying goods produced with forced labor anywhere in the world. Once formally adopted, the European Commission will publish an online database on specific geographic areas and sectors at risk of forced labor, including regions where state authorities impose forced labor. A comprehensive database will be an important resource for companies, regulators, workers’ rights groups, and consumers alike.

Listing Xinjiang and the aluminum sector in the FLR database is crucial for the regulation to have concrete impact on state-imposed forced labor in China. The European Commission should also include other sectors among more than 17 industries associated with state-imposed forced labor that the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, including Human Rights Watch, has identified.

Though it seems simple, this action demands political courage, as China’s past retaliatory practices have created a climate of fear. It will doubtlessly also face resistance from those EU countries, Germany among them, that have strong economic dependencies on China. Finding that courage would add considerable strength to the global response, along with the US, Canada, Mexico, and other governments considering forced labor import bans, to address state-imposed forced labor, and more broadly, the Chinese government’s grave international crimes in Xinjiang.


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An investigation by the Osint group Molfar identified specific military units and personnel involved in the missile strike on Okhmatdyt Hospital. This information was obtained through cooperation with confidential sources within relevant governmental structures.

It is reliable information about the military units that carried out the attack on July 8, 2024.

On its website, Molfar provides a chronology of events, including the tracked flight path of the cruise missile, together with corroborated reports and information, including the names of probable pilots, engineers, commanders, and other personalities complicit in the bombing -all in all 95 people so far-, their relatives, contacts details, and more.

The Command:

  • Timoshin Oleg Evgenievich (born 21.06.1971, FB, VK, OK, +79212728117, +79633581910, [email protected], SNILS: 16863485921, passport1: 1197 011670 (likely invalid), passport2: 4716 534802) - commander of the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (military unit 33310), colonel.

In September 2021, received an award for the Shaikovka air regiment "For special services to the Kaluga region" and unveiled a memorial plaque in memory of the fallen pilots.

As of 2023, owned a grey-brown 2013 Honda CR-V 2013 (license plate Х371МС51, vin: 1HGRM4870DL51424). As of 2021, also owned a UAZ 31512 (license plate Х336КО51 vin: XTT315120T0011862).

Address: Murmansk, Vysokiy settlement (Olenegorsk-8), Guard St, building 15, apt. 18. Vysokiy settlement is located near the Olenya airbase (1, 2, 3). According to media reports (1, 2), six bombers took off from this airbase on the morning of 08.07.2024.

In 2019, flew from Murmansk to Kaliningrad. Negative: In June 2017, a case was filed with a fine of 500 rubles from the traffic police.

Family: Timoshina Olga Volodymyrivna / Тимошина Ольга Владимировна (20.11.1977, OK, VK +79212866414) - wife; Timoshin Oleh Olehhovych / Тимошин Олег Олегович (23.10.1998, Inst, VK1, VK2, VK3, OK, +79522944472, +79183644454, [email protected], [email protected]) - son; Timoshin Ivan Olehhovych / Тимошин Иван Олегович (24.11.2002, Inst, VK, [email protected]) - younger son. In 2019, participated in the city paramilitary competitions "A nu-ka, parni!", which included: drill training, shooting, pull-ups, a military relay, and swimming.

  • Ivanenko Alexey Sergeevich (08.02.1987, OK, MySpace, +79105121943, iwаnе[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], SNILS: 531502064637, TIN: 531502064637, passport: 6008048259, driver's license: 9903322330) - commander of an aviation unit of the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment, major.

In 2011, was criminally prosecuted for non-payment of debt.

Addresses: Kaluga region, Shaikovka village, building 13, apt. 29; Kaluga region, Kirov district, Shaikovka railway station, building 5, apt. 38.

As of 2021, owned a 2016 Hyundai Solaris (license plate O391TE40, VIN: Z94CU41DBHR493629).

Likely, in 2018, was involved in a criminal case under Article 158.1 - Petty theft committed by a person subject to administrative punishment. However, the court closed the case.

As of 2023, owned a Toyota Highlander (license plate: N368NR790, VIN: JTEES42A302181611), in 2013, owned a Toyota Rav4 (license plate: N959VH40, VIN: JTMKD31V105021547).

Addresses: Kaluga region, Kirov district, Shaikovka village, building 6, apt. 46; Shaikovka village, building 9, apt. 24.

Komarov Vladimir (OK) - colonel. According to an article, as of 2020, head of the flight control group in Shaikovka.

Known address: Shaikovka village, building 16, apt. 51.

Family: Prokopenko Irina / Прокопенко Ирина (25.03.1968, OK) - wife; Komarova Anna Volodymyrivna / Комарова Анна Владимировна (21.01.1993, OK, VK, +79104891971, [email protected], [email protected]) - daughter; Komarov Oleksandr Volodymyrovych / Комаров Александр Владимирович (15.05.1991, VK, [email protected], +79163664612, +79807129571, passport: 2910450578) - son.

  • Golenkov Dmitry Vladimirovich (01.09.1978, V VK (Archive), OK, [email protected], passport: 4901226347, TIN: 531500515877, driver's license: 4003561399) - chief of staff of the aviation squadron, pilot of the 52nd Guards Aviation Regiment, military unit 33310, Kaluga region, Shaikovka.

Family: Holenkova (Kasilynikova) Tetyana Volodymyrivna / Голенкова (Касильникова) Татьяна Владимировна (VK, OK1, OK2, [email protected], +79116050306, Skype: tatianagolenkova, TIN: 531500054601) - wife; Holenkova Uliana Dmytrivna / Голенкова Ульяна Дмитриевна (OK) - daughter; Holenkov Mykyta Dmytrovych / Голенков Никита Дмитриевич (08.05.2002, +79805131126, [email protected]) - son.

  • Kostyunin Dmitry Leonidovich (born May 17, 1966, passport: 0500207275, TIN: 251133437871) - Originally from Kstovo. Deputy Chief of the Main Aviation Department of the Russian National Guard. Known military unit 6535. In 2019, he was at Shaykovtsi during the regiment's anniversary.

Address in 2013: Engels, 148 Chernihivska Diviziya St., Apt. 24.

Command of military unit 33310, according to publication:

  • Koryakin Ilya Vladimirovich (born August 26, 1977, VK, TGid: 161669098, +79105208587 (inactive number), [email protected], passport: 1201191306) - Chief of Staff of military unit 33310. Address: Kaluga region, Kirovsky district, pos. Shaykovka, house 10, apt. 39.

  • Chunikhina Evgeniya Gennadievna (born March 23, 1990, VK, +79187811581, [email protected], TIN: 260503241704, passport: 0709378796) - Road Safety Technician - Chief of the Technical Inspection Point of military unit 33310.

Address: Soltzy-2, Dos St., house 202, apt. 60.

As of 2021, owns: Сhevrolet КL1J СRUZЕ.

Family: Chunikhin Oleg Yurievich (born October 1, 1988, VK, [email protected], [email protected], +79116300801, TG id: 1064090724, passport: 0703868377) - Deputy Chief of Staff.

Owns Kia Optima: plate number: E382MC53, vin: XWEGU411BJ0004497.

Known address in 2021: Soltzy-2, Liotchika Lykholotova St., bld. 14, apt. 3STR1, apt. 445

Family: Chunikhina Evgeniya Gennadievna (born March 23, 1990) - wife. Has a daughter.

  • Antyukhov Vladimir Viktorovich (born August 17, 1973, OK,, [email protected], +79109158067, passport: 2914656448, SNILS: 10505516407, TIN: 402300149800) - Present in the photo at the military-patriotic concert in Shaykivka.

Known address: Kaluga region, Kirovsky district, pos. Shaykovka, house 3, apt. 53.


  • Antyukhova Marina Valerievna (born August 31, 1983, OK, +79105942370, passport: 2904932985, TIN: 400200449718) - wife - works at the polyclinic in Shaykivka;
  • Antyukhova Angelika Vladimirovna (born July 27, 2006, OK, OK2, VK1, VK2) - daughter;
  • Antyukhin Dmitry Vladimirovich (born April 15, 2005, VK, +79105486166, passport: 2918909234) - son;
  • Antyukhov Valery (OK) - likely brother.

More on the website.


Palestinian sources said at least 29 people were killed Tuesday in a strike on a school being used to shelter displaced people in Gaza, the fourth such incident in four days, with Hamas blaming Israel for the deaths.

Israel's military told AFP it was checking the latest reports. It has acknowledged carrying out three other strikes since Saturday on Gaza schools being used as shelters.

The strike hit the entrance to Al-Awda school in Abasan, said a source at Nasser hospital in the nearby southern city of Khan Yunis where victims were taken, adding that 29 were killed and dozens wounded.


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The news from Kyiv on July 8 about another attack on Ukrainian cities, with missiles hitting medical infrastructure – including Ukraine's largest children's hospital – is shocking. Alas, these events come as no surprise when we look at how attacking hospitals is not unintentional, but part of a strategy Russia has deployed before.

We saw this in Syria following Moscow’s 2015 intervention. If the trend in Ukraine continues, it is plausible that the Russian army will continue to use its toolbox that we have already seen in Syrian cities.

Russia sent military forces to support President Bashar al-Assad's regime at a time when Syrian rebels were mere miles away from the presidential palace in Damascus. Taking advantage of the civil war, Moscow expanded its existing positions and built new bases for its forces deep inside Syrian territory, which are still active today. These bases played an important role in stabilizing the Syrian regime and pushing rebels out of many areas of the country.

The firm foothold in Syria that the Russian army, together with Iran, built over three years came the cost of civilian casualties and destruction. This alliance with Tehran is active once again in Ukraine, as Iranian-origin drones targeted civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian cities.


The Kremlin provided diplomatic cover to the Assad regime after Damascus used chemical weapons against its own citizens. Furthermore, Russia targeted hospitals and other critical infrastructure, including those whose coordinates were shared with the Russian command by the UN, to undermine the morale of rebel forces and force them to disperse.

Russia is trying to do the same in Ukraine today, acting with special brutality when its war is not going to plan. The Russian army is attacking civilian areas to disperse the resources of the Ukrainian forces currently concentrated along the front. Moscow knows that Ukraine needs additional air defense systems to defend its cities and skies, and it is exploiting this weakness with devastating consequences.


Attacks on hospitals and other infrastructure will not stop even if there are negotiations. The purpose of the invasion of Ukraine was to seize, occupy, and exploit territory that Russia believes is its own, not to sit around a table talking.

Attacks like the one on the children's hospital in Kyiv and the medical center in Dnipro are just part of this strategy and should remind Ukraine's allies – some of whom have wavered – that Kyiv urgently needs military support and guarantees that it will be able to defend its skies. Reality is not just knocking at the door – it is blowing up cities.


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More Taiwanese traveling to China, Hong Kong or Macau have been detained or faced trials since Beijing implemented the Anti-Espionage Law and Law on Guarding State Secrets, National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) said yesterday.

Since July last year, 15 Taiwanese have been detained or undergone trials after entering China and the two special administrative regions, while 51 have been interrogated by border officers, Tsai said, adding that the number of cases is increasing.

“We respect the Mainland Affairs Council’s decision to raise the travel alert for China from ‘yellow’ to ‘orange,’ meaning that people should avoid non-essential travel. Other countries have also raised the travel alert for China, which shows that it has become an issue that the international community is monitoring closely,” Tsai said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.


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At their summit in the US capital, NATO leaders are not only set to approve a new military aid package for Ukraine, but also to talk tough on China.

In an interview with US media ahead of the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described China as "the main enabler of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine."


China's behavior during the war in Ukraine is being viewed by NATO countries as proof that Europe cannot afford to ignore the challenge Beijing poses.

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