A ceasefire in Gaza
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza agreed to a ceasefire late last night, which appeared to hold as of this morning. The move is expected to end a three-day conflict that has left dozens of Palestinians dead, buildings destroyed and two key leaders of Islamic Jihad, Gaza’s second-largest militia, dead.
The fighting began Friday afternoon when Israel launched airstrikes to thwart an allegedly imminent attack from Gaza. The fighting revealed mounting tensions between Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militia that was badly damaged by the fighting, and Hamas, the militia that controls Gaza and chose to remain on the sidelines of the conflict.
Israel declined to disclose further details about the ceasefire. However, Islamic Jihad said it had received assurances from intermediate Egyptian officials that Egypt would lobby for the release of two of the group’s leading members, Bassem Saadi and Khalil Awawdeh, who are being held in Israeli prisons.
Strategy: Israel has made small economic concessions to ordinary Gazans, most notably 14,000 work permits to help improve the Palestinian economy. The approach convinced Hamas to stay out of this particular conflict and likely shortened its duration.
International context: Morocco and the UAE — two of the three Arab countries to establish ties with Israel in 2020 — expressed concern about the violence but avoided criticizing Israel. Only the third country, Bahrain, directly condemned Israel’s attacks.
Missiles land near Ukraine nuclear power plant
Rockets landed on the site of the Zaporizhzhya 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 southern region has raised fears of a major accident.
Russian forces have controlled the factory since March and for the past month have used it as a base to launch artillery barrages at the Ukrainian-controlled city of Nikopol across the Dnipro River. Saturday’s attack involved a salvo of rockets that damaged 47 apartment buildings and homes, Ukrainian officials say.
The fighting, along with the Russian occupation of parts of the factory and the stress of factory workers, prompted Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to warn last week that “every principle of nuclear safety has been violated” . Security concerns in Zaporizhzhya have grown since a fire broke out when Russian forces took control.
context: Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Russia has made it a priority to seize and attack critical Ukrainian infrastructure, such as power plants, ports, transportation and agricultural storage and manufacturing facilities.
More from the war in Ukraine:
A Historic U.S. Climate Bill Passes Senate
The US Senate yesterday passed legislation that would make the most important federal investment in history to combat climate change. The measure, which will be paid for through tax increases, would inject more than $370 billion into climate and energy programs, which could help the U.S. reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
The final score was 51 to 50, along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the decisive vote. The bill will provide billions of dollars in rebates for Americans who buy energy-efficient and electrical appliances, as well as tax credits for companies building new sources of zero-emission electricity, such as wind turbines and solar panels.
For Democrats, the measure’s approval marked the end of a remarkably successful six-week trajectory, including the final approval of a $280 billion industrial policy to strengthen U.S. competitiveness with China and the largest expansion of benefits for veterans in the United States. decades. Republicans have condemned climate legislation as federal overspending and reckless overspending.
Background: Initially pitched as “Build Back Better,” a multi-trillion dollar, cradle-to-grave social safety net plan on the order of the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, in recent months Democrats have scaled back the bill and renamed it the Inflation Reduction. . act. Its passage is a major victory for President Biden and his party.
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Around the world
Built in 1972, London’s Trellick Tower public housing project has grown from an eyesore to a brutalist icon. The apartments, located near expensive Notting Hill, sell quickly as soon as they are listed.
Now residents fear that Trellick’s success has left the tower vulnerable. Given the dire shortage of affordable housing in London and the high-value real estate occupied by Trellick, it is likely that developers will attempt to build on the site in the future – despite residents’ best efforts.
ART AND IDEAS
What should an LGBTQ museum be?
Queer Britain, a new museum near King’s Cross station in London, is Britain’s first LGBTQ museum. It joins a series of international institutions whose directors are carefully considering how to formulate queer history — and sometimes come to different conclusions, reports Alex Marshall 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 hijab and the door to Oscar Wilde’s prison cell. “So much of the history of LGBTQ+ people is about erasure,” said Joseph Galliano-Doig, the museum’s director. “For us, this means: we’re here, and our stories deserve to be told.”
In Berlin, the Schwules Museum takes an explicit political stance, seeking both to recognize queer history as a part of collective, mainstream history and, as one board member put it, “to question problematic discourses dominant within the queer community.” to set.” The museum currently houses an exhibition about Tuntenhaus, a renowned squat for gay activists in Berlin.
How these museums decide to showcase LGBTQ history, while continuing to grow, remains an urgent question. “From the earliest days, history has been instrumental in constructing a queer identity,” said Huw Lemmey, co-host of the “Bad Gays” podcast. “Museums are not independent reporters of the past, they are part of an ongoing process of identity formation, so the stakes are very high.”
Read more about the goals of queer museums.