Children burnt alive: Death toll from Israel attack on Rafah safe zone rises to 50

News Network
May 27, 2024

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The death toll from the Israeli regime’s airstrikes against a designated safe zone for displaced people in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip has risen to at least 50 people.

ActionAid UK, the British chapter of an international relief organization, reported the fatalities on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Israeli warplanes fired eight missiles toward makeshift shelters housing internally-displaced persons in the city’s northwest.

“These shelters were supposed to be safe havens for innocent civilians, yet they became targets of brutal violence,” the organization said.

“Children, women, and men are being burned alive under their tents and shelters,” it noted, warning that the number of fatalities could rise.

Reacting to the massacre, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas called it an “egregious affront” to a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice, which ordered the Israeli regime to “immediately” halt its offensive against Rafah.

The movement called on all parties, especially Egypt, to pressure the regime into ending its occupation of the city’s Rafah crossing, which borders the country and serves as the main point of entry for vital supplies into Gaza.

Hamas also urged the international community, the United Nations, and all concerned parties to scramble to support the Palestinian nation in the face of the Israeli massacre, which has been seeking to bring about the mass exodus of the Palestinian people and destroy their national cause for the past seven months.

It was referring to an October-present genocidal war that the regime has been waging against Gaza in response to a retaliatory operation by the territory’s resistance movements.

The war has so far claimed the lives of around 36,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza.

Hamas called on the world’s Muslim and Arab peoples to step up their anti-Israeli activism in the face of the genocide.

Israel must face sanctions: UN

Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, meanwhile, reacted to the “horror” created by the Israeli regime in Rafah, calling for pressure on Tel Aviv.

“The Gaza genocide will not easily end without external pressure: Israel must face sanctions, justice, suspension of agreements, trade, partnership and investments, as well as participation in international forums.”

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the world body’s special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, also denounced the bloodletting, saying, “Attacking women and children while they cower in their shelters in Rafah is a monstrous atrocity.” 

“We need concerted global action to stop Israel’s actions now,” he added.

The Israeli massacre in Rafah was also followed by mass protest rallies across the West Bank, including in the city of Ramallah and the town of Anabta, which is located to the east of the city of Tulkarm in the northern part of the occupied territory.

The Emirati Hospital in Rafah also condemned the Israeli attacks on Rafah as “a heinous massacre.”

Similar demonstrations also erupted elsewhere throughout the region, including at the Baqa’a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan and in front of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

In Iraq, enraged people stormed the KFC’s branch in the capital Baghdad, inflicting damage on the restaurant in protest at the United States’ ongoing support for the Israeli regime’s war on Gaza.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Bengaluru: Women in Karnataka have availed themselves of 227 crore free rides in government non-luxury buses under the "Shakti" guarantee in the last one year, costing the state exchequer Rs 5,526.64 crore, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Tuesday.

The Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, launched the "Shakti" scheme one of the five guarantees which the party had promised before the Assembly elections on June 11 last year.

These promises are said to have yielded rich electoral dividends to the Congress, helping it dethrone the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government.

As the government celebrates one year of "Shakti" guarantee implementation, Reddy said in a statement that 226.95 women travelled free of cost in the government buses.

Most such rides were accounted for by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses (BMTC-71.45 crore), followed by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC-69.5 crore).

North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) posted 52.12 crore and 33.47 crore free rides, respectively.

KSRTC incurred an expenditure of Rs 2,111.14 crore, NWKRTC Rs 1,352.68 crore, KKRTC Rs 1,125.81 crore and BMTC Rs 937.01 crore, the statement said.

Reddy said several measures have been taken to improve the public transport system such as approval for the induction of 5,800 new buses. In addition, 2,438 new buses have been inducted across the four transport corporations in recent times.

According to the minister, the state inducted new buses with brand name Pallakki, Ashwamedha Classic, Kalyana Ratha and Amogha Varsha.

Approval has been accorded for recruitment of 9,000 posts in the department. In this regard, appointment orders have been issued to recruit 1,844 driver-cum-conductors and technical assistants, Reddy said.

"Recruitment for 6,500 posts (KSRTC- 2,500 driver-cum-conductors, BMTC-2,000 conductors, NWKRTC -1,000 drivers and 1,000 conductors) is under process and will be completed soon," the minister said.

The government has also enhanced accident relief compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 10 lakh to dependents in case of death of any passenger in an accident while travelling in bus operated by state-run corporations, he added.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for the “immediate resignation" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP-led NDA eked out a muted election victory on Tuesday. The Trinamool supremo also thanked the people of West Bengal for the mandate as the party secured a lead in 29 seats. 

“... I am happy that the Prime Minister did not get the majority figure. The Prime Minister has lost credibility, he should resign immediately because he had said that this time they would cross 400 seats…Even after causing so many atrocities, spending so much money, this arrogance of Modi ji and Amit Shah, INDIA has won and Modi has lost. They have even lost in Ayodhya," the INDIA bloc leader reminded. 

Mamata also insisted that she would try to ensure that Modi “is out of power and INDIA bloc is in" following the results. The Trinamool Congress chief claimed that the people of India had ‘broken’ PM Modi's morale after he ‘broke’ many politicial parties. 

The Election Commission has declared the TMC the winner in two seats with notable leads in 27 others. The BJP is presently leading in 12 seats while the Congress holds a lead in the Maldaha Dakshin constituency.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Yusuf Pathan, the swashbuckling all-rounder from Baroda, will soon be rubbing shoulders with the bigwigs in the Lok Sabha. 

The 41-year-old former cricketer, who made his electoral debut on a Trinamool Congress ticket from West Bengal's Baharampur, has upset Congress heavyweight Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. 

Rejecting Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, its five-time MP from this so-called ‘Congress fortress’, voters elected Trinamool Congress candidate and former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan by a comprehensive win margin of over 85,000 votes.

Owing to Chowdhury’s defeat in Baharampur, which remained among the last-standing perceived Congress fortresses of the state, the Trinamool Congress had its flag grafted and flying from the region for the first time ever.

Pathan was a member of the Indian cricket team that lifted the inaugural ICC World T20 trophy in 2007. Less than a year later, he excelled with both bat and ball to guide Rajasthan Royals to the Indian Premier League title in the marquee tournament's first edition. 

But Pathan's laurels did not end there. He was a member of the victorious Kolkata Knight Riders team that won IPL twice in 2012 and 2014. 

Despite being the elder of the two brothers, Yusuf made his international debut three years after Irfan.

His ability to turn matches around with his power-hitting and crucial wickets made him a vital player for India in shorter formats as he became a member of the MS Dhoni-led batch of 2011 that lifted the ODI World Cup.

Cut to 2024. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee picked Pathan as a surprise pick to take on Chowdhury, who belongs to the INDIA bloc ally Congress. 

Pathan said he has immense respect for the Congress leader. “I respect Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury a lot. He is a senior leader. I give my best wishes to him... I will open a sports academy to encourage children to represent the state and country... The people have given their support to me,” he was quoted by ANI as saying. 

Besides Chowdhury, Yusuf had to take on BJP's Nirmal Chandra Saha, a known doctor from the region and also deal with the "outsider" barbs from the opposition.

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