ceasefire in Gaza
Palestinian militants in Israel and Gaza agreed late last night to a ceasefire that appears to have begun this morning. The move is expected to end a three-day conflict that has left dozens of Palestinians dead, destroyed buildings and killed two key leaders of Gaza’s second-largest militia, Islamic Jihad.
The fighting began Friday afternoon when Israel launched airstrikes to thwart what it said was an imminent attack from Gaza. The fighting has revealed growing tensions between Islamic Jihad and Hamas, a Palestinian militia badly damaged by the fighting, which governs the Gaza Strip and has chosen to remain on the edge of the conflict.
Israel declined to give further details about the ceasefire agreement. However, Islamic Jihad said it had received assurances from middle Egyptian officials that Egypt would lobby for the release of two key members of the group, Bassem Saadi and Khalil Awad, who are being held in Israeli prisons .
strategy: Israel has offered small economic concessions to ordinary Gazans — notably 14,000 work permits — to help improve the Palestinian economy. This approach could help persuade Hamas to stay away from this particular conflict and potentially shorten its duration.
International Background: Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — two of the three Arab countries that formally established relations with Israel in 2020 — expressed concern over the violence but avoided criticizing Israel. Only a third country, Bahrain, directly condemned the Israeli strike.
Rocket lands near Ukrainian nuclear power plant
The rocket landed at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, posing the latest threat to Europe’s largest nuclear facility. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the attack, and fighting in the south has raised fears of a major accident.
Russian forces have controlled the plant since March, using it as a base for shelling across the Dnipro River in the Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol for the past month. Saturday’s attack included a barrage of rockets that Ukrainian officials said damaged 47 apartment buildings and homes.
The battle, along with Russia’s occupation of parts of the plant and pressure on plant workers, prompted Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, to warn last week that “every principle of nuclear safety has been violated. “. There have been growing concerns about the safety of Zaporozhye since the fire broke out after the Russian army took control.
Context: Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia has made it a priority to seize and target critical Ukrainian infrastructure such as power plants, ports, transportation and agricultural storage and production facilities.
More from the Ukraine War:
Historic US climate bill passes Senate
The U.S. Senate yesterday passed legislation that would make the most significant federal investment in climate change in history. Paid through tax increases, the measure would inject more than $370 billion into climate and energy projects, enabling the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent from 2005 levels by the end of the century.
The final vote was 51 to 50, and along partisan lines, Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tiebreaker. The bill would provide billions of dollars in rebates for Americans buying energy efficient and appliances, as well as tax credits for companies building new sources of emission-free electricity like wind turbines and solar panels.
For Democrats, the passage of the measure capped off a very successful six weeks of work that included the final approval of a $280 billion industrial policy bill to bolster U.S. competitiveness with China and the largest move in decades. Scaled veterans benefit expansion. Republicans have denounced climate legislation as overextended and reckless overspending by the federal government.
background: Originally billed as “Building Back Better,” a multi-trillion-dollar, cradle-to-grave social safety net program that Democrats have scaled back in recent months under the Great Society legislative sequence of the 1960s. Act, and renamed it the Inflation Reduction Act. Its passage is a major victory for President Biden and his party.
travel around the world
Trellick Tower, a public housing project in London built in 1972, has gone from a nuisance to a Brutalist icon. Its apartments, in the expensive Notting Hill neighbourhood, were snapped up as soon as they hit the market.
Now, residents fear Trellick’s success has made the tower vulnerable. Given the acute shortage of affordable housing in London and the precious real estate occupied by Trellick, developers may try to build on the site in the future – despite the best efforts of its residents.
art and thought
What should an LGBTQ museum be?
The Queer British Museum is a new museum near King’s Cross in London, the UK’s first LGBTQ museum. It joins a slew of international institutions whose directors are mulling over how to structure queer history — sometimes reaching different conclusions, Alex Marshall reports for The Times.
Queer Britain’s inaugural exhibition aims to represent the diversity of the queer experience, with items on display including banners from this year’s Trans+ Pride parade, a rainbow hood and the door to Oscar Wilde’s prison cell. “Much of the history of LGBTQ+ people is about erasure,” said museum director Joseph Galliano-Doig. “For us, that means: we are here, we are The story deserves to be told.”
In Berlin, the Schwulers Museum has taken a clear political stance, both seeking to acknowledge queer history as part of the collective mainstream history and, as one board member put it, “challenging the problematic Discourse.” The museum is currently hosting an exhibition on the famous Berlin gay activist Tuntenhaus.
As they continue to grow, how these museums decide to showcase LGBTQ history will remain a pressing question. “History has been a tool for building queer identities since the beginning,” said Huw Lemmey, co-host of the “Bad Gays” podcast. “Museums are not the independent journalists of the past, they are part of the identity formation process, so the stakes are very high.”
Read more about the purpose of the Queer Museum.