World News Round-Up: From Gaza Conflict to Global Elections

A summary of current world news highlights Israel’s continued war in Gaza, South Africa's competitive election, China-North Korea nuclear tensions, Syrian refugee deportations in Lebanon, a Singapore Airlines incident, Thailand’s indictment of ex-PM Thaksin, Italy’s Meloni on the European stage, Mexico’s presidential race, and worrisome China coast guard rules.

Reuters | Updated: 29-05-2024 18:29 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 18:29 IST
World News Round-Up: From Gaza Conflict to Global Elections
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Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Israel says Gaza war likely to last another seven months as tanks probe Rafah

Israel sent tanks on raids into Rafah on Wednesday and said its war on Hamas in Gaza would likely continue all year, after Washington said the Rafah assault did not amount to a major ground operation that would trigger a change in U.S. policy. Israeli tanks moved into the heart of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday, despite an order from the International Court of Justice to end its attacks on the city, where many Palestinians had taken refuge from widespread bombardment.

South Africans vote in most competitive election since end of apartheid

South Africans voted on Wednesday in the most competitive election since the end of apartheid, with opinion polls suggesting the African National Congress (ANC) could lose its parliamentary majority after 30 years in government. Queues formed in the main cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban as polling got underway around 7 a.m. (0500 GMT), with lines also seen in the morning cold in townships on the outskirts of cities and in rural areas.

Analysis-Rare spat shows China, North Korea still at odds on nuclear weapons

North Korea's rare swipe at China this week underscored how Beijing and Pyongyang do not entirely see eye-to-eye on the latter's illicit nuclear weapons arsenal, despite warming ties in other areas, analysts and officials in South Korea said. The North condemned China, Japan and South Korea on Monday for discussing denuclearisation of the peninsula, calling their joint declaration after a summit in Seoul a "grave political provocation" that violates its sovereignty.

Syrians in Lebanon fear unprecedented restrictions, deportations

The soldiers came before daybreak, singling out the Syrian men without residence permits from the tattered camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. As toddlers wailed around them, Mona, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon for a decade, watched Lebanese troops shuffle her brother onto a truck headed for the Syrian border. Thirteen years since Syria's conflict broke out, Lebanon remains home to the largest refugee population per capita in the world: roughly 1.5 million Syrians - half of whom are refugees formally registered with the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR - in a country of approximately 4 million Lebanese.

Singapore flight investigation finds sharp altitude drop caused injuries

Preliminary findings released on Wednesday of an investigation into a Singapore Airlines flight hit by severe turbulence last week showed that a rapid change in gravitational force and a 54-metre altitude drop caused injuries. A 73-year-old passenger died of a suspected heart attack and dozens were injured after flight SQ321, flying from London to Singapore, encountered what the airline described as sudden, extreme turbulence while flying over Myanmar.

Thailand set to indict former PM Thaksin over royal insult

Thailand's attorney-general will indict former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for allegedly insulting the monarchy, an official said on Wednesday, in a setback to a political heavyweight whose loyalists are currently in government. The complaint, lodged by the royalist military that ousted the government of his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, had stemmed from an interview the influential tycoon gave to foreign media in 2015. Other charges include violating a computer crime law.

Analysis-Once ostracised, Italy's Meloni is now centre stage in Europe

When Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took power in 2022, far-right parties across Europe hailed her victory, expecting the fiery new leader in Rome to pursue a nationalist agenda and battle the Brussels bureaucracy. But rather than clash with the European Union elites, Meloni surprised friend and foe alike by working closely with them, presenting herself as a bridge between the mainstream centre-right and her own arch-conservative camp, which was previously shunned.

Analysis-Mexico presidential race has clear favorite, but pollsters say turnout key

Polls in Mexico have almost universally tapped ruling party hopeful Claudia Sheinbaum as the easy favorite to win the June 2 presidential election, but pollsters are keen to emphasize a major unknown - voter turnout. Recent votes, including past presidential elections in Mexico, show that polling can significantly vary from election-day results because turnout is especially hard to predict, according to interviews with leading Mexican pollsters.

Philippines president calls new China coast guard rules 'worrisome'

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Wednesday new rules outlined by China's coast guard that could result in the detention of foreigners in the South China Sea were an escalation and "worrisome". China, which has maritime sovereignty disputes with the Philippines and other countries, issued new rules effective June 15 that would enforce a 2021 coast guard law and allow detention of foreigners suspected of trespassing.

'A mountain fell on them' says rescue worker at PNG landslide site

Families in Yambali village in Papua New Guinea were sleeping peacefully in their beds when a "mountain" of rubble buried them alive in a gigantic landslide, said a U.N. rescue worker at the disaster site and the country's prime minister. For five days now those that survived have been using shovels and bare hands to dig through mud and debris almost two storeys high, and covering three to four football fields in area, which has buried an estimated 2,000 people.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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