Gaza: Israel frees two hostages, dozens of Palestinians killed
Today's news: Fugitives and defectors to Bangladesh increase among Myanmar border guards who report losing contact with commanders; Escalation between the Philippines and China continues in the South China Sea near Scarborough Shoal; Qatar wins the Asian football cup for the second time in a row; In Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev is re-elected president for the fifth time with a 'Bulgarian majority'.
Israel launched a special forces operation that freed two Israeli hostages in Rafah following a series of airstrikes that local health officials said killed 37 people and wounded dozens in the southern Gaza city. A joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces, the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet and the Rafah Special Police Unit has freed Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Hare, 70, kidnapped by Hamas in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7.
The number of members of the Border Guard Police (BGP) and Myanmar soldiers who have fled to Bangladesh since the beginning of February has risen to 330, after losing contact with their commanders during violent fighting in Rakhine state with the rebels of the Arakan Army, who have made progress by conquering several portions of territory from the junta forces.
The Philippine Coast Guard accuses China of "dangerous and obstructing" maneuvers against a ship patrolling the South China Sea near Scarborough Shoal, a portion of the sea claimed by China but located within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone. The Manila coast guard said that in the last month, 4 Beijing vessels have tailed, made dangerous maneuvers and hindered 40 times the Philippine vessel which "was in the area to protect Filipino fishermen from further Chinese harassment in their fishing zone ”.
Ten years after its annexation to Russia, the Crimean economy continues to live on Moscow's welfarism, as illustrated by the director of the Federal Statistical Service in the Sevastopol section, Olga Baldina, considering the tourism crisis, the lack of growth industrial and logistical problems, with a slight growth only in the last 3 years.
Japan and 18 Pacific Island nations expressed common opposition to China's unilateral attempts to change the status quo through force or coercion to increase Beijing's influence at a meeting in Fiji's capital Suva. in the region, as part of the broader "arm wrestling" with the United States. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said she agreed with her counterparts at the Pacific Islands Forum, promising to continue to play a central role in the area.
Jordan's fairy tale ended abruptly as, after having won its round to the first continental final in their history, they had to surrender to the hosts Qatar who confirmed themselves as Asian champions in football. The national team coached by Felix Sanchez, in the final of the Asian Cup played over the weekend "at home" in Lusail, beat Jordan 3-1. Afif decided the match with three penalties scored.
The plebiscite victory of Ilham Aliev in Azerbaijan, re-elected president for the fifth time with 92% of the votes, could lead to changes and reforms in the country's economy and politics, even if many observers are skeptical about this. As political scientist Bakhruz Samadov states, “Aliev only wanted to prepare for possible Western sanctions, linked to the conflict with Armenia, and a consequent economic crisis.”