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February 19, 2024
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February 19, 2024

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February 19, 2024

Gaza Health Ministry says over 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel-Hamas war

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza’s Health Ministry says more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in the territory since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said on Monday that 107 bodies were brought to hospitals in the last 24 hours. That brings the total number of fatalities to 29,092 since the start of the war. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its records, but says most of those killed were women and children. The war began when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.

Palestinian diplomat accuses Israel of apartheid and asks UN court to declare its occupation illegal

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister has accused Israel of apartheid and urged the top U.N. court to declare that Israel’s occupation of lands sought for a Palestinian state is illegal. The Palestinians say any hope for a two-state future will die if this continues. The allegation came at the start on Monday of historic hearings into the legality of Israel’s 57-year occupation of lands sought for a Palestinian state. The case stands against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war and it immediately became a focal point of the day. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the court that “2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, half of them children, are besieged and bombed, killed and maimed, starved and displaced.”

Minnesota community mourns 2 officers, 1 firefighter killed at the scene of a domestic call

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A suburban Minneapolis community was in mourning after authorities said two police officers and a firefighter were killed by a heavily armed man who shot at them from inside a home that was filled with children. Officials say the suspect in the shooting also died. The shooting in Burnsville also wounded a third officer. Seven children were inside the home, but officials say the family was able to leave the home safely. Hundreds of people gathered in front of Burnsville City Hall on Sunday night for a candlelit vigil to remember the victims.

Navalny’s widow vows to continue his fight against the Kremlin and punish Putin for his death

The widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says she will continue his fight against the Kremlin. Yulia Navalnaya’s statement on Monday came as authorities denied Navalny’s mother access to a morgue where his body is believed to be held after his death last week at an Arctic penal colony. Navalny’s allies have accused authorities of trying to hide evidence. Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, was told the cause of her son’s death remains unknown and the official probe was extended. Many blame President Vladimir Putin and his government for Navalny’s death, accusations Moscow rejects. Navalny’s team said he was “murdered” and charged that officials’ refusal to hand over his body was part of a cover-up.

Russia says it has crushed the last pocket of resistance in Avdiivka to complete the city’s capture

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian military says its forces have completed their takeover of Avdiivka by eliminating the last pocket of resistance at the eastern Ukraine city’s huge coke plant. Monday’s announcement follows Kyiv’s forces being driven out over the weekend as a result of the sheer weight of Russia’s troop numbers and greater firepower. Ukrainian forces confirmed pulling out of the bombed-out city in what amounted to a triumph for the Kremlin even though the four-month battle was costly. The victory was a morale boost for Russia, days ahead of the two-year anniversary of its full-scaler invasion of its neighbor on Feb. 24 2022. For Ukraine, the loss underscored its reliance on the supply of Western weapons and ammunition, as hold-ups have left it short of provisions and handicapped in the fight.

Stalled US aid for Ukraine underscores GOP’s shift away from confronting Russia

Republicans have been softening their stance on Russia ever since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election following Russian hacking of his Democratic opponents. There are several reasons for the shift. For one, Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding himself out as an international champion of conservative Christian values. As well, the GOP is growing increasingly skeptical of international entanglements. Then there’s Trump’s own embrace of the Russian leader. Now the GOP’s ambivalence on Russia has stalled additional aid to Ukraine. Many Republicans are openly frustrated that their colleagues don’t see the benefits of helping Ukraine.

Houthi rebels’ attack severely damages a Belize-flagged ship in key strait leading to the Red Sea

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels damaged a Belize-flagged ship traveling through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, forcing the crew to abandon the ship. The ship targeted in the Houthi attack on Sunday reported sustaining damage after “an explosion in close proximity to the vessel.” That’s according to the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center, which said its crew had survived unscathed in the attack. Houthi Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree issued a statement claiming the attack, saying the vessel was “now at risk of potentially sinking.”

California again braces for flooding as another wet winter storm hits the state

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The latest in a series of wet winter storms is gaining strength in California. Forecasters warned Monday of possible flooding, hail, strong winds and even brief tornadoes as the system moves south over the next few days. The National Weather Service says the central coast is at risk of “significant flooding.” Up to 5 inches of rain is predicted for many areas. Isolated rain totals of 10 inches are possible in the Santa Lucia and Santa Ynez mountain ranges. Flood watches and warnings have been issued in coastal and mountain areas up and down the state.

The keeper of the Vatican’s secrets is retiring. Here’s what he wants you to know

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The longtime prefect of the Vatican Secret Archive is spilling the beans for the first time. He is revealing some of the secrets he has uncovered in the 45 years he has worked in one of the world’s most important, and unusual, repositories of documents. In a new book-length interview titled “Secretum” to be published Tuesday, Archbishop Sergio Pagano divulges some of the unknown, lesser-known and behind-the-scenes details of well-known sagas of the Holy See. Pagano delves into everything from Napoleon’s seizure of the archive itself in 1810 to the peculiar conclave of 1922 that was financed entirely by donations from U.S. Catholics.

A prayer for Evita: Here’s why many Argentinians are devoted to a first lady who died in 1952

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Far from Argentina, few people may know much about Eva Perón, widely known as “Evita.” But the former first lady, who died in 1952, is a constant presence in her home country. Her face is printed on hundred-peso bills, it is used by social and political organizations during protests and keeps a special place on homemade altars. Many labor union members and residents of low-income neighborhoods are devoted to Evita, feeling that she and her husband, three-time President Juan Domingo Perón, brought them social justice through Peronism, a political movement that still polarizes the country and currently constitutes the biggest opposition force against President Javier Milei.